Article Index







Pound finished canto 46 at the end of January 1936; canto 47 may have been begun a few days later, as the letter to Olga on 4 February indicates. The canto was then laid aside for a few months and finalized in September-October 1936.



Correspondence by Ezra Pound: ©Mary de Rachewiltz and the Estate of Omar S. Pound. Reproduced by permission.




Harry Ransom Research Center, University of Texas at Austin. Ezra Pound Papers Box no/ Folder no.


Pound, Ezra. Jefferson and/or Mussolini. Fascism as I Have Seen It. [1933]. London: Stanley Nott, 1935. pdf.


Pound/Laughlin. Selected Letters. Ed. David M. Gordon. New York: Norton, 1994.


Taylor, Richard. “Editing the Variorum Cantos: Process and Policy.” Paideuma: A Journal Devoted to Ezra Pound Scholarship 31.1-3 (2002): 311-34. [References in square brackets by Taylor in text.]


Beinecke Library, Yale University New Haven. Olga Rudge Papers, YCAL 54 Box no/Folder no.



J/M 63

They still plough with oxen in Italy and they say that the sentimental foreigner with his eye for the picturesque and the classic scholar who likes to be reminded of Virgil, etc., are not at the root of it. The bue IS indisputably simpatico. I don’t believe even Marinetti can help liking the sight of a pair of grey oxen scrunching along under olive-trees, or lugging a plough up an almost vertical hillside. There are plenty of fields in Italy where a tractor would be little use and larger farm machinery no economy. 



To Olga Rudge, Anno XIV 4 February 1936

YCAL 54, 16/431



by now she shd/ havva canto. and if he had a staff of assistants, he might be doin another. 


To James Laughlin, 17 September 1936

L/JL 65; Var 316; Malm 279



my mind is on concrete things. Have shipped the three Sienese Cantos, and have a fourth pretty well set. but a few hunks of Orient and Adonis cult already drafted must intervene. The noo triad readZ all right….


To Olga Rudge, 30 October 1936. Anno XIV, Rapallo

YCAL 54, 17/447

Ziao Amure

He has typed out some sort of a draft fer the rest of 42/51. That is he has typed new all except the four he did in Venez [cantos 42-44, 50] and the one printed in Nude Emocracy [46].

only he haint got the forza to read it thru YET; but if/when he gits it; he may send on a carbong. an thazatt. 

He izza sumin that with 42/44 and 46 and 50; the rest fit in and FLOW. only he don’t KNOW it yet.


waal he thinks hiz attempt at elucidatin the 42/51 iz about all than can be xxpected of him fer the momeng.



printed in Nude Emocracy – Pound published canto 46 in the American Social Credit journal New Democracy on March 1936.

Pound did send Olga all the carbons of the Fifth Decad, apart from canto 50, which he said she had already. They are preserved at the Beinecke Library in the same folder as the letter.



To Carlo Izzo, 8 January 1938

SL 303-4; Lettere 1907-1958 128-30.

‘Eleusis’ is very elliptical. It means that in place of the sacramental ---- [fuck] in the Mysteries, you ’ave the 4 and six-penny ’ore. As you see, the moral bearing is very high, and the degradation of the sacrament (which is the coition and not the going to a fatbuttocked priest or registry office) has been completely debased largely by Xtianity, or misunderstanding of that Ersatz religion.


To Henry Swabey, 31 October 1938

SL 327

Dear H.S.: —/ —/ Kung and Mencius do not satisfy all the real belief of Europe. But all valid Christian ethics is in accord with them. In fact, only Kung can guide a man, so far as I know, through the jungle of propaganda and fads that has overgrowns Xtn theology. The mysteries are not revealed, and no guide book to them has been or will be written.



To Douglas Fox, n.d., ca. 1939-1941

HRC 7/2 

D — Fx,


Adonis. Venus’ boy friend. gardens of Adonis – the shoots (grass, etc) prematurely forced. & putt seeds on wet flannel. & they sprout before due time. & are part of easter decoration in Rapallo churches –

same process used in some Egyptian tombs – corpse found (I have read not seen). vide my Nicoptis [sic] poem – acr Çaar. surrounded by grass shoots that took mould of body.

Note. Pound’s poem “The Tomb at Akr Çaar” was published in Ripostes, London: Stephen Swift, 1912. 14-6. pdf.


A Draft of XXX Cantos

ship4 for c1