Ezra Pound: Canzoni

(1107 words)
  • Jon Elek (Queen Mary, University of London)

Canzoni, Ezra Pound’s fifth book of poetry, is a peculiar one; it is perhaps even more so than A Lume Spento (1908), which had, in a sense, announced his arrival on London’s exciting literary scene. What is most startling about Canzoni, which translates as “song” in medieval Italian, is the disparity, with respect to tone, diction and style, between its opening and concluding sequences. The poems in the first two thirds encapsulate the torpor, affectation, nostalgia, obscurantism and preciousness that so often mar Pound’s early writing. It is unsurprising, then, that the Westminster Gazette called Canzoni a “medley of pretension” or that Charles Granville termed it “a lamentable …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Elek, Jon. "Canzoni". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 March 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=6100, accessed 26 September 2016.]