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Thread: The Cantos

  1. #16


    That first one was me writing a manifesto, young and arrogant and slightly ridiculous. Just going for it.

    The Salo essay was me, older and more analytical. Product of my troubled 30s but I still think the most serious piece I ever wrote. Probably the best.

    I've had writer's block ever since. My Balzac essay is my version of Crowley's Lunch.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

  3. #18
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    Oct 2004


    so the ethic holds across all platforms. the body, the psyche, nature, the economy, the arts

  4. #19
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    Oct 2004


    think of what it means, in freudian terms, to have a neurosis. it's literally a blockage.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    so look again at both the economics and at the historical vignettes in that light.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    he was a bit inconcistent as regards taoism. he was avowedly confucian but then also when asked what he beleived, (by ts eliot) replied, i beleive in the process. and again here the essence is motion.

    love is like a magic penny
    hold it tight
    and you wont have any
    lend it, spend it
    and youll have so many
    theyll roll all over the

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    well ok craners too drunk to talk i'll talk to myself

  8. #23


    I'm on a Crowley Lunch

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    Canto XVI (pt.1)

    And before hell mouth; dry plain
    and two mountains;
    On the one mountain, a running form,
    and another
    In the turn of the hill; in hard steel
    The road like a slow screw’s thread,
    The angle almost imperceptible,
    so that the circuit seemed hardly to rise;
    And the running form, naked, Blake,
    Shouting, whirling his arms, the swift limbs,
    Howling against the evil,
    his eyes rolling,
    Whirling like flaming cart-wheels,
    and his head held backward to gaze on the evil
    As he ran from it,
    to be hid by the steel mountain,
    And when he showed again from the north side;
    his eyes blazing toward hell mouth,
    His neck forward,
    and like him Peire Cardinal.
    And in the west mountain, Il Fiorentino,
    Seeing hell in his mirror,
    and lo Sordels
    Looking on it in his shield;
    And Augustine, gazing toward the invisible.

    And past them, the criminal
    lying in the blue lakes of acid,
    The road between the two hills, upward
    The flames patterned in lacquer, crimen est actio,
    The limbo of chopped ice and saw-dust,
    And I bathed myself with acid to free myself
    of the hell ticks,
    Scales, fallen louse eggs.
    Palux Laerna,
    the lake of bodies, aqua morta,
    of limbs fluid, and mingled, like fish heaped in a bin,
    and here an arm upward, clutching a fragment of marble,
    And the embryos, in flux,
    new inflow, submerging,
    Here an arm upward, trout, submerged by the eels;
    and from the bank, the stiff herbage
    the dry nobbled path, saw many known, and unknown,
    for an instant;
    The face gone, generation.

    Then light, air, under saplings,
    the blue banded lake under æther,
    an oasis, the stones, the calm field,
    the grass quiet,
    and passing the tree of the bough
    The grey stone posts,
    and the stair of gray stone,
    the passage clean-squared in granite:
    and I through this, and into the earth,
    patet terra,
    entered the quiet air
    the new sky,
    the light as after a sun-set,
    and by their fountains, the heroes,
    Sigismundo, and Malatesta Novello,
    and founders, gazing at the mounts of their cities.

    The plain, distance, and in fount-pools
    the nymphs of that water
    rising, spreading their garlands,
    weaving their water reeds with the boughs,
    In the quiet,
    and now one man rose from his fountain
    and went off into the plain.

    Prone in that grass, in sleep;
    et j’entendis des voix:…
    wall . . . Strasbourg
    Galliffet led that triple charge. . . Prussians
    and he said [Plarr’s narration]
    it was for the honour of the army.
    And they called him a swashbuckler.
    I didn’t know what it was
    But I thought: This is pretty bloody damn fine.
    And my old nurse, he was a man nurse, and
    He killed a Prussian and he lay in the street
    there in front of our house for three days
    And he stank. . . . . . .
    Brother Percy,
    And our Brother Percy…
    old Admiral
    He was a middy in those days,
    And they came into Ragusa
    . . . . . . place those men went for the Silk War. . . . .
    And they saw a procession coming down through
    A cut in the hills, carrying something
    The six chaps in front carrying a long thing
    on their shoulders,
    And they thought it was a funeral,
    but the thing was wrapped up in scarlet,
    And he put off in the cutter,
    he was a middy in those days,
    To see what the natives were doing,
    And they got up to the six fellows in livery,
    And they looked at it, and I can still hear the old admiral,
    “Was it? it was
    Lord Byron
    Dead drunk, with the face of an A y n. . . . . . . .
    He pulled it out long, like that:
    the face of an a y n . . . . . . . . gel.”

    And because that son of a bitch,
    Franz Josef of Austria. . . . . .
    And because that son of a bitch Napoléon Barbiche…
    They put Aldington on Hill 70, in a trench
    dug through corpses
    With a lot of kids of sixteen,
    Howling and crying for their mamas,
    And he sent a chit back to his major:
    I can hold out for ten minutes
    With my sergeant and a machine-gun.
    And they rebuked him for levity.
    And Henri Gaudier went to it,
    and they killed him,
    And killed a good deal of sculpture,
    And ole T.E.H. he went to it,
    With a lot of books from the library,
    London Library, and a shell buried ‘em in a dug-out,
    And the Library expressed its annoyance.
    And a bullet hit him on the elbow
    …gone through the fellow in front of him,
    And he read Kant in the Hospital, in Wimbledon,
    in the original,
    And the hospital staff didn’t like it.

    And Wyndham Lewis went to it,
    With a heavy bit of artillery,
    and the airmen came by with a mitrailleuse,
    And cleaned out most of his company,
    and a shell lit on his tin hut,
    While he was out in the privy,
    and he was all there was left of that outfit.

    Windeler went to it,
    and he was out in the Ægæan,
    And down in the hold of his ship
    pumping gas into a sausage,
    And the boatswain looked over the rail,
    down into amidships, and he said:
    Gees! look a’ the Kept’n,
    The Kept’n’s a-gettin’ ‘er up.

    And Ole Captain Baker went to it,
    with his legs full of rheumatics,
    So much so he couldn’t run,
    so he was six months in hospital,
    Observing the mentality of the patients.

    And Fletcher was 19 when he went to it,
    And his major went mad in the control pit,
    about midnight, and started throwing the ‘phone about
    And he had to keep him quiet
    till abut six in the morning,
    And direct that bunch of artillery.

    And Ernie Hemingway went to it,
    too much in a hurry,
    And they buried him for four days.

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  11. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    (pt. 2)

    Et ma foi, vous savez,
    tous les nerveux. Non,
    Y a une limite; les bêtes, les bêtes ne sont
    Pas faites pour ça, c’est peu de chose un cheval.
    Les hommes de 34 ans à quatre pattes
    qui criaient “maman.” Mais les costauds,
    La fin, là à Verdun, n’y avait que ces gros bonshommes
    Et y voyaient extrêmement clair.
    Qu’est-ce que ça vaut, les généraux, le lieutenant,
    on les pèse à un centigramme,
    n’y a rien que du bois,
    Notr’ capitaine, tout, tout ce qu’il y a de plus renfermé
    de vieux polytechnicien, mais solide,
    La tête solide. Là, vous savez,
    Tout, tout fonctionne, et les voleurs, tous les vices,
    Mais les rapaces,
    y avait trois dans notre compagnie, tous tués.
    Y sortaient fouiller un cadavre, pour rien,
    y n’serainet sortis pour rien que ça.
    Et les boches, tout ce que vous voulez,
    militarisme, et cætera, et cætera.
    Tout ça, mais, MAIS,
    l’français, i s’bat quand y a mangé.
    Mais ces pauvres types
    A la fin y s’attaquaient pour manger,
    Sans orders, les bêtes sauvages, on y fait
    Prisonniers; ceux qui parlaient français disaient:
    “Poo quah? Ma foi on attaquait pour manger.”

    C’est le corr-ggras, le corps gras,
    leurs trains marchaient trois kilomètres à l’heure,
    Et ça criait, ça grincait, on l’entendait à cinq kilomètres.
    (Ça qui finit la guerre.)

    Liste officielle des morts 5,000,000.

    I vous dit, bè, voui, tout sentait le pétrole.
    Mais, Non! je l’ai engueulé.
    Je lui ai dit: T’es un con! T’a raté la guerre.

    O voui! tous les homes de goût, y conviens,
    Tout ça en arrière.
    Mais un mec comme toi!
    C’t homme, un type comme ça!
    Ce qu’il aurait pu encaisser!
    Il était dans une fabrique.
    What, burying squad, terrassiers, avec leur tête
    en arrière, qui regardaient comme ça,
    On risquait la vie pour un coup de pelle,
    Faut que ça soit bein carré, exact…

    Dey vus a bolcheviki dere, und dey dease him:
    Looka vat youah Trotzsk is done, e iss
    madeh deh zhamefull beace!!
    “He iss madeh de zhamefull beace, iss he?
    “He is madeh de zhamevull beace?
    “A Brest-Litovsk, yess? Aint yuh herd?
    “He vinneh de vore.
    “De droobs iss released vrom de eastern vront, yess?
    “Un venn dey getts to deh vestern vront, iss it
    “How many getts dere?
    “And dose doat getts dere iss so full off revolutions
    “Venn deh vrench is come dhru, yess,
    “Dey say, “Vot?” Un de posch say:
    “Aint yeh heard? Say, ve got a rheffolution.”

    That’s the trick with a crowd,
    Get ‘em into the street and get ‘em moving.
    And all the time, there were people going
    Down there, over the river.

    There was a man there talking,
    To a thousand, just a short speech, and
    Then move ‘em on. And he said:
    Yes, these people, they are all right, they
    Can do everything, everything except act;
    And go an’ hear ‘em but when they are through
    Come to the bolsheviki…

    And when it broke, there was the crowd there,
    And the cossacks, just as always before,
    But one thing, the cossacks said:
    And that got round in the crowd,
    And then a lieutenant of infantry
    Ordered ‘em to fire into the crowd,
    in the square at the end of the Nevsky,
    In front of the Moscow station,
    And they wouldn’t,
    And he pulled his sword on a student for laughing,
    And killed him,
    And a cossack rode out of his squad
    On the other side of the square
    And cut down the lieutenant of infantry
    And there was the revolution…
    as soon as they named it.

    And you can’t make ‘em,
    Nobody knew it was coming. They were all ready, the old gang,
    Guns on the top of the post-office and the palace,
    But none of the leaders knew it was coming.

    And there were some killed at the barracks,
    But that was between the troops.

    So we used to hear it at the opera
    That they wouldn’t be under Haig;
    and that the advance was beginning;
    That it was going to begin in a week.

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  13. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    leigh on sea


    I have always loved LXXI

    What thou lovest well remains,
    the rest is dross
    What thou lov’st well shall not be reft from thee
    What thou lov’st well is thy true heritage
    Whose world, or mine or theirs
    or is it of none?
    First came the seen, then thus the palpable
    Elysium, though it were in the halls of hell,
    What thou lovest well is thy true heritage
    What thou lov’st well shall not be reft from thee

    The ant’s a centaur in his dragon world.
    Pull down thy vanity, it is not man
    Made courage, or made order, or made grace,
    Pull down thy vanity, I say pull down.
    Learn of the green world what can be thy place
    In scaled invention or true artistry,
    Pull down thy vanity,
    Paquin pull down!
    The green casque has outdone your elegance.

    “Master thyself, then others shall thee beare”

    Pull down thy vanity
    Thou art a beaten dog beneath the hail,
    A swollen magpie in a fitful sun,
    Half black half white
    Nor knowst’ou wing from tail
    Pull down thy vanity
    How mean thy hates
    Fostered in falsity,
    Pull down thy vanity,
    Rathe to destroy, niggard in charity,
    Pull down thy vanity,
    I say pull down.

    But to have done instead of not doing
    this is not vanity
    To have, with decency, knocked
    That a Blunt should open
    To have gathered from the air a live tradition
    or from a fine old eye the unconquered flame
    This is not vanity.
    Here error is all in the not done,
    all in the diffidence that faltered . . .

  14. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    My favourite is Canto XXXVIIX

    'Love that Hitler
    He is swell
    The modern world
    Is filth
    And can go to [Greek word for Hell]
    [Chinese symbol for trollface]

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  16. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    Is Kanye West “the Ezra Pound of Rap”?

    i dont intend to read this article just noting it exists.

  17. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    Been dreading the Kanye thread being resurrected though it probably "deserves" to be.

  18. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2018


    from Canto CXV

    The scientists are in terror
    and the European mind stops
    Wyndham Lewis chose blindness
    rather than have his mind stop.
    Night under wind mid garofani,
    the petals are almost still
    Mozart, Linnaeus, Sulmona,
    When one’s friends hate each other
    how can there be peace in the world?
    Their asperities diverted me in my green time.
    A blown husk that is finished
    but the light sings eternal
    a pale flare over marshes
    where the salt hay whispers to tide’s change
    Time, space,
    neither life nor death is the answer.
    And of man seeking good,
    doing evil.
    In meiner Heimat
    where the dead walked
    and the living were made of cardboard.

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