The Pisan Cantos

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New Directions Publishing, 1948 - Poetry - 159 pages
9 Reviews
Ezra Pound's The Pisan Cantos was written in 1945, while the poet was being held in an American military detention center near Pisa, Italy, as a result of his pro-Fascist wartime broadcasts to America on Radio Rome. Imprisoned for some weeks in a wire cage open to the elements, Pound suffered a nervous collapse from the physical and emotional strain. Out of the agony of his own inferno came the eleven cantos that became the sixth book of his modernist epic, The Cantos, themselves conceived as a Divine Comedy for our time. The Pisan Cantos were published in 1948 by New Directions and in the following year were awarded the Bollingen Prize for poetry by the Library of Congress. The honor came amid violent controversy, for the dark cloud of treason still hung over Pound, incarcerated in St. Elizabeths Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Yet there is no doubt that The Pisan Cantos displays some of his finest and most affecting writing, marking an elegaic turn to the personal while synthesizing the philosophical and economic political themes of his previous cantos. They are now being published for the first time as a separate paperback, in a fully annotated edition prepared by Richard Sieburth, who also contributes a thoroughgoing introduction, making Pound's master-work fully accessible to students and general readers.

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Review: The Pisan Cantos

User Review  - Melanie - Goodreads

EW. Miserable. I respect Pound's art, but he is one of the only modernists whose work I find impossible to connect with in some way, shape, or form. Read full review

Review: The Pisan Cantos

User Review  - Chris Schaeffer - Goodreads

Would like to give two extra stars, if possible, for reading Sam Schild's used copy, which is filled with good notes and has many of the ideograms filled out to resemble funny faces in hats. Read full review

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About the author (1948)

Richard Sieburth has edited Ezra Pound’s Poems & Translations, New Selected Poems and Translations, The Pisan Cantos and A Walking Tour in Southern France.

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