Personae: The Shorter Poems (Revised Edition)
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A new edition of Pound's groundbreaking shorter poems.
If the invention of literary modernism is usually attributed to James Joyce, T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, it was Pound alone who provided (in Hugh Kenner's words) "the synergetic presence") to convert individual experiment into an international movement. In 1926 Pound carefully sculpted his body of shorter poems into a definitive collection which would best show the concentration of force, the economy of means, and the habit of analysis that were, to him, the hallmarks of the new style.This collection, where Pound presented himself in a variety of characters or "masks," was called Personae. In 1926, Personae's publication gave solidity to a movement today the work stands as one of the classic texts of the twentieth century. Pound scholars Lea Baechler (of Columbia) and A. Walton Litz (Holmes Professor of English Literature at Princeton) have prepared a corrected text and supplied an informative "Note on the Text" explaining both Pound's original criteria for his selection and the volume's subsequent history.
Jardin POEMS FROM RIPOSTES 1912 Silet In Exitum Cuiusdam The Tomb at Akr Çaar Portrait d’une Femme N. Y. A Girl “Phasellus Ille” An Object Quies The Seafarer The Cloak Δώρια Apparuit The Needle Sub Mare The Plunge A Virginal Pan Is Dead Dieu! Qu’il la fait The Picture Of Jacopo del Sellaio The Return The Alchemist POEMS FROM BLAST 1914 Salutation the Third Monumentum Ære, Etc. Come My Cantilations Before Sleep Post Mortem Conspectu Fratres Minores POEMS OF
yule-tide cheer (Skoal! with the dregs if the clear be gone!) Wining the ghosts of yester-year. Ask ye what ghosts I dream upon? (What of the magians’ scented gear?) The ghosts of dead loves everyone That make the stark winds reek with fear Lest love return with the foison sun And slay the memories that me cheer (Such as I drink to mine fashion) Wining the ghosts of yester-year. Where are the joys my heart had won? (Saturn and Mars to Zeus drawn near!)1 Where are the lips mine lay upon, Aye!
Are not the best of pulse for infant nations. Dulness herself, that abject spirit, chortles To see your forty self-baptized immortals, And holds her sides where swelling laughter cracks ’em Before the “Ars Poetica” of Hiram Maxim. All one can say of this refining medium Is “Zut! Cinque lettres!” a banished gallic idiom, Their doddering ignorance is waxed so notable ’Tis time that it was capped with something quotable. Here Radway grew, the fruit of pantosocracy, The very fairest flower
interpretative guidance, the reader should consult the studies by Espey and Sullivan mentioned above, and K. K. Ruthven’s A Guide to Ezra Pound’s ‘Personæ’ (1926) [Berkeley, 1969], a highly reliable source that provides notes for all of the poems and a record of “significant textual divergencies” between Personæ (1926) and other editions. Because of the irregular line structures in some of Pound’s poems, it is often difficult to tell whether the end of a page marks the close of a stanza. In this
highest Or more sweet in tone than any, but that I Am here a Poet, that doth drink of life As lesser men drink wine.” THE WHITE STAG I ha’ seen them ‘mid the clouds on the heather. Lo! they pause not for love nor for sorrow, Yet their eyes are as the eyes of a maid to her lover, When the white hart breaks his cover And the white wind breaks the morn. “ ’Tis the white stag, Fame, we’re a-hunting, Bid the world’s hounds come to horn!” GUIDO INVITES YOU THUS1 “Lappo I leave behind and Dante