To Olga Rudge, [2 June 1931]

YCAL 54, 10/260

Ziao; cara//


Also to go ahead with the Guido. in Italian; here in Genova with Marsano (i.e. chap who is publishing Indice; and possibly Libreria del Littoria, that Monotti has just gone into.)


To Olga Rudge, 3 June 1931

YCAL 54 10/260

Zia, cara


He bin swattin at eyetalian text of G.C. but fer gardzake dont mention it. IF the bk. is ever printed, it’ll be awl.


To Olga Rudge, 7 June 1931

YCAL 54 10/260

DOM, sera [Sunday evening]


Very satisfactory preventivo from Marsano: and have writ Sibthorpe and Ullman to ship printed sheets and printed reprods to Gevova [sic] at once; for edtn. why one shd/ have waited so long for simple matter///

AND why why why etc/// and WHAT new obstaculation will SORGE.

Anyhow he slitting pages of vurry handsom album to hold all his G/C/phots/ reproded and the lot not reprodded.


To Olga Rudge, 9 June 1931

YCAL 54 10/260

Ziao, Cara/

            He haz got all his Guido photos magnificently in an enormous album alphabetically for the convenience of reference arranged. Might have save him a lotter trouble if he had done it YEARS ago.

next day

The Libreria del Littorio suggests that they handle C/G/ and put anno IX on the title page.


To Olga Rudge, 12 June 1931

YCAL 54 10/260

Ziao, Cara:


He hesitates to say he has finished G. C. but he has every intention of carrying it to Genova lunedi unless Gino comes here first and carts it away.


To Olga Rudge, 13 June 1931

YCAL 54 10/260



Have at any rate got the G/C/ out of the house and may hear in time whether it reaches printer.

Carneval has trad/ Canto II

Libreria del Littorio want to handle the Cavalcanti, and wd like to do the Prolegomena if financed. (which is reasonable)


To Olga Rudge, 25 July 1931

YCAL 54, 11/269


            He got some prrofs of G/C/ out of print shop oggi.

That god damn Sibthorpe hasn’t yet sent word re/ what he is if anything doing about shipping the Aquila sheets…

                                                probably they exist only in heated imagination of Henderson … god damn and blast and incinerate and relouse ever buggring briton….

Had lunch with ole Sraffa and got automobd/ into Genova where dug new bozze out of print shop//

have telegraped Dazzi to find out if he is where he can be impounded into correctin proofs//// and coSI va the bloomink giorno////

                                                            chiefly infuriated cause can’t find the bloody Sibth/ his address at mugs cottage bugswamp mumpshire hills garden henkland

                        ziao amure/// she never edit a medieval author/ nothing worse for the liver.


To Olga Rudge, 27 July 1931

YCAL 54, 11/269

Ziao cara amure


Shoved off bozze of Cav/ onto elder Sav/ […]

Salute Dazzi if you see him. Am sending him 2nd. bozze, as shd/ be less faticouse than Ist.

Thet by/ Sibth/ has not reported shipment of remaining brish sheets//// I spose that’ll be the LAST bloody infamy of the sinking and stinking island.


To Dorothy Pound, 4 October 1931

Lilly: Pound, III

I have now material for three canti [XXXIV-XXXVI]/ which with the three in XXX that aren’t in the folio [Cantos 17-27], and the 3 in Pagany [XXXI-XXXIII]; makes as you might say nine towards vol. 3 of folio. so that one might have it ready some time next year. She can consider prob/ of the CAPS at her leisure.


To Olga Rudge, 25 November 1931

YCAL 54, 11/282


            WorrrR day. Finished first draft “choon” [tune] donna mi prega gestern [G. yesterday].

Note. Pound is writing at his opera Cavalcanti.


To Olga Rudge, 2 December 1931

YCAL 54, 11/284



Proceeding with G.C. moozik.

Later poi che ci penso


He has various G. C. melodies down on paper (all wrong?? or not as the case mayBBBBBBeee)


To Olga Rudge, 13 December 1931

YCAL 54, 11/286


            An he goes on writin’

Last but 4, that is all but last 4 pages G.C. now set up, Ist. bozz’ on ’em.


To H. B. Lathrop, 16 December 1931, Rapallo

SL 237

Dear Prof. Lathrop:


My Cavalcanti nearly ready. I don’t know whether you can put me through to yr. Romance dept. or in fact any part of Univ. dealing with polyglot letters. The edtn. ought to serve as START for a new method of handling international texts. I want names both of men who can do the work, and of “powers” capable of assisting. Having (that is to say all but 4 pages) got through with the Cavalcanti in spite of all the devils in Eng. or Am., I am in stronger position than when merely having something of my own that “wanted doing.”



January – Guido Cavalcanti Rime (Genoa: Marsano 1932) is published.

June – Gilson’s review received by TSE on 23 June 1932 L/TSE 6: 318.

Summer - Pound is composing his opera, Cavalcanti, for the BBC.

October – Gilson’s review printed in The Criterion, October 1932; reprinted in Homberger 273-79.


To Olga Rudge, 1 August 1932

YCAL 54 13/320

Jee/HEE ZUSS the Kay/RRIst!!


Been at it without interruption since 7 a/M/ 

Got up at five 30. yesterday to get D/M/P/ in shape for Serly to crit/ et bloody cetera

Note. Geza Frid and Tibor Serly are in Rapallo and eager to meet Olga in Cannes. Pound has high esteem for both composers and prepares the aria “Donna mi prega” out of his opera Cavalcanti for Serly to review.


To Olga Rudge, 5 August 1932

YCAL 54 13/320

Ziao, cara


                        He will be more disponible when he has finished his opry and writ his artcl/ on Adrian.

Note. Pound was working on his opera Cavalcanti and writing his review of Adrian Stokes's book The Quattro Cento which he published in the magazine Symposium, October 1932 (P&P V: 373-5).


To Dorothy Pound, 19 October 1932

Lilly: Pound, III 

I see no chance of working with Agnes in Rap. before Feb. [...] I want to clear my head and come back to the Guido from the outside.

Note: Pound had finished the opera Cavalcanti in the summer and autumn of 1932. From London, Dorothy asked whether he was ready to work again with Agnes Bedford to settle details of musical composition. Pound’s response suggests that he had finished working on the opera for the time being and was ready for a new approach to Cavalcanti, that of retranslating “Donna mi prega” for canto XXXVI. Letter quoted in Hughes and Fisher 48.


To Olga Rudge, 25 October 1932

YCAL 54 13/320


            Sent off most of what muzik I cd. find this a/m/ by supposed to be first post.

Dare say best samples are//


            Se m hai del tutto


            and Guarda ben dico// of which I have also sent the condensed mss/ s”z Pcs/ or G. [George Antheil] can try on pyanny.

PLUS the two Sordello bits.

Please don’t forget the accent in the AILAS, appog. ON the beat, not before/ and diminuendo on the as.

You’ve got 4th. act. complete.

and the In un boschetto tune in yr/ sonata [Sonata Ghuidonis]. omission is only the Era in pensier, which wdnt. be as useful.

sent the Sol per pieta, simply to keep all Friart copies together. IF you play it, say that the opening phrase is conscious quote.

Giorgio at any rate can play the guarda ben dico. from the condensed copy.


From Olga Rudge 31 October 1932

YCAL 54 13/322

Ciao amore –

[…]  She took some of the Cavalcanti to Giorgio – who said it must be “pieno di fascino” [full of charm] – but what is of more use is that she was right about one bit being unsingable – (only a small bit) but useful to know before presenting to singers –


To Olga Rudge, 2 November 1932

YCAL 54 13/323

Ziao, amure/


He wd; like to know which passage aint singable/ she simply write out the words, an the why if there is/are a or some why/s


From Olga Rudge 3 November 1932

YCAL 54 13/323

Ciao amore –


The unsingable part is in the “Su m’hai del tutto” – the first four bars – going higher gradually & ending with unavoidable thump on the “de” of mercede – a pity – as the beginning of the melody very good – but– for violin – as in sonata – too much of a stretch & strain on voice there.


To Olga Rudge, 5 November 1932 

YCAL 54 13/324


            Enc/ from Sig A Farina/ O.K. 

NO hurry whatever about actually doing the Guido.

I want at least six months production to prepare / after one knows its going to be done.


Note. Flavia Farina was a Florentine producer, who wrote him: “this is not a favourable year for producing a musical piece in Florence as all financial possibilities and all effort of any kind is being concentrated on the “Maggio musicale” – which has already made out its programme.” However, she was willing to meet Olga in Florence to discuss.


To Étienne Gilson, 6 November, 1932, Rapallo

Maria Ardizzone, The Other Middle Ages, 169-70.

Dear Professor Gilson

Your review of Cavalcanti [Pound’s edition, Guido Cavalcanti Rime, Genoa: Marsano 1932] has just reached me, hence the delay in answering; […]

The translation //// 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. 

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. 

Note: Pound used two of the suggestions and criticisms Gilson had made in his review of Rime in his new translation of “Donna mi prega” for canto XXXVI.  


To Olga Rudge, 6 November [1932]

YCAL 54 13/324

Ziao, cara


Mr Gilson in Criterion/ respectful opening paragraph and then several dull pages re/ Donna mi prega



October-December 1932 - Work on Canto XXXVI


19 December 1932

Ardizzone 172-3

Pound sends his photostats of Dino del Garbo’s commentary in original Latin for Gilson’s student [Otto Bird] to transcribe and translate into English. Bird’s work would be published in 1940 and 1941 in the journal Mediaeval Studies.


From Dorothy Pound, 27 December 1932

Lilly Library, Pound Mss. III

I want the Madonna photos of Or San Michele [Florence] and the interlacing arches on the outside walls. anything almost might be useful for the G[uido]. Cav[alcanti]. canto [XXXVI] Cap[ital].

Note. At the time, Pound planned to publish a third volume of cantos in a folio edition with illuminations created by his wife Dorothy. This plan was not realized in Pound's lifetime. A third folio volume of cantos was published by Dorothy's son, Omar, in 1999. See Dorothy's illumination.




From Olga Rudge, 14 March [1933]

Beinecke: Rudge, I

She had seen Canto XXXVII so when it arrived on top of her question to him re present american bank wuzzle she thought he had sent it again as answer - She has with her mss - of cantos XXXIV XXXV XXXVI & now XXXVII.

Note. Canto XXXVI includes Pound's revised translation of Guido Cavalcanti’s poem “Donna mi prega.” Olga's message shows that the canto was ready by March 1933. 


24 September 1933-15 December 1933

  • Pound proposes to Eliot a collection of his own selected essays on 24 September 1933. He calls it “polite hot air.”
  • TSE, very interested in the idea, responds on 15 December 1933. This project became Make It New, a volume of essays containing “Cavalcanti,” an article which was itself a collection of Pound’s periodical publications on the Italian poet printed at various times. Pound dated it 1910-1931. L/TSE 6: 762.



 From T. S. Eliot, 19 July 1934

L/TSE 7:272

Ezzling my blessling


Here you are a Ware that canotetoes cantose would have been acceptable in the Mortuary [Eliot’s magazine, The Criterion] A Quarterly Review at any time but you never offered any on the contrary you said etc of course that was some time ago but why should not a intelligent man change his Mind Im askin you not sure about room in September but send it along one at a time one at a time or perhaps two in any case at this Rate the choirs where late the etc will be bare and Ruined before the book comes along so send some along send them along Before the fall of the Leaf Shall I go to Social Credit at bracing Skegness or not that is a Question […]  

Note: Eliot is riffing on lines in Shakespeare’s Sonnet LXXIII: “That time of year thou mayst in me behold/ When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang/ Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, / Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.


From T. S. Eliot, 30 July 1934

L/TSE 7:289

Yassur Podesta I gass your bour right, I kno I am Erritatin podesta I cant elp it its something in my natur that just Erritates people exceptin those what is pure in eart and they are not Erritated only mildly amused but what I have to say is to Ell with Francklin what about a canto for December sein that there is no plausibility of the book before that given date we might have a canto canto canto three cheers for the Headmaster three cheers for the governors three cheers for the Dean hip hip canto cantoo cantooo yrs. etc.


“Erritatin” – Frank Morley had given Pound a copy of F. D. Roosevelt’s book On Our Way. Pound wrote a review for the Criterion, but Eliot intimated it was too long. Pound retorted: “Yerr a niritatin little kuss/ why don’t you say what about that rev/ of Frankie […] if you had said 900 words for Frankie/ you wd/ prob have got 900.” (L/TSE 7: 289n)

“no plausibility of the book” – Eliot was going to publish Eleven New Cantos at Faber, but he still had time to publish a canto in the Criterion in advance of the volume, which came out in 1935. Eliot is polite and generous, letting Pound choose which one. Pound responded in kind, offering XXXVI, which he knew Eliot would prefer.


Eleven New Cantos XXXI-XLI published by John Farrar, 8 October 1934


To Olga Rudge, 25 November [1934]

Beinecke: Rudge, I

an the Possum sez he izza print a Canto [XXXVI], in Dec/ [Criterion]


To Frank Morley [F&F], [December 1934]

Beinecke: Pound, I

Galleys I8/I9/ The Caps/ which articulate the Canzone must be BIG a= bloody= NOUGH to be NOTICED [XXXVI]. They ARE graduated in the Farrar [& Rinehart]edtn/ but your printer overlooked ‘em, so OBVIOSLY they are NOT empahsized enough. ref/ all Dante’s emphasis or just this articulation, in his comments on canzo canzoni in Vita Nuova. (not merely a fad of MINE. It needs THREE different size caps/ the smallest must be BIG ENOUGH TO BE NOTICED, as distinct from ordinary caps at beginnings of lines/ The mid/ strophe clearly larger/ and the Caps/ that start each strophe still more so/ ALL printers will fuss and always try to keep DOWN the size of Caps/ discount that/ MAKE IT STRONG. they will learn.

Galley I9/ I believe either you or Routlege decided that Eriginais the proper spelling in England. I dont know why Fr/ Fiorentino spells it Eriugina (mebbe misprint, but it occurs repeatedly, aHHHHHH) the sound is better with the left in, but I have no means of referring it further. Eirigina [.] Eirugina, wd/ also satisfy my ear, and might be permissable. Nothing here is can refer to// «XXXVI:86, 90»


Publication of Canto XXXVI in the Criterion, December 1934




Publication of first English edition of A Draft of Cantos XXXI-XLI by Ezra Pound.

London: Faber & Faber, 14 March 1935


Cantos in periodicals

A Draft of XXX Cantos

Eleven New Cantos

The Fifth Decad

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