Pound Notes 3/9/17
*A model that Pound uses in his Cantos is the ideogrammic method, or written ideas.
*The Cantos were formed through his understanding of Chinese characters (ideograms),
which combine meaning with visual description.
* Pound loved that the ideograms gave a “concrete notion” to language.
*Ernest Fenollosa, an art critic, was very interested in Japanese translations of Chinese
texts. He converted to Buddhism, and was sent back to the U.S. to convert people to
* Pound wished to present pictures of complex ideas, in which the picture itself would
portray a message far better than a text alone.
*The Cantos are ideograms in Pound’s sense, or are “expanded collages around complex
*They are often about social complexes. The Cantos are an effective collage, which allow
our minds to grasp a complex thought.
* Written in a short-hand way that allows one to grasp the message, without being
bogged down by details.
*Wants to get to the luminous detail.
*Pound thought of himself as an educator. In Venice, he created the “Ezuversity”. The
idea was to teach methods for grasping knowledge, in any cultural situation, to get to the
*He was anti-professional, and only concerned with getting fast “into the heart of things”.
*First introduction of Confucius into the Cantos, it has a moral seriousness, without all
the “baggage” that Pound hated.
*This Canto is a retelling of French translations of the Chinese text drawn from
*In terms of principles, he portrays the idea that you must be standing in the middle of
your human nature
*He has taken a Chinese character that he translates into “the unwobbling pivot”, or
being in the center of things when all things are whirling around you. Stay true to your
own nature, and you will be of use to society
*Additionally, he mentions that age is not the only qualification for respect. Powerful in
the Chinese culture, in which elders are held to the highest respect
*Pound believed that in the world, we may understand some things and not other things.
We should not try to understand everything, but to have a sense of control.
*The poetry and the painting are intertwined. The words seem to be as descriptive as a
painting *In his book the ABC of Reading, he wanted to appeal to the everyday person. He wants
people to save time by forgetting about the unimportant and only focusing on what truly
*Phanopoieia- poetry of images, the visual aspect- Pound adored
*Melopoieia- music of poetry
*Logopoieia- the way poets use words, “the dance of the intellect among words”, the way
the mind plays with words that poets invoke
*Great poetry should have them all.