Ezra Pound: Homage to Sextus Propertius

(1953 words)

Sextus Aurelius Propertius is widely considered to be the finest Latin elegiac poet. Elegiac, technically, because he wrote in a Classically formulated couplet consisting of a hexameter and a pentameter line. Elegiac, more connotatively, because of a tonal pensiveness and themes of a personal, emotional or even mournful nature.  Pound, though, rated Propertius for quite other reasons: the beauty of his cadence, even though in a single metrical pattern; the quality of his irony; the playfulness of his language, in Pound’s own terminology, his logopoeia. Ironic logopoeia was, of course, Pound’s exemplary mode as realized by some of his literary heroes: Browning, Flaubert, Laforgue. To discern this mode in Propertius was a …

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Wilson, Peter. "Homage to Sextus Propertius". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 April 2006
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=9067, accessed 30 November 2015.]