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The essential collection of Ezra Pound’s poetry—newly expanded and annotated with essays by Richard Sieburth, T. S. Eliot, and John Berryman.

This newly revised and greatly expanded edition of Ezra Pound’s Selected Poems is intended to articulate Pound for the twenty-first century. Gone are many of the “stale creampuffs” (as Pound called them) of the 1949 edition. Instead, new emphasis has been laid on the interpenetration of original composition and translation within Pound’s career. New features of this edition include the complete “Homage to Sextus Propertius” in its original lineation, early translations from Cavalcanti, Heine, and the troubadours, as well as late translations of Sophocles, and the Confucian Odes.

As a lifelong expatriate, Pound parceled out his work to a variety of journals in England, America, France, and Italy. This new edition takes account of this complex publishing history by giving the poems in the chronological order of their original magazine publication. We can observe Pound as he first emerges onto the literary scene in the pages of Ford Madox Ford’s English Review and Harriet Monroe’s Chicago-based Poetry, and then as an agent provocateur for the avant-garde Little Review, Blast, and The Dial.

Unlike all previous selections, this volume provides annotation to all the early poems as well as a running commentary on the later Cantos — indispensable to any reader wanting to follow Pound on his epic odyssey through ancient China, medieval Provence, the Italian Renaissance, the early American Republic, and the darkness of the twentieth century. The editor, Richard Sieburth, provides a chronology of Pound’s life, a new preface, and an informative afterword, “Selecting Pound.” Also included in the appendix are T. S. Eliot’s and John Berryman’s original introductions to Pound’s Selected Poems.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780811217330
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 10/29/2010
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,151,297
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

New Directions has been the primary publisher of Ezra Pound in the U.S. since the founding of the press when James Laughlin published New Directions in Prose and Poetry 1936. That year Pound was fifty-one. In Laughlin’s first letter to Pound, he wrote: “Expect, please, no fireworks. I am bourgeois-born (Pittsburgh); have never missed a meal. . . . But full of ‘noble caring’ for something as inconceivable as the future of decent letters in the US.” Little did Pound know that into the twenty-first century the fireworks would keep exploding as readers continue to find his books relevant and meaningful.

Award-winning translator, scholar, and essayist Richard Sieburth has translated books by Henri Michaux, Friedrich Hölderlin, Louise Labé, Gérard de Nerval, and Nostradamus.

T. S. Eliot (1888–1965) was one of the fathers of modernism and a defining voice in English-language poetry. He is the author of some of the best known poems in the English language, including "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," The Waste Land, "Ash Wednesday," and Four Quartets. The leading poet of the modernist avant-garde, Eliot radically reimagined the possibilities for literature in the twentieth century and beyond, and was also renowned as a playwright and as a literary and social critic. Eliot's books of criticism include The Sacred Wood, while his theatrical works include Murder in the Cathedral. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1948.

Table of Contents

A Note on this Edition


POEMS 1908-1912

From A Lume Spento (1908)

The Tree 3

La Fraisne 3

Cino 5

Na Audiart 6

From A Quinzaine for This Yule (1908)

Histrion 8

From PersonÆ (1909)

In Durance 9

From Exultations (1909)

Sestina: Altaforte 10

Piere Vidal Old 12

Ballad of the Goodly Fere 14

Planh for the Young English King 16

From Canzoni (1911)

Sonnet: Chi e questa? 17

"Blandulla, Tenulla, Vagula" 18

Erat Hora 18

Rome 19

Translations and Adaptations from Heine 19

The Flame 22

Au Salon 23

From Ripostes (1912)

The Seafarer 24

The Plunge 27

N.Y. 27

A Girl 28

The Picture 28

Portrait d'une Femme 28

Sub Mare 29

Δωpia 30

Apparuit 30

The Return 31

To Whistler, American 32

POEMS 1913-1915

From Lustra (1916)

Tenzone 35

The Garret 35

The Garden 36

Ortus 36

Salutation the Second 37

Commission 38

A Pact 39

In a Station of the Metro 39

April 39

Gentildonna 40

The Rest 40

Les Millwin 41

Alba 41

The Bath Tub 41

Arides 42

The Encounter 42

Simulacra 42

Coitus 43

Liu Ch'e 43

Fan-Piece, For Her Imperial Lord 43

Ts'ai Chi'h 43

Epitaphs 44

"Ione, Dead the Long Year" 44

Papyrus 44

Iμe ρρω 45

Provincia Deserta 45

Image from d'Orleans 47

The Spring 47

The Coming of War: Actæon 48

The Gypsy 48

The Game of Chess 49

Ancient Music 50

Et Faim Saillir les Loups des Boys 50

The Tea Shop 51

Phyllidula 51

Shop Girl 51

Another Man's Wife 52

Poem: Abbreviated from the Conversation of Mr. T. E. H 52

CATHAY (1915)

Song of the Bowmen of Shu 55

The Beautiful Toilet 55

The River Song 56

The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter 57

Poem by the Bridge at Ten-Shin 58

The Jewel Stairs'Grievance 59

Lament of the Frontier Guard 59

Exile's Letter 60

Four Poems of Departure 62

Separation on the River Kiang 63

Taking Leave of a Friend 63

Leave-Taking Near Shoku 63

The City of Choan 64

South-Folk in Cold Country 64

Sennin Poem Kakuhaku 65

A Ballad of the Mulberry Road 65

Old Idea of Choan by Rosoriu 66

To-Em-Mei's "The Unmoving Cloud" 67

POEMS 1915-1918

Near Perigord 71

Villanelle: The Psychological Hour 76

Fish and the Shadow 78

Pagani's, November 8 78

The Lake Isle 79

Impressions of Francois-Marie Arouet (de Voltaire) 79

Cantico del Sole 81

L'Aura Amara 81

Alba 84

Avril 85

From Mœurs Contemporaines 86



THE CANTOS (1925-1969)

From A Draft of XXX Cantos (1930)

Canto I 127

Canto II 129

Canto III 133

Canto IV 135

Canto VII 139

Canto IX 143

Canto XIII 150

Canto XIV 152

Canto XVI 155

Canto XVII 162

Canto XX 165

From Canto XXX 171

From Eleven New Cantos XXXI-XLI (1934)

Canto XXXI 172

From Canto XXXVI 176

Canto XXXVIII 179

From The Fifth Decad of Cantos (1937)

Canto XLV 184

Canto XLVII 186

Canto XLIX 189

From Cantos Lll-LXXl (1940)

From Canto LII 191

From Canto LIII 194

Canto LXX 199

From The Pisan Cantos (1948)

From Canto LXXIV 203

From Canto LXXVI 211

From Canto LXXIX 214

From Canto LXXX 218

From Canto LXXXI 224

From Canto LXXXIII 227

From Section: Rock-Drill de Los Cantares (1955)

Canto XC 231

From Canto XCI 235

From Canto XCII 238

From Canto XCIII 239

From Thrones de Los Cantares (1959)

From Canto XCIX 241

From Drafts and Fragments of Canto CX-CXVII (1969)

From Canto CXII 247

Canto CXIII 248

From Canto CXV 252

Canto CXVI 253

Notes for CXVII et seq 255


From The Classic Anthology Defined by Confucius (1954)

"Hid! Hid!" 259

"Lies a dead deer" 259

"Rabbit goes soft-foot" 260

"Hep-Cat Chung" 261

Je Bois dans Mon Verre 261

"Lonely pear tree" 262

"Chariots, rank on rank" 262

"Pick a fern" 263

Huang Niao 264

"Flies, blue flies" 264

"Folk worn out" 265

Attributed to the Earl of Fan 266

"Great hand" 267

Choruses from Sophokles' Women of Trachis (1956) 268

From Translations (1964)

Rimbaud: "Cabaret Vert" 273

"Comedy in Three Caresses" 274

"Anadyomene" 275

"Lice-Hunters" 275

From Conversations in Courtship 276

Catullus: "XXVI" 278

"LXXXV" 278

Horace: "Ask not Ungainly" 279

"By the Flat Cup" 279

"This Monument Will Outlast" 280

La Marquise de Boufflers: "Air: Sentir avec Ardeur" 281



Editor's Afterword: Selecting Pound Richard Sieburth Sieburth, Richard 353

Introduction: 1928 T. S. Eliot Eliot, T. S. 361

The Poetry of Ezra Pound John Berryman Berryman, John 373

Index of Titles 389

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