Tuesday, February 8, 2011

All The Cantos You Can Check-Out

Extensive public library time today ( waiting for Isabell to get a new 'control switch' ). Found among the trash an 803 pg., 2.2 lb orange book: The Cantos of Ezra Pound ( New Directions, 1972 ). I lay down in the aisle and when my wrists got numb I shifted. I
have read The Cantos ( always 'abridged', always 'selected' portions ), but the physicality of having that much of The Cantos was like a heavy, unfathomable car part in my arms.

Emily already knows all of this ( she sought out Olson's equally heroic Maximus Poems and lugged it away from Green Apple ). But the public library
(!), all taxes I have paid here reimbursed (!) Reading them in order is a way. Not like squinting at old graveyard etchings or understanding fish from what they appear to be out of the water. The admittedly unfinished, unfinishable trajectory of the thing, a lifelong dedication to the wrestling of history and/in language, the copyright section at the front of the book spanned over sixty years. The thought of stealing from the library occurred to me.

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, and winds from sternward
Bore us onward...

Sixty pages in, I overturned the tablet to its other side, the last page:

...I have tried to write paradise

Do not move
Let the wind speak
that is paradise.

Let the gods forgive what I
have made
Let those I love try to forgive
what I have made.

* Recommended immensely: Duncan's Lecture on/reading of Pound -
Part 1 / Part 2