Ezra Pound. The Cantos

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And then went down to the ship,

Set keel to breakers, forth on the godly sea, and

We set up mast and sail on that swart ship,

Bore sheep aboard her, and our bodies also

Heavy with weeping, so winds from sternward

Bore us out onward with bellying canvas,

Circe's this craft, the trim-coifed goddess.


Then sat we amidships, wind jamming the tiller,

Thus with stretched sail, we went over sea till day's end.

Sun to his slumber, shadows o'er all the ocean,

Came we then to the bounds of deepest water,

To the Kimmerian lands, and peopled cities

Covered with close-webbed mist, unpierced ever

With glitter of sun-rays

Nor with stars stretched, nor looking back from heaven

Swartest night stretched over wretched men there.


The ocean flowing backward, came we then to the place

Aforesaid by Circe.

Here did they rites, Perimedes and Eurylochus,

And drawing sword from my hip

I dug the ell-square pitkin;

Poured we libations unto each the dead,

First mead and then sweet wine, water mixed with white flour.

Then prayed I many a prayer to the sickly death's-head;

As set in Ithaca, sterile bulls of the best

For sacrifice, heaping the pyre with goods,

A sheep to Tiresias only, black and a bell-sheep.


Dark blood flowed in the fosse,

Souls out of Erebus, cadaverous dead, of brides

Of youths and at the old who had borne much;

Souls stained with recent tears, girls tender,

Men many, mauled with bronze lance heads,

Battle spoil, bearing yet dreory arms,

These many crowded about me; with shouting,

Pallor upon me, cried to my men for more beasts;

Slaughtered the heards, sheep slain of bronze;

Poured ointment, cried to the gods,

To Pluto the strong, and praised Proserpine;

Unsheathed the narrow sword,

I sat to keep off the impetuous impotent dead,

Till I should hear Tiresias.


But first Elpenor came, our friend Elpenor,

Unburied, cast on the wide earth,

Limbs that we left in the house of Circe,

Unwept, unwrapped in sepulchre, since toils urged other.

Pitiful spirit. And I cried in hurried speech:

"Elpenor, how art thou come to this dark coast?

Cam'st thou afoot, outstripping seamen?"


And he in heavy speech:

"Ill fate and abundant wine. I slept in Circe's ingle.

Going down the long ladder unguarded,

I fell against the buttress,

Shattered the nape-nerve, the soul sought Avernus.

But thou, O King, I bid remember me, unwept, unburied,

Heap up mine arms, be tomb by sea-bord, and inscribed:

A man of no fortune, and with a name to come.

And set my oar up, that I swung mid fellows."


And Anticlea came, whom I beat off, and then Tiresias Theban,

Holding his golden wand, knew me, and spoke first:

"A second time? why? man of ill star,

Facing the sunless dead and this joyless region?

Stand from the fosse, leave me my bloody bever

For soothsay."

And I stepped back,

And he stong with the blood, said then: "Odysseus

Shalt return through spiteful Neptune, over dark seas, Lose all companions."


And then Anticlea came. Lie quiet Divus.

I mean, that is Andreas Divus, In officina Wecheli, 1538, out of Homer. And he sailed, by Sirens and thence outward and away

And unto Circe.



In the Creatan's phrase, with the golden crown, Aphrodite,

Cypri munimenta sortita est, mirthful, orichalchi,

With golden girdles and breast bands, thou with dark eyelids

Bearing the golden bough of Argicida. So that:



Hang it all, Robert Browning,

there can be but the one "Sordello."

But Sordello, and my Sordello?

Lo Sordels si fo di Mantovana.

So-shu churned in the sea.


Seal sports in the spray-whited circles of cliff-wash,

Sleek head, daughter of Lir, eyes of Picasso

Under black fur-hood, lithe daughter of Ocean;

And the wave runs in the beach-groove:

"Eleanor, ἑλέναυς and ἑλέπτολις!"


And poor old Homer blind, blind, as a bat,

Ear, ear for the sea-surge, murmur of old men's voices:

"Let her go back to the ships,

Back among Grecian faces, lest evil come on our own,

Evil and further evil, and a curse cursed on our children,

Moves, yes she moves like a goddess

And has the face of a god

and the voice of Schoeney's daughters,

And doom goes with her in walking,

Let her go back to the ships,

back among Grecian voices."


And by the beach-run, Tyro,

Twisted arms of the sea-god,

Lithe sinews of water, gripping her, cross-hold,

And the blue-gray glass of the wave tents them,

Glare azure of water, cold-welter, close cover.


Quiet sun-tawny sand-stretch,

The gulls broad out their wings,

nipping between the splay feathers;

Snipe come for their bath,

bend out their wing-joints,

Spread wet wings to the sun-film,

And by Scios,

to left of the Naxos passage,

Navi form rock overgrown,

algæ cling to its edge,

There is a wine-red glow in the shallows,

a tin flash in the sun-dazzle.


The ship landed in Scios,

men wanting spring-water,

And by the rock-pool a young boy loggy with vine-must,

"To Naxos? Yes, we'll take you to Naxos,

Cum' along lad." "Not that way!"

"Aye, that way is Naxos."

And I said: "It's a straight ship."

And an ex-convict out of Italy

knocked me into the fore-stays,

(He was wanted for manslaughter in Tuscany)

And the whole twenty against me,

Mad for a little slave money.


And they took her out of Scios

And off her course...

And the boy came to, again, with the racket,

And looked out over the bows,

and to eastward, and to the Naxos passage.

God-sleight then, god-sleight:

Ship stock fast in sea-swirl,

Ivy upon the oars, King Pentheus,

grapes with no seed but sea-foam,

Ivy in scupper-hole.


Aye, I, Acœtes, stood there,

and the god stood by me,

Water cutting under the keel,

Sea-break from stern forrards,

wake running off from the bow,

And where was gunwale, there now was vine-trunk,

And tenthril where cordage had been,

grape-leaves on the rowlocks,

Heavy vine on the oarshafts,

And, out of nothing, a breathing,

hot breath on my ankles,

Beasts like shadows in glass,

a furred tail upon nothingness.


Lynx-purr, and heathery smell of beasts,

where tar smell had been,

Sniff and pad-foot of beasts,

eye-glitter out of black air.

The sky overshot, dry, with no tempest,

Sniff and pad-foot of beasts,

fur brushing my knee-skin,

Rustle of airy sheaths,

dry forms in the æther.


And the ship like a keel in ship-yard,

slung like an ox in smith's sling,

Ribs stuck fast in the ways,

grape-cluster over pin-rack,

void air taking pelt.

Lifeless air become sinewed,

feline leisure of panthers,

Leopards sniffing the grape shoots by scupper-hole,

Crouched panthers by fore-hatch,

And the sea blue-deep about us,

green-ruddy in shadows,

And Lyæus: "From now, Acœtes, my altars,

Fearing no bondage,

fearing no cat of the wood,

Safe with my lynxes,

feeding grapes to my leopards,

Olibanum is my incense,

the vines grow in my homage."


The back-swell now smooth in the rudder-chains,

Black snout of a porpoise

where Lycabs had been,

Fish-scales on the oarsmen.

And I worship.

I have seen what I have seen.

When they brought the boy I said:

"He has a god in him,

though I do not know which god."

And they kicked me into the fore-stays.


I have seen what I have seen:

Medon's face like the face of a dory,

Arms shrunk into fins. And you, Pentheus,

Had as well listen to Tiresias, and to Cadmus,

or your luck will go out of you.

Fish-scales over groin muscles,

lynx-purr amid sea...


And of a later year,

pale in the wine-red algæ,

If you will lean over the rock,

the coral face under wave-tinge,

Rose-paleness under water-shift,

Ileuthyeria, fair Dafne of sea-bords,

The swimmer's arms turned to branches,

Who will say in what year,

fleeing what band of tritons,

The smooth brows, seen, and half seen,

now ivory stillness.


And So-shu churned in the sea, So-shu also,

using the long moon for a churn-stick...

Lithe turning of water,

sinews of Poseidon,

Black azure and hyaline,

glass wave over Tyro,

Close cover, unstillness,

bright welter of wave-cords,

Then quiet water,

quiet in the buff sands,

Sea-fowl stretching wing-joints,

splashing in rock-hollows and sand-hollows

In the wave-runs by the half-dune;

Glass-glint of wave in the tide-rips against sunlight,

pallor of Hesperus,

Grey peak of the wave,

wave, colour of grape's pulp,

Olive grey in the near,

far, smoke grey of the rock-slide,

Salmon-pink wings of the fish-hawk

cast grey shadows in water,

The tower like a one-eyed great goose

cranes up out of the olive-grove,

And we have heard the fauns chiding Proteus

in the smell of hay under the olive-trees,

And the frogs singing against the fauns

in the half-light.




I sat on the Dogana’s steps

For the gondolas cost too much, that year,

And there were not “those girls”, there was one face,

And the Buccentoro twenty yards off, howling,“Stretti”,

And the lit cross-beams, that year, in the Morosini,

And peacocks in Koré’s house, or there may have been.


Gods float in the azure air,

Bright gods and Tuscan, back before dew was shed.

Light: and the first light, before ever dew was fallen.

Panisks, and from the oak,

Dryas, and from the apple,

Mælid, through all the wood, and the leaves are full of voices,

A-whisper, and the clouds bowe over the lake,

And there are gods upon them,

And in the water, the almond-white swimmers,

The silvery water glazes the upturned nipple,

        As Poggio has remarked.

Green veins in the turquoise,

Or, the gray steps lead up under the cedars.


My Cid rode up to Burgos,

Up to the studded gate between two towers,

Beat with his lance butt, and the child came out,

Una niña de nueve años,

To the little gallery over the gate, between the towers,

Reading the writ, voce tinnula:

That no man speak to, feed, help Ruy Diaz,

On pain to have his heart out, set on a pike spike

And both his eyes torn out, and all his goods sequestered,

“And here, Mio Cid, are the seals,

The big seal and the writing.”

And he came down from Bivar, Mio Cid,

With no hawks left there on their perches,

And no clothes there in the presses,

And left his trunk with Raquel and Vidas,

That big box of sand, with the pawn-brokers,

To get pay for his menie;

Breaking his way to Valencia.

Ignez de Castro murdered, and a wall

Here stripped, here made to stand.

Drear waste, the pigment flakes from the stone,

Or plaster flakes, Mantegna painted the wall.

Silk tatters, “Nec Spe Nec Metu.”



Palace in smoky light,

Troy but a heap of smouldering boundary stones,


Hear me.

Cadmus of Golden Prows!

The silver mirrors catch the bright stones and flare,

Dawn, to our waking, drifts in the green cool light;

Dew-haze blurs, in the grass, pale ankles moving.

Beat, beat, whirr, thud, in the soft turf under the apple trees,

Choros nympharum, goat-foot, with the pale foot alternate;

Crescent of blue-shot waters, green-gold in the shallows,

A black cock crows in the sea-foam;


And by the curved, carved foot of the couch,

claw-foot and lion head, an old man seated

Speaking in the low drone…


Et ter flebiliter, Ityn, Ityn!

And she went toward the window and cast her down,

“All the while, the while, swallows crying:


“It is Cabestan’s heart in the dish.”

 “It is Cabestan’s heart in the dish?”

 “No other taste shall change this.”

And she went toward the window,

the slim white stone bar

Making a double arch;

Firm even fingers held to the firm pale stone;

Swung for a moment,

and the wind out of Rhodez

Caught in the full of her sleeve.

...the swallows crying:

‘Tis.  ‘Tis.  ‘Ytis!


and a valley,

The valley is thick with leaves, with leaves, the trees,

The sunlight glitters, glitters a-top,

Like a fish-scale roof,

Like the church roof in Poictiers

If it were gold.


Beneath it, beneath it

Not a ray, not a sliver, not a spare disc of sunlight

Flaking the black, soft water;

Bathing the body of nymphs, of nymphs, and Diana,

Nymphs, white-gathered about her, and the air, air,

Shaking, air alight with the goddess

fanning their hair in the dark,

Lifting, lifting and waffing:

Ivory dipping in silver,

Shadow’d, o’ershadow’d

Ivory dipping in silver,

Not a splotch, not a lost shatter of sunlight.

Then Actæon: Vidal, Vidal.  

It is old Vidal speaking,

stumbling along in the wood,

Not a patch, not a lost shimmer of sunlight,

the pale hair of the goddess.

The dogs leap on Actæon,

“Hither, hither, Actæon,”

Spotted stag of the wood;

Gold, gold, a sheaf of hair,

Thick like a wheat swath,

Blaze, blaze in the sun,

 The dogs leap on Actæon.

Stumbling, stumbling along in the wood,

Muttering, muttering Ovid:

“Pergusa… pool… pool… Gargaphia,

“Pool… pool of Salmacis.”

The empty armour shakes as the cygnet moves.


Thus the light rains, thus pours, e lo soleills plovil

The liquid and rushing crystal

beneath the knees of the gods.

Ply over ply, thin glitter of water;

Brook film bearing white petals.

The pine at Takasago

grows with the pine of Isé!

The water whirls up the bright pale sand in the spring’s mouth

“Behold the Tree of the Visages!”

Forked branch-tips, flaming as if with lotus.

Ply over ply

The shallow eddying fluid,

beneath the knees of the gods.

Torches melt in the glare

set flame of the corner cook-stall,

Blue agate casing the sky (as at Gourdon that time) the sputter of resin,

Saffron sandal so petals the narrow foot: Hymenæus Io!

Hymen, Io Hymenæe! Aurunculeia!

One scarlet flower is cast on the blanch-white stone.


And So-Gyoku, saying:

“This wind, sire, is the king’s wind,

This wind is wind of the palace,

Shaking imperial water-jets.”

And Hsiang, opening his collar:

“This wind roars in the earth’s bag,

it lays the water with rushes.”

No wind is the king’s wind.

Let every cow keep her calf.

“This wind is held in gauze curtains…”

No wind is the king’s…

The camel drivers sit in the turn of the stairs,

Look down on Ecbatan of plotted streets,

“Danaë! Danaë!

What wind is the king’s?”

Smoke hangs on the stream,

The peach-trees shed bright leaves in the water,

Sound drifts in the evening haze,

The bark scrapes at the ford,

Gilt rafters above black water,

Three steps in an open field,

Gray stone-posts leading…


Père Henri Jacques would speak with the Sennin, on Rokku,

Mount Rokku between the rock and the cedars,


As Gyges on Thracian platter set the feast,

Cabestan, Tereus,

It is Cabestan’s heart in the dish,

Vidal, or Ecbatan, upon the gilded tower in Ecbatan

Lay the god’s bride, lay ever, waiting the golden rain.

By Garonne.            


The Garonne is thick like paint,

Procession, —“Et sa’ave, sa’ave, sa’ave Regina!”—

Moves like a worm, in the crowd.

Adige, thin film of images,

Across the Adige, by Stefano, Madonna in hortulo,

As Cavalcanti had seen her.

The Centaur’s heel plants in the earth loam.

And we sit here…

there in the arena…



Great bulk, huge mass, thesaurus;

Ecbatan, the block ticks and fades out;

The bride awaiting the god’s touch; Ecbatan,

City of patterned streets; again the vision:

Down in the viae stradae, toga’d the crowd, and arm’d

Rushing on populous buriness, and from parapets

Looked down—at North

Was Egypt, and the celestial Nile, blue-deep

                    cutting low barren lands,

Old men and camels working the water-wheels;

                    Measureless seas and stars,

Iamblichus’ light, the souls ascending,

Sparks like a partridge covey,

                    Like the “ciocco,” brand struck in the game.

“Et omniformis”:

                                Air, fire, the pale soft light.

Topaz, I manage, and three sorts of blue;

                                but on the barb of time.

The fire? always, and the vision always,

Ear dull, perhaps, with the vision, flitting

And fading at will. Weaving with points of gold,

Gold-yellow, saffron . . .

                                         The roman show, Aurunculeia’s,

And come shuffling feet, and cries “Da nuces!

“Nuces!” praise and Hymenaeus “brings the girl to her man.”

Titter of sound about me, always,

                                          and from “Hesperus . . .”

Hush of the older song: “Fades light from seacrest,

“And in Lydia walks with pari’d women

“Peerless among the pairs, and that once in Sardis

“In satieties . . .

                  “Fades the light from the sea, and many things

“Are set abroad and brought to mind of thee,”

And the vinestocks lie untended, new leaves come to the shoots,

North wind nips on the bough, and seas in heart

Toss up chill crests,

                    And the vine stocks lie untended

And many things are set abroad and brought to mind

Of thee, Atthis, unfruitful.

                    The talks ran long in the night.

And from Mauleon, fresh with a new earned grade,

In maze of approaching rain-steps, Poicebot—

The air was full of women.

                                            And Savairic Mauleon

Gave him his land and knight’s fee, and he wed the woman.

Came lust of travel on him, or romerya;

and out of England a knight with slow-lifting eyelids

Lei fassar furar a del, put glamour upon her . . .

And left her an eight months gone.

                   “Came lust of woman upon him,”

Poicebot, now on North road from Spain

(Sea-change, a grey in the water)

                     And in small house by town’s edge

Found a woman, changed and familiar face;

Hard night, and parting at morning.


And Pieire won the singing, Pieire de Maensac,

Song or land on the throw, and was dreitz hom

And had De Tierci’s wife and with the war they made:

                                             Troy in Auvergnat

While Menelaus piled up the church at port

He kept Tyndarida. Dauphin stood with de Maensac.


John Borgia is bathed at last.

                    (Clock-tick pierces the vision)

Tiber, dark with the cloak, wet cat gleaming in patches.

Click of the hooves, through garbage,

Clutching the greasy stone. “And the cloak floated”

Slander is up betimes.

                                             But Varchi of Florence,

Steeped in a different year, and pondering Brutus,


                    “SIGA MAL AUTHIS DEUTERON!

“Dog-eye!!” (to Alessandro)

                    “Whether for Love of Florence,” Varchi leaves it,

Saying, “I saw the man, came up with him at Venice,

“I, one wanting the facts,

“And no mean labour.

                                            “Or for a privy spite?”

                    Good Varchi leaves it,

But: “I saw the man. Se pia?

“O impia? For Lorenzaccio had thought of stroke in the open

“But uncertain (for the Duke went never unguarded) . . .

"And would have thrown him from wall

“Yet feared this might not end him,” or lest Alessandro

Know not by whom death came,

                                            O si credesse

“If when the foot slipped, when death came upon him,

“Lest cousin Duke Alessandro think he’d fallen alone

“No friend to aid him in falling.”

                                            Caina attende.

As beneath my feet a lake, was ice in seeming.

And all of this, runs Varchi, dreamed out beforehand

In Perugia, caught in the star-maze by Del Carmine,

Cast on a natal paper, set with an exegesis, told,

All told to Alessandro, told thrice over,

Who held his death for a doom.

In abuleia.

                  But Don Lorenzino

“Whether for love for Florence . . . but

            “O si morisse, credesse caduto da se.”


                                             SIGA, SIGA!

The wet cloak floats on the surface,

Schiavoni, caught on the wood-barge,

Gives out the afterbirth, Giovanni Borgia,

Trails out no more at nights, where Barabello

Prods the Pope’s elephant, and gets no crown, where Mozarello

Takes the Calabrian roadway, and for ending

Is smothered beneath a mule,

                                            a poet’s ending,

Down a stale well-hole, oh a poet’s ending. “Sanazarro

“Alone out of all the court was faithful to him”

For the gossip of Naples’ trouble drifts to North,

Fracastor (lightning was midwife) Cotta, and Ser D’Alviano,

Al poco giorno ed al gran cerchio d’ombra,

Talk the talks out with Navighero,

Burner of yearly Martials,

                  (The slavelet is mourned in vain)

And the next comer

                    says “were nine wounds,

“Four men, white horse with a double rider,”

The hooves clink and slick on cobbles . . .

Schiavoni . . . the cloak floats on the water,

“Sink the thing,” splash wakes Schiavoni;

Tiber catching the nap, the moonlit velvet,

A wet cat gleaming in patches.

                                           “Se pia,” Varchi

“O empia, ma risoluto

“E terribile deliberazione”

                   Both sayings run in the wind,

Ma si morisse!



What you have done, Odysseus,

We know what you have done

And that Guillaume sold out his ground rents

(Seventh of Poitiers, Ninth of Aquitain)

"Tant las fotei com auzirets"

"Cen e quatre vingt et veit vetz"

The stone is alive in my hand, the crops

will be thick in my death-year

Till Louis is wed with Eleanor

And had (He, Guillaume) a son that had to wife

The Duchess of Normandia whose daughter

Was wife to King Henry

e maire del rei jove

Went over sea till day's end (he, Louis, with Eleanor)

Coming at last to Acre

"Ongla, oncle" saith Arnaut

Her uncle commanded in Acre,

That had known her in girlhood (Theseus, son of Aegeus)

And he, Louis, was not at ease in that town,

And was not at ease by Jordan

As she rode out to the palm-grove

Her scarf in Saladin's cimier

Divorced her in that year, he Louis,

divorcing thus Aquitaine

And that year Plantagenet married her

(that had dodged past 17 suitors)

Et quand lo reis Lois lo entendit mout er fasché

Nauphal, Vexis, Henry joven

In pledge for all his life and life of all his heirs

Shall have Gisors, and Vexis, Neufchastel

But if no issue Gisors shall revert

Need not wed Alix in the name

Trinity holy indivisible Richard our brother

Need not wed Alix once his father's ward and

But whomso he choose for Alix, etc

Eleanor, domna jauzionda, mother of Richard,

Turning on thirty years (would have been years before this)

By river-marsh, by galleried church-porch,

Malemorte, Correze, to whom

“ My Lady of Ventadour

“ Is shut by Eblis in

“ And will not hawk nor hunt nor get her free in the air

“ Nor watch fish rise to bait

“ Nor the glare-wing’d flies alight In the creek's edge

“ Save in my absence, Madame

“Que la lauzeta mover

“ Send word I ask you to Eblis you have seen that maker

“ And finder of songs so far afield as this

“ That he may free her, who sheds such light in the air ”

And was there taken with love for his wife

Cunizza da Romano

That freed her slaves on a Wednesday

Masnatas et servos, witness

Picus de Farinatis

and Don Elinus and Don Lipus

sons of Farinato de' Farinati

“ free of person, free of will

“ free to buy, witness, sell, testate"

A marito subtraxit ipsam

dictum Sordellum concubuisse

“ Winter and Summer I sing of her grace,

As the rose is fair, so fair is her face,

Both Summer and Winter I Sing of her,

The Snow makyth me to remember her"

And Cairels was of Sarlat

Theseus from Troezene

And they would have given him poison

But for the shape of his sword -hilt

Ezra Pound: Өлеңнің түрлері


T.S.Eliot. The Waste Land


Ardakh Nurgaz. Modern lyric poetry


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