Ezra Pound, A Lume Spento

Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error

Pound spent some months of 1908 living in Venice and put together his first collection of poems, some of which had been written before he left the USA. He financed the publication himself. Originally, as Pound explains in his dedication, the collection was to be called

La Fraisne

after one of the main poems in the book. However, he received news of the death of W. B. Smith, a young artist with whom he had had an intense friendship as a student in Philadelphia (referred to in

The Cantos

as his “first friend”). Pound retitled the collection

A Lume Spento

, with tapers quenched, in reference to a mourning ceremony mentioned by Dante. He also dedicated the volume to Smith, “Painter, Dreamer of Dreams”.

There are some forty or so poems in the collection and they reflect both the student

946 words

Citation: Wilson, Peter. "A Lume Spento". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 March 2003 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=7091, accessed 21 June 2024.]

7091 A Lume Spento 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.