The rose in trellis - Poitiers and Angoulême


“And anyone who objects to the manner & form of their singing, to canzoni or cansos is as foolish as a man would be if he objected to growing roses on a trellis. And no one could sit here at this window and believe that there is any folly in growing roses in that manner.

Being modern one must have more matter and long introductory similes are demoded otherwise one might do more than record the one canzoni [sic] that was not written.

Si com li flors

                               qui entrecima

E florise, oloroz

E no pren dans, ni engain

De bois pets croizats

As the rose taketh no harm from trellis so is my love unharmed by the strait bonds she puts upon me – and so on.” (WTSF 5)


“judging from its idiosyncratic Provençal, this canso seems to be of Pound’s own invention (he refers to it slightly later on as “my canzon”). Rough translation: “As the flower/which entwines/ and blooms, fragrant/ And is not harmed or deceived/ By the bits of crossed wood.” (Sieburth WTSF n.4 111).


Geoffrey Chaucer. House of Fame. ll.119-136.


But as I slepte, me mette I was

Withyn a temple ymad of glas,                                 120

In which ther were moo ymages

Of gold, stondynge in sondry stages,

And moo ryche tabernacles,

And with perre moo pynacles,

And moo curiouse portreytures,                               125

And queynte maner of figures

Of olde werk, then I saugh ever.

For certeynly, I nyste never

Wher that I was, but wel wyste I

Hyt was of Venus redely,                                          130

The temple; for in portreyture

I sawgh anoon-ryght hir figure

Naked fletynge in a see,

And also on hir hed, pardee,

Hir rose garlond whit and red,                                  135

And hir comb to kembe hyr hed,


Arnaut Daniel. En breu brisaral temps braus. (Stanza II)


Amors es de pretz la claus

e de proeza us estancx

don naisson tut li bon frug,

s'es qui leialmen los cuelha,

que un delis gels ni niula,

mentre que's noiris el bon tronc:

mas si'l romp trefas ni culvertz,

peris tro leial lo sagre.


I Gather the Limbs of Osiris. SP 40 (1912)


Love is the garden-close of worth, a pool of prowess (i.e., low-flooded land) when all good fruits are born if there be one to gather them faithfully; for not one does ice or snow destroy while the good trunk nourisheth them: but, if knave or coward break it, the sap is lost between the loyal.


P&T 494 (1917)

Love is a glory’s orchard close,

And is a pool of prowess staunch,

Whence comes every goodly peach

If true heart come but to gather.

       Dies none frost-bit nor yet snowily,

For good sap forletteth blight;

Tho’ culroun hack the base

       Leal heart saineth it on morrow.


LE 134 (1920)

Love is glory’s garden close,

And is a pool of prowess staunch

Whence get ye many a goodly fruit

If true man come but to gather.

  Dies none frost bit nor yet snowily,

For true sap keepeth off the blight

Unless knave or dolt there pass…



Chaucer, Geoffrey. The House of Web. 12 August 2015. 

Daniel, Arnaut. “En breu brisaral temps braus.” Leonardo Malcovati, n.d. Web. 8 September 2015.

Pound, Ezra. A Walking Tour in Southern France. Ed. Richard Sieburth. New York: New Directions, 1992. Print.

Pound Ezra. “Arnaut Daniel.” 1917. Poems & Translations. Ed. Richard Sieburth. New York: Library of America, 2003. Print.

Pound, Ezra. “Arnaut Daniel” (Instigations, 1920) Literary Essays. New York: New Directions, 1968. Print.


Cantos in periodicals

A Draft of XXX Cantos

Eleven New Cantos

rsz guido cavalcanti


The Fifth Decad

rsz toscana siena3 tango7174

Cantos LII - LXXI

confucius adams 2