CANTO XXXVI – COMMENTARY
Canto XXXVI is formed of three distinct parts. The first is a translation of Guido Cavalcanti’s canzone “Donna mi prega,” a poem probably composed around 1296. The second part is devoted to John Scotus Eriugena, an Irish Neoplatonist philosopher who lived in the 9th century and whose works were banned by the Church during the Albigensian crusade, more than 300 years after his death. The third tells us about Sordello, a poet from Mantua who lived most of his life as an exile in Provence, at the court of Charles of Anjou. More specifically, the canto dramatizes with great relish how Sordello got rid of the feudal recompense for military services rendered: five castles in the Abruzzi, which he sold a few months after receiving them from his liege for his participation in the battle of Benevento in 1266.
What brings these three parts together? At first glance, they have nothing to do with one another. They are also strongly imbalanced in length: Cavalcanti’s song is 84 lines long and occupies pride of place in the canto; by comparison, the references to Eriugena extend to 11 lines (86-96), whereas the Sordello part has 19 lines: 98-117.
A closer look reveals that Pound draws sharp lines between his sections: the first boundary is line 85, between “Donna mi prega” and Eriugena: it is “called thrones, balascio or topaze” – the inverted commas point out that this is a quote, yet no source has yet been found, apart from a reference to Dante’s Paradiso IX: 61. The second boundary, line 97, between the Eriugena and Sordello sections, is “Sacrum sacrum inluminatio coitu.” This line, though written in Latin, seems to be Pound’s own. No inverted commas or italics suggest he was quoting any author. Moreover, the boundary lines seem to inaugurate the sections that follow, rather than conclude the preceding ones. This is indicated by the blank space before line 85 and the question mark of line 96.
Positioning and context
The canto is positioned at the centre of the Eleven New Cantos: in a sequence devoted to modern American and European history, convulsed by wars and revolutions, canto XXXVI acts as a still point in the storm – the passing of time is not evident, though tacitly taken for granted. Pound situates the three sections of the poem as if they were contemporary with one another – chronology is bracketed out.
The canto is the last effort in a series of intellectual activities around Cavalcanti’s work that Pound pursued after he finished his second volume of folio A Draft of the Cantos 17-27 in the autumn of 1927. From September onwards, he was negotiating with Eliot a new bilingual edition of Cavalcanti translations to be published at Faber: The give and take of correspondence broke down in January 1929 because Pound wanted to include photographic reproductions of manuscripts into his edition, and Faber thought they would make the book too expensive. Pound’s letters of late 1927 show how deeply he was involved in the research for the new edition, which was to contain the Italian text, revised English translations from his earlier volume Sonnets and Ballate of Guido Cavalcanti (1912) and new essays devoted to understanding Guido in his time. Parts of these and a first translation of “Donna mi prega” percolated into The Dial in 1928 and 1929 (See General bibliography and Pound and Cavalcanti Chronology). A renewed attempt to publish this project with Aquila Press in 1929 broke down as the press declared bankruptcy that year, after printing 56 pages. The elaboration of the Cavalcanti edition thus overlaps with the composition of cantos XXVIII-XXX and goes on into Pound’s work for the Eleven New Cantos which started in 1930. Pound finished his edition of Cavalcanti in late 1931 and published it in Genoa in January 1932 under the title Guido Cavalcanti Rime. Since it was published in Italy, the project acquired a completely new form, where the Italian text was paramount, not Pound’s translations. A part of the material formerly published in The Dial, including the Italian text and first translation of “Donna mi prega,” which had already been printed in the aborted publication by Aquila Press, were appended at the back. (This basis material, together with another essay, “Guido’s Relations,” was then republished under the title “Cavalcanti” in Make it New (1934) and Literary Essays (1954).) With the edition done, in the summer of 1932, Pound was composing a radio opera called Cavalcanti. Canto XXXVI, written in the autumn of the same year, after Pound had finished the score, is his fourth effort at dealing with “Donna mi prega,” after editing the Italian base text; devising a first translation (1928); writing essays (1928-31); and composing an aria for the opera (1931, 1932).
The new elements he brought into this new attempt were a revision of his translation of 1928 and an alignment of XXXVI with other cantos, written previously. As will become evident below, the main cantos Pound had in mind were canto VI, which he revised in 1929; canto XXII, which is at the centre of A Draft of the Cantos 17-27; and canto XXIX, that he had written at the height of his editorial activities in 1929. Pound does not repeat the material of these cantos – however, the structure and assumed knowledge underlying canto XXXVI become clearer in view of the topics Pound had covered previously. It is also to be noted that even if cantos XXII and XXXVI have at first glance nothing in common, they share the essential idea that people from all walks of life can and do resist forms of authority in minute acts of rebellion and/or constructivity. This resistance can be various: a railway line, a new economic theory, a poem, a philosophy, irreverent humour, a form of community, an act of love.
The situation of Pound’s new translation of “Donna mi prega” is different than that of his previous Cavalcanti translations, which were conceived as “translations of accompaniment,” designed to alert the reader to the beauty of the Italian text in a bilingual edition. Here, the translation is intended to stand on its own and at 84 lines versus Cavalcanti’s 75, we might consider it a poetic statement much in the line of the Homage to Sextus Propertius, in which Pound had deliberately altered another poet’s vocabulary and tone to make a statement that was his own. This aspect of Pound’s treatment of “Donna mi prega” in canto XXXVI was noticed early by Leon Surette and James Wilhelm, who observed Pound’s obvious and frequent departures from Cavalcanti’s meaning. More recently, these departures have been mapped out by Lyne Henriksen (2006).
Another aspect of Pound’s translation of Guido in canto XXXVI that has become clearer in more recent research (Ardizzone 1993, 2002; Bush, 2010, among others) is the prolonged echo and relevance of the imagery of “Donna mi prega” in virtually all the sections of the poem written after 1940. This makes XXXVI a portal to later cantos, as it introduces key metaphors and images whereby Pound conjures a paradise of the mind in the hell of imprisonment in Pisa and Washington:
Indeed, the canto is central and essential for the creation and presentation of divine and positive elements within The Cantos at large, as well as within the ‘hellish’ cantos tainted by ‘Mitteleuropean’ usury by which it is immediately surrounded. It is with canto 36 that Pound establishes the Neoplatonic sphere of ‘love-intellect-light’ which will lead to the pure crystal of Thrones. (Henriksen 33)
Canto XXXVI – putting the pieces together
Pound wrote to Etienne Gilson on 6 November 1932, referring to his first version of “Donna mi prega”:
I suppose, as usual, I left too much to be implied. I meant the translation to attract, and to convey the general impression that the Canzone was IN THE FIRST PLACE a poem. I knew, and thought I had made clear, that it was inexact, as translation. Have since made what I hope is a better one, both as poem and as sense. (Ardizzone 169)
The tenor of the new attempt, as Pound wrote to Gilson, was new in comparison to what he had done before:
I didn’t mean to imply that my interpretation of Guido (character etc.) cd. be proved by the isolated text of Donna mi prega but that, taking that poem with the others and with Papa Cavalcanti down in the burning tombs, etc. one had more or less the right to try the line of conjecture indicated. (Ardizzone 170)
What was this “line of conjecture indicated”? Unpicking Pound’s phrasing, we become aware of several things: Pound had in mind a revelation of Guido’s personality – he conceded that Donna mi prega was insufficient to show it on its own, but hoped that it would become clear if the reader saw the poem in the wider context of Cavalcanti’s work. Indeed, Guido elaborated his own suite of characteristic terms in the whole corpus of his poetry as a mark of his personal style, which he used again in “Donna.” Words like Amore (more of a male, pagan god of love), ira (“wrath”), spiriti (“spirits”), salute (“salvation”), ragione (“reason”), gentile (“noble”), virtute or virtu, (“essential quality”), mercede (“compassion”) configure a poet who was called a “natural philosopher” and who had an inclination to a realistic view of the relationship between men and women. This view was in very few cases coloured by Christian faith (and where it was, as in “Una figura della Donna mia,” it bordered on the heretical). In this sense, Cavalcanti’s views were different from those of his friend Dante Alighieri, who even in his early Vita Nuova was turning his lady, Beatrice, into a figure of sublimated religious spirituality. In matters of chronology, Italian scholars have conjectured on the basis of internal evidence that “Donna mi prega” was written shortly after the Vita Nuova (1293-95) as a sort of riposte (Malato 166ff; Avanzi 135-46). There is room for speculation indeed, that Dante’s Paradiso and especially his hallowed image of Beatrice is a forceful reply to “Donna mi prega,” especially to Guido’s realism about love as a dark passion which made no appeal to religious transcendence. After all, Dante was one of the first readers of the poem, if not the first.
Pound must have surely been sensitive to this difference, as he was used to thinking of Guido and Dante together. We might imagine him asking a few underlying questions: what did Cavalcanti read? Was he an atheist? A free thinker? Why is he conspicuously missing from the Divina Commedia, when other poets who were not Dante’s friends are placed there? Apart from Dante’s guide to the underworld, Virgil, we find Orpheus, Homer, Ovid, Horace, Juvenal, Lucan, Simonides and Statius in Limbo; Bertran de Born in Inferno; Bonagiunta, Forese Donati, Guittone, Guinizzelli, Sordello and Arnaut in Purgatory; Folquet de Marseilles in Paradise. Or rather, we may rephrase the question to ask why, when writing his poem long after his friend’s death in 1300, Dante timed his journey to the other world in such a way as to be able to exclude Guido from the posterity that his Commedia made possible? Dante had placed Cavalcanti’s father in a burning tomb in Inferno X because he was an “Epicurean,” that is, someone who did not believe in life after death. Pound commented on Dante’s choice in the first page of his essay “Medievalism and Medievalism,” published in March 1928:
In all of which he [Cavalcanti] shows himself much more ‘modern’ than his young friend Dante Alighieri, qui était diablement dans les idées reçues, and whose shock is probably recorded in the passage of Inferno X where he finds Guido’s father and father-in-law paying for their mental exertions. In general, one may conclude that the conversation in the Cavalcanti-Uberti family was more stimulating than that in Tuscan bourgeois and ecclesiastical circles of the period.
My conclusions are based on the whole text of Guido, or at least the serious part of the text, excluding rhymed letters, skits and simple pastorals; the canzone by itself does not conclusively prove my assertions. (LE 149-50)
The philosophical terms in “Donna mi prega” indicated that Guido may have read authors who were banned by the Church: Aristotle was blacklisted in 1210 and so was John Scotus Eriugena, whose Neoplatonic work was declared pantheistic. Guido did use the terminology of forbidden philosophers, but did it subtly enough so as not be accused of heresy or indeed anything politically suspicious. Canto XXXVI can therefore be conceived as a modern outline of what free thought may have meant in the 13th century. But why did Guido turn out to be a free thinker? His father may have been an influence, certainly, but Pound also considered events that happened in his childhood household. In 1265, when he was about 15, he may have witnessed Cunizza da Romano’s liberating her slaves: she signed the manumission papers in his father’s house, an act that Pound wrote about in cantos VI and XXIX. In Guide to Kulchur, he wondered about the impression she must have made on the young Guido:
Cunizza, white-haired in the House of the Cavalcanti, Dante, small gutter-snipe, or small boy hearing the talk in his father’s kitchen or, later, from Guido, of beauty incarnate, or, if the beauty can by any possibility be brought into doubt, at least and with utter certainty, charm and imperial bearing, grace that stopped not an instant in sweeping over the most violent authority of her time and, from the known fact, that vigour which is a grace in itself. There was nothing in Créstien de Troyes’ narratives, nothing in Rimini or in the tales of the antients to surpass the facts of Cunizza, with, in her old age, great kindness, thought for her slaves. (GK 107-8)
Pound speculated that the manumission may also have made an impact on the young Dante so that he later placed her in Paradise, despite her dissolute life. Pound refers to Cunizza in the first boundary line of the canto, separating Guido’s canzone from the Eriugena section:
“Called thrones, balascio or topaze”
The line is inspired by Cunizza and Dante’s meeting in Paradise in the sphere of Venus. Cunizza da Romano could well have been the ideal lady to ask a poet about the nature of love. She had spent her life loving and flaunted both male authority and social convention to pursue both the accidents and the challenges of love: in her youth, she had left the comfort of married life and motherhood to elope with a poet, Sordello; later in life, she ran away with Bonius, a married man and lived “in sin” with him; towards the end of her life, she set free the slaves of her family, even those she hated. Dante’s placing of Cunizza in paradise in the sphere of Venus is one of his most unconventional moral judgements. However, Dante’s choice can be explained by the influence of the “Aquinian universe” whereby God’s love is channelled into the power of the celestial spheres and determines human character and fate on earth. (The planet Venus makes Cunizza the luminous feminine counterpart to Guido’s masculine view that love was a diafan on a darkness that came from Mars). In their short dialogue, Cunizza tells Dante that the power of Venus had overwhelmed her, that she had spent her life loving without remorse or shame, adding in good stilnovisti style that she did not expect the unworthy to understand. However, she continued the few personal remarks with an evaluation of the dire political situation in Italy, very much in tune with those of her former lover Sordello, whom Dante had already met in Purgatory.
Cunizza concluded her speech by saying: “Su sono specchi, voi dicete Troni, / onde rifulge a noi Dio giudicante” (“Above are mirrors Thrones is what you call them/ and from them God in judgment shines on us”) Par IX: 61-2. Pound’s formulation “called thrones, balascio or topaze” is interpretive, departing from a localized quote and reference to Par IX: 61. It lacks its subject, “mirrors,” which he seems to imply, as if relying on the reader’s familiarity with Dante’s line. When first addressing Cunizza, Dante requests a confirmation that she is a reflection of his thoughts, therefore a mirror: “beato spirto, dissi, e fammi prova/ ch’ io possa in te rifletter quel ch’ io penso” (“Blessed spirit, tell me and give me proof/ that I can in you see the reflection of what I am thinking”) (Par IX: 20-1). This is arguably the same attitude Cavalcanti has towards the “lady” he addresses in his poem and of Sordello in the final line of the canto – the (absent) lady is a mirror of the poet’s thought and reflects it back to him.
After Cunizza returned to her group of souls, Dante looked at the troubadour Folquet de Marseilles and compared him with the red of the ruby. The topaze is reserved for one of Dante's personal heroes, his own great-great-grandfather Cacciaguida, mentioned in Paradiso XV: 85. Pound’s notion of “thrones” taking the solidity and purity of gems may have been inspired by the Dantean symbols of divine judgement or hero worship; but to a modern reader unacquainted with his sources, “thrones” do rather point to the notion of abstract principle transcending time. The symbol works as a bridge to the second part of the canto, where Pound presents two “thrones” – instances where true knowledge is opposed to worldly forms of power: Eriugena’s insight that “authority comes from the right reason” and Pound’s own affirmation of the sacramental value of sex, “sacrum, sacrum inluminatio coitu.”
Even after studying Guido’s vocabulary in detail, as he documented in his essays, Pound could not be really sure of what the older poet actually read and what authors shaped his philosophical view. Though modulating Cavalcanti’s vocabulary towards Neoplatonism, Pound could not affirm with certainty that Guido had read or been influenced by a near contemporary, Robert Grosseteste, whose own Neoplatonism continued Eriugena’s. The reason that Pound introduced the Irish philosopher into the canto is more functional: to construct an analogy with Guido’s own poetic affirmation of free thought shaped by reason and experience. As Pound had not yet read Eriugena on his own, he was influenced by his readings of Francesco Fiorentino and Étienne Gilson, both of whom emphasized the philosopher’s statement about authority being only derived from the right reason, not imposed by external forms of power.
Pound saw Eriugena as a supreme intellectual whose skills and talents were unmatched in his time and who produced a systematic, original view of the universe, whose intellectual force and ideological significance were not recognized. The Church belatedly condemned Eriugena as a heretic only when it could finally catch up with him, 300 years after his death.
Similarly, Guido’s daring thought has not been completely understood to this day: his canzone, though commented by generations of intellectuals throughout history, has not yet been channelled into a standard, unequivocal interpretation. Pound suggests that whereas Dante was critical of popes, diplomats and generals, Guido’s canzone had “Eriuginian vigour” and by its intellectual acumen put the whole medieval paideuma in doubt. His poem conjured a tableau of interiority that was completely new in literature and remained unchallenged until the emergence of psychology as a science in the 19th century. Guido’s approach offered
the consciousness, depth of same almost untouched in writing between his time and that of Ibsen or James; meaning if you come at it not as platonic formulation of philosophy but as psychology (LE 83).
Sacrum, sacrum inluminatio coitu
The second boundary line of the canto at line 97 again changes the flow of the poem from Eriugena to Sordello and implicitly to Cunizza (we see that the “lady” is not present in canto XXXVI, but assumed as a mirror of male thought, the way she is in Guido’s canzone and Dante’s Paradiso). The line starts the canto section devoted to Sordello; it suggests that the sexual love he and Cunizza shared was at the root of their freedom of spirit and resistance to the medieval social paradigm, a protest that was lived, not written. Pound believed that their lives were thus articulated with those of Cavalcanti and Dante and flourished in the poetry of both as irreducible exempla of what Maria Ardizzone called “the other Middle Ages,” an alternative medievalism which was modern in thought, expression and model of living.
Sordello and Cunizza eloped together in 1226 – they belonged to an earlier generation than Guido and Dante, who were very young at the time of the lovers’ deaths around 1266-69. Pound may have conceived of the line in Latin to anchor it more firmly into the medieval context, or else for censorship reasons. The rhyme with “Sordello da Goito” signals that it is referring to Sordello’s life and explains to a certain extent both Cunizza’s act of manumission in 1265 and Sordello’s giving up his castles in 1269. The sexual illumination had given both the freedom of spirit to live against the rules and norms of the 13th century and to brave it against very unfavourable odds. As a result of their passion and elopement, Sordello was forced to exile in 1229; Cunizza’s reputation was forever tarnished, which made it very difficult for her brothers to make use of her for political reasons and marry her off into a noble family as part of consolidating a treaty. Towards the end of their lives, their decisions to renounce property resonate with the first impulse to love and freedom that had governed their youth: Cunizza liberated her slaves shortly before Sordello was going to fight at Benevento, something that Pound had already written about in cantos VI and XXIX; in his turn, Sordello sold off the castles he was given as a feudal reward four years later.
Massimo Bacigalupo remarked in this context that “Donna mi prega” is made to symbolize something very important to the Cantos, the idea of a Middle Ages without “the two maladies,” fanaticism and asceticism (LE 154; Bacigalupo 82-3). Pound offers the miracle and enigma of Cunizza’s and Sordello’s love by assuming the survival of a pagan vein of ritual, emotion and thought running from the ancient mysteries of Demeter and Persephone in Eleusis to Provence, infusing the troubadour culture to which Sordello, Guido and Dante were so indebted (see Surette 1979). Pound thus implicitly declares himself intellectually on Guido’s side against Dante’s chaste Christian ideal of spiritual love. Reacting against the adoption of Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae (1265-74) as an ideological manual of medieval culture, a codified framework that also underpinned Dante’s Commedia, Pound affirmed the possible survival of polytheistic pagan religion into the paideuma of the Middle Ages. He stressed the importance of sex as a form of spiritual illumination, and of Eleusis specifically, in his article “Terra italica,” published in 1931, at the time he was finishing his Cavalcanti edition. As Pound himself indicates, the article seems to be the direct result of two short books that he read in Edoardo Tinto’s series, “Biblioteca dei curiosi”: I misteri di Mithra nell’antica Roma (1929) and Sacerdotesse e danzatrici nelle religioni antiche (1930). Sacerdotesse was devoted to presenting the practice of sacred prostitution and described the Eleusis rites as a hieros gamos, (“sacred marriage”) in a sexual ceremony meant to ensure the renewal of nature in spring. Pound would develop these ideas in canto XXXIX, which in many respects is the counterpart of XXXVI.
Paganism, which at the base of its cosmogonic philosophy set the sexual phenomena whereby Life perpetuates itself mysteriously throughout the universe, not only did not disdain the erotic factor in its religious institutions but celebrated and exalted it, precisely because it encountered in it the marvellous vital principle infused by invisible divinity into manifest nature.” (Sacerdotesse 1, translated by Ezra Pound SP 55.)
Pound concluded his “Terra Italica” with a clear connection to canto XXXVI:
On the other hand, the cult of Eleusis will explain not only general phenomena but particular beauties in Arnaut Daniel or in Guido Cavalcanti.
It will also shed a good deal of light on various passages of theology or of natural philosophy re the active and passive intellect (possible intelletto, etc).
I suggest that students trying to understand the poesy of southern Europe from 1050 to 1400 should try to open it with this key. (SP 59)
When Dante met Sordello in Purgatory, he compared him to “a lion/as he sits down” (“a guisa de leon/quando si posa”). It is evident that what Dante admired was Sordello’s Italian patriotism, his dignity and political judgement despite his exile and life in France. Sordello had fought at Benevento in 1266, a battle that had sorted out the conflict between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines which had so torn the fate of Florence. Both Guido and Dante were Guelphs and Benevento was a Guelph victory that opened a brighter, more empowered future for both. However, Pound’s concluding line of the canto underlines Sordello’s kinship with Guido rather than Dante, by suggesting Sordello’s willingness to write about love not simply as an expression of longing, or even as a portal to transcendence, but as a process of understanding the interiority of the self. Sordello was a fearless lover, a man of passion and a soldier, a courageous critic of the crowned heads of his day, but at the same time a poet who could filter love through contemplation, his “ric pensamen.”
Pound thus offers Guido, Eriugena and Sordello as possibilities of resistance against institutional authority – models that he could follow for their original (and fearless) thought in his own poetic project. His critique of democracy in his canto suite XXXI-XLI, which started with Jefferson and ended with Mussolini, claimed all his intellectual force, all his authority derived from “right reason” pitched against the normative thought of the 20th century, and all his courage for writing and living.
© Roxana Preda, The Cantos Project, 30 April 2019.
Updated 13 April 2023.
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
GK– Ezra Pound. Guide to Kulchur
LE– Ezra Pound. Literary Essays
SP– Ezra Pound. Selected Prose
Alighieri, Dante. 1295. Vita Nuova. Digital Dante. Dante online.
Alighieri, Dante. The Divine Comedy. Translated by Allen Mandelbaum. New York: Everyman, 1995. Digital Dante.
Ardizzone, Maria Luisa. Guido Cavalcanti: The Other Middle Ages.Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2002. [5. Cavalcanti at the Centre of the Western Canon: Ezra Pound as Reader of Donna me prega, 134-164; Appendix B: The Letters of Ezra Pound and Etienne Gilson, 169-173].
Avanzi, Sofia. “Guido Cavalcanti La drammatizzazione dell’interiorità e il rinnovamento del lessico lirico.” Tesi laurea, U. di Padova. 2017-28. Free online.
Bacigalupo, Massimo. The Forméd Trace. The Later Poetry of Ezra Pound. New York: Columbia UP, 1980. 82-8, 331-5.
Burrascano, Nino. I misteri di Mithra nell’antica Roma. Roma: Tinto editore, 1929. [Biblioteca dei curiosi, no. 43]
De Lollis, Cesare. Vita e poesie di Sordello di Goito. Halle: Niemayer, 1896. The Cantos Project.
Fiorentino, Francesco. “Prima età della scolastica. Giovanni Scoto Erigena.” In Manuale di storia della filosofia. 1879-81. 3 vols. Napoli : La scuola di Pitagora editrice, 2007. II : 61-67.
Gilson, Étienne. La Philosophie au Moyen Age. I : De Scot Érigène à S. Bonaventure. Paris : Payot, 1922. Internet Archive.
Gilson, Étienne. Rev. of Guido Cavalcanti Rime. Ed. Ezra Pound. Criterion1922-1939. Ed. T. S. Eliot. London: Faber, 1967. Vol. 12 (October 1932-July 1933): 106-12. Reprinted in Eric Homberger, ed. Ezra Pound: The Critical Heritage. Abingdon: Routledge, 1972. 273-9.
Henriksen, Line. “‘Chiaroscuro’: Canto 36 and ‘Donna Mi Prega.’” Paideuma: A Journal Devoted to Ezra Pound Scholarship29.3 (Winter 2000): 33-57.
Liebregts, Peter. Ezra Pound and Neoplatonism. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh-Dickinson University Press, 2004.
Malato, Enrico. Dante e Guido Cavalcanti: Il dissidio per la Vita nuova e il “disdegno" di Guido.Roma : Salerno, 1997.
Pound, Ezra. “Cavalcanti.” In Literary Essays. Ed. T.S. Eliot. New York: New Directions, 1968. 149-200.
Pound, Ezra. Guide to Kulchur.  New York: New Directions, 1970.
Pound, Ezra, ed and trans. Guido Cavalcanti Rime. Genoa: Marsano, 1932.
Pound, Ezra. Selected Prose 1909-1965. Ed. William Cookson. New York: New Directions, 1973.
Pound, Ezra. Sonnets and Ballate of Guido Cavalcanti. New York: Swift, 1912.
Sacerdotesse e danzatrici nelle religioni antiche. Roma: Edoardo Tinto Editore, 1930. [«Biblioteca dei curiosi», n. 51]. Free online.
Surette, Leon. A Light from Eleusis. A Study of Ezra Pound’s Cantos. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979. 70-77.