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Selected Cantos

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  112 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
This selection from the Cantos was made by Ezra Pound himself in 1965. It is intended to "indicate main elements" in the long poem -- his personal epic -- with which he was engaged for more than fifty years. His choice includes, of course, a number of the Cantos most admired by critics and anthologists, such as Canto XIII ("Kung [Confucius] walked by the dynastic temple... ...more
Paperback, 119 pages
Published February 1st 1988 by New Directions Publishing Corporation (first published June 1970)
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Justin Evans
Nov 24, 2014 Justin Evans rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry-and-drama
It's more than a little surreal coming to the Selected Cantos a few years after working my way through the whole thing for a class. I wonder what use my impressions will be to others--I thought the selection quite good, it avoided most of the really impenetrable stuff, avoided most of the really obnoxious stuff, and included most of the loveliest lines. Plus, I more or less understood it.

And after all this, I still don't know what to think of Pound. On the one hand, without him, we'd probably a
...more
Paul
Nov 26, 2015 Paul rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Mixed feelings protrude as my introduction to the polarizing figure began to unravel. The great poet shimmers only momentarily through the murkiness of name-dropping & political economic posturing. It begins as a difficult read, a little incoherent, & just when confusion sets in, it gathers momentum. A pattern emerges. The reader is as one staring into a Monet with nose pressed firmly against it. It is only as we step back, a confluence takes hold. A guard is lowered. A vulnerability is ...more
Christopher
Jul 18, 2007 Christopher rated it liked it
The SELECTED CANTOS of Ezra Pound is the poet's own collection of those portions of his magnum opus that he thought the best and most representative of the work.

I won't attempt here to review the Cantos in any real depth. Suffice it to say that in a work of 818 pages, written from youth through maturity and mental breakdown to senescence, with a wide variety of concerns from Chinese antiquity to kooky modern economics, the material within is quite heterogenous and inconsistent. In the complete w
...more
J. Alfred
Apr 08, 2014 J. Alfred rated it really liked it
There are all sorts of nasty comments out there about how Pounds Cantos are 'the wreckage of poetry' and suchlike. I'm tempted to think of them as only haltingly intelligible, but then something astonishing and beautiful will come through and I wonder if it's sort of supra-intelligable. Was it Thoreau who said that sometimes the one and a half-minded get confused with the half-minded? Give some love to the architect of all modern poetry.
Kate
May 22, 2007 Kate rated it liked it
Shelves: library
I'm not very good at reading contemporary poetry. Give me Catullus or Donne or Tennyson and I'm fine. I'm iffy on most of the new stuff, though. (There are exceptions. Neruda. Li-Young Lee. Elizabeth Bishop.) But I want to be better at it, to like it more. So I'm trying. A good friend regularly raves about Pound, so it seemed as good a place to start as any. And... I don't know. There were some parts I genuinely liked, and some parts I found interesting, and some parts in which the language took ...more
Rodney
Oct 18, 2014 Rodney rated it really liked it
Debt and taxes and oxen and Chinese emperors and cathedrals and letters and asses and arses and Adams and
Tim Weakley
May 09, 2012 Tim Weakley rated it did not like it
Ezra Pound you have defeated me. I understood maybe 10% of these cantos. The few lines I did like I liked very much, but as a work I was at sea. I think the biggest reason is that I likely don't have the education needed to approach your work. The classical references were a mystery to me even if the historical ones weren't.
Sundin Richards
May 24, 2011 Sundin Richards rated it really liked it
Pretty handy when you don't want to lug around the whole thing.
treus
Jul 25, 2014 treus rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Unreadable. I'll try it again in a decade.
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Ezra Weston Loomis Pound was an American expatriate poet, critic and intellectual who was a major figure of the Modernist movement in early-to-mid 20th century poetry.

Pound's The Cantos contains music and bears a title that could be translated as The Songs—although it never is. Pound's ear was tuned to the motz et sons of troubadour poetry where, as musicologist John Stevens has noted, "melody and
...more
More about Ezra Pound...

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“If a man have not order within him
He can not spread order about him;
And if a man have not order within him
His family will not act with due order;
And if the prince have not order within him
He can not put order in his dominions.”
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