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Elliott Carter's Ezra Pound.

On June 20, 2009, as a commission of Aldeburgh Music, Elliott Carter's setting of excerpts from two of Ezra Pound's late Cantos, titled On Conversing with Paradise, was given its world premiere by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, with Oliver Knussen conducting and Leigh Melrose, baritone vocal soloist. The work's title--which Carter notes "is a quote from William Blake that Pound considered as a title for an early book of his own poems"--offers an arresting image of the goal of an artist, cast in the highest and most ultimate terms. The work is a monodrama or closet opera depicting an intense, sometimes hallucinatory encounter between memory, reality, and affirmed purpose; it has the force of an interior meditation. Its considerable emotional range is emphasized by the coloristic quality of the orchestration.

Carter set the selections from Pound toward the continuously engaged end of his own very long life, for he had, luckily, an extended and productive old age. Thinking of a major modernist poet--Pound for all his gigantic political and ethical problematic is certainly one--and thinking of a person writing of "paradise" in a particularly fraught way under strikingly damaged circumstances, both listener and reader enter the realm of ultimate statements. The composition raises the question of "late work" in the sense that Edward Said proposes; for both Pound and Carter this was a late work. Although Pound (1885-1972) did live for years after incarceration in the United States and then in Italy, this was not an assured outcome in 1945. After his arrest, he thoroughly expected (or mordantly projected an expectation of) his imminent execution for treason--he was apparently living on borrowed time when he wrote The Pisan Cantos (1948). (1) For Carter (1908-2012) this is a late work because he was 100 years old when it was written and premiered. It is a late work in content as well: the writer of the program notes to the CD The Music of Elliott Carter, Volume Eight (16 Compositions, 2002-2009) views it as "the nearest thing Carter has yet composed to a creative testament." Yet in an odd way, Carter might have been temporally and intellectually "beyond" even the category of late work.

Pound's work in every particular can be seen to conform to Said's identification of (and also with) "artistic lateness not as harmony and resolution, but as intransigence, difficulty and contradiction." (2) What one finds in Pound's Pisan Cantos is a lively, jumpy, distracted, and febrile surface that, canto after canto, tries to close calmly, to reconcile, to make interior peace, but in almost every case returns immediately to the plethora of stimuli, the jostling between the real world and active memories. So such final lines as "Oh let an old man rest" (Canto 83) and "we who have passed over Lethe" (Canto 74) go to one pole and such final lines as "woe to them that conquer with armies / and whose only right is their power" (Canto 76)--a slap at the US Army--go to another pole. The curiosity of the Pound/Carter conjunction is that Carter chooses to seek "harmony and resolution," using Pound's "intransigence, difficulty and contradiction" as a stage to be overcome in the transcendence and transformation of art. One might see this music as emphasizing resolution rather than contradiction; this occurs first in the textual choices Carter made for his libretto from Pound's work and second in the musical interpretation proposed by the setting. If Pound's is "late" work in Said's terms, Carter's is even "later" work, emphasizing resolution, not contradiction.

At the same time, Pound made important if also characteristic poetry from his socioaesthetic meditations, from his imprisonment before being returned to the US, and from his unsettled--but not rethought--sense of purpose. The Pisan Cantos, written under the experience of caged isolation and some privilege (the after-hours use of a typewriter in the prison camp's medical office), record in a more intimate and personal way than many of The Cantos Pound's thoughts and emotions about his experiences, both retrospective and current. In The Pisan Cantos a lyric, meditative subjectivity is intertwined with the documentary impulse, and with the multiple voices of other (mainly African-American) prisoners, and of friends from long ago. It is a remarkable work in its temporospatial reach, at once an echo chamber, an allusive account of social preoccupations, and a map of an attenuated utopia of art.

Carter chose Pound in consultation with another poet, though it is not clear when that encounter occurred. In a December 5, 2008 Guardian interview, Carter notes,
   Robert Lowell had shown me certain things that he liked
  very much in The Cantos and I have chosen a good deal of
  what he told me. The Cantos were a gigantic project that
  was going to be something like an Americanised version of
  Dante's Divine Comedy, although that only emerges now and

This grand ambition to "Americanize" the great works of the European tradition is a fully idiomatic move for Carter. Lowell's role in it, however, is significant. Carter's musical interpretation of Pound through Lowell emerges, generally, from a postwar view of Pound that downplays his continuing and unrepentant fascist politics and allegiances. This kind of response to Pound was a common and useful aesthetic interpretation of his career from the moment of his imprisonment in Pisa through the award of the Bollingen Prize to The Pisan Cantos in 1948) and it continues in an attenuated form whenever one teaches this work.' Pound was on the losing side of the war and had long before espoused the strong-man, protototalitarian, and anti-Semitic opinions that in good measure motivated his cathexis to Mussolini, whom Pound viewed as a leader for Italy's renaissance. Pound broadcast many lecture-rants during the war in favor of the Axis, including somewhat garbled, cracker-barrel but intense critiques of US economics as well as politics. He was paid regularly for these broadcasts by the Italian government (despite maintaining his self-conception as a free public intellectual), though it seems he had no effect in inciting desertion by US soldiers. He was charged with treason.

Is Pound's poetry qualified by the political, economic, and social opinions that irrupt at times, oddly and often in an only semiread-able Poundian code? Is this poetry qualified by its obscurantism and oblique mystifications? Is Pound manipulating us? Do we have to suspect his historical role as a premier modernist? Do we reject any Pound text by virtue of his political opinions that we (speaking advisedly) have rejected? Does Pound-as-fascist cast some pall over Pound-as-poet that can never be either fully addressed or fully erased? Can we read Pound for his contradictions--as between the fixity of his opinions and his apparently investigative, documentary poetics? These have proved to be serious questions for literary criticism and for teaching. However, Carter does not raise them, and one way to explain this is by acknowledging his (and Lowell's) high modernist optic, which insisted that art trumped politics--at least retrospectively. In the artistic world, this view conforms, with its own means and methods, to the incomplete de-Nazification that was characteristic of what happened in postwar Europe, mainly for fear of indigenous leftist, socialist, or Communist political claims, which had often emerged from European resistance movements and armies. On the other hand, such questions would have been difficult to raise in any musical setting, particularly in a mono-voiced setting (that is, in which there is no dialogue between characters, just attenuated interior debate). Carter's use of the chamber orchestra in relation to the text/voice is neither contradictory nor critical. The orchestration supports the emotions as sung, intensifies them, underlines them--but does not comment upon them in any distancing, negative, judgmental, or ironic way.

For Carter, Pound's only full dialogue is with "paradise"--the paradise of being an artist, and with the past as an idealized and transcendent zone of desire. It is perhaps a little too temperate of Carter to say, in his composer's notes, only the following about Pound:
   Ezra Pound, one of America's leading poets and influences
  in the early twentieth century, lived in Italy during the
  Second World War. During that time he was occasionally
  allowed by the Fascist controlled radio to broadcast in
  English his rather fanatical ideas that the American
  bankers and banking system were destroying the US, a
  country he loved. When the American Army liberated Italy
  he was arrested as a traitor and imprisoned in a camp
  near Pisa where he continued to write Cantos that he had
  worked on for most of his life. Later, at his trial in
  Washington, D.C. he was declared insane and interned at
  St. Elizabeths Asylum, during which time he was visited
  by many of the most respected American poets.
  I have set parts of Pisan Canto 81 and unfinished Canto
  120, where he despairs of not having written the perfect
  poem, which to him was paradise. (4) 

This statement, made in relation to the music's composition in 2008, represents the critical understanding of Pound from about thirty or forty years earlier. There is nothing wrong with that; it is simply a condition of Carter's vision. In short, in this statement and in his piece, Carter has performed an elegant, high-minded, and richly modernist erasure of politics and the social meanings of the poetic act in favor of a brilliant reaestheticization of Pound as a glyph of the striving artist. (5)

As a corrective contrast, one might list the following understandings, keyed to what Carter states in this preface. Pound chose to live in Fascist Italy from its earliest moments; he defended it in writing for the fascist British Union Quarterly and in Italian journals of that political ilk; and he chose to broadcast 120 lectures on Italian radio and to accept Italian government payment for them. He continued to defend both Mussolini and Hitler (as well as Main and Quisling) long after the war, no matter what revelations of the consequences of fascism emerged (including the Shoah); though he denied any personal anti-Semitism (for some of his best friends ... and so on), he never qualified his sociopolitical anti-Semitism. When he was released in 1958, he was photographed giving the taboo fascist salute upon landing in Italy, making him a hero to the contemporary neofascist movement in Italy, a direct-action extreme right organization named in his honor: CasaPound. It is fairly clear (as Nancy Cunard says directly to Pound in a 1946 letter striking in its temperate force) that Pound was not insane but rather a fanatic and true believer; and his many visitors at St. Elizabeths included not only respected American poets (Charles Olson, Robert Lowell) but also neofascists and US (KKK-affiliated) racists. (6) The insanity plea and its later adjudication that resulted in Pound's release seems, then, to have been a major face-saving device on all sides responding to the question of Pound as artist/Pound as political activist.

Carter's abridgment of Pound in his choice of passages for the libretto confirms the interpretation of Pound I am emphasizing. Carter has focused mainly on a section of Canto 81 subtitled "libretto" by Pound, which begins with allusions to British song (Lawes, Waller, and Dowland) as a metaphor for the sprezzatura and achievements of art. Carter makes interpretive cuts to Pound's text: he removes text from lines 2 and 3, and the entirety of lines 4-93, as well as two contemporary allusions to Paquin and Blunt; by choosing the most dramatic and focused parts of Canto 81 (line 1, part of line 3, and then lines. 94-174), Carter universalizes this material. Pound's contemporary and explicitly situational allusions in this canto--to being in the prison camp, to voices of black prisoners, to "Muss" (line 80), to political-historical constructions (Jefferson/Adams), to artists and scholars as old friends and companions--are not included. Of course this is a very intelligent set of choices, allowing Carter to focus on the great dramatic climax of this and arguably of Pound's career: "What thou lov'st well remains" and "Pull down thy vanity." The two sections Carter selects are summed up by Pound in that canto's final lines: "a live tradition" (meaning here a musical tradition, but really any sense of the nobility of art) and "the unconquered flame" (meaning the yearning for mysterious and hallucinatory female figures-as-muses whose disembodied eyes Pound envisions as symbols of beauty). Both ideals are "gathered" by Pound and represented with force and urgency by Carter. The selection has the effect of smoothing out and despecifying Pound's rough and sometimes unassimilable political and social agenda in favor of an idealized artist and an ahistorical, aesthetic agenda.

To his selection of the bulk of Canto 81, Carter has added half of the fragment called Canto 120, which functions as a coda for the piece. Canto 120 is itself a fragment of eight lines with a contentious and significant bibliographic history: if placed at the very end of the complete Cantos, the final canto seems to be an apologia; however, it remains totally unclear whether Pound intended these eight lines as such, and so the fragment has been editorially repositioned, in various New Directions editions, from the end of The Cantos (1972 edition) to the collection of Drafts and Fragments (1981 edition) (7) This wandering text or editorial instability reflects opposing claims concerning Pound's final opinions about his work and his career. Carter is clear: "Some of [The Cantos] are wonderful poems, and I've used a section in which he talks about paradise--which for him was writing the perfect poem. Of course he never succeeded and he ends the piece saying that the 'only paradise is in the wind.' It's a wonderful way for an artist to look at things." Thus Carter has emphasized a letting go, a triumphant "failure" (the "failure," as I have argued elsewhere, of any long poem), a movement into silence and the natural world beyond even music. Here is all of the fragment called Canto 120:
   I have tried to write Paradise
  Do not move
  Let the wind speak
  that is paradise.
  Let the Gods forgive what I
  have made
  Let those I love try to forgive
  what I have made. (8) 

Carter removes the final stanza, thus excluding the lines taken (accurately or not) as Pound's loose political apologia. In doing so, Carter emphasizes the passage of any art into the world and into ultimate forces of nature, which is never to be surpassed by any art, though that will always be the goal of the artist's desire.

When a composer sets a poem, whom does the composer imagine as singing it? That is, what subjectivity is in play? The answer to this question constitutes part of the interpretation offered, the "reading" of the poem by this setting. is it simply the singer who is imagined singing this work, as if to say that this is a performance and this is who happens to be assigned the task because of the singer's skills, the particular commission, her availability, her interest--some-thing linked to the institutions of production and to judgment calls made within the professional realities of performances? Or does the singer--like the poet who writes a lyric--project himself into the words, as lieder singers do when they dramatize each song like points in an intense, sequential melodramatic narrative? Here some imagined character created by the performer is imagined singing it. Performers of songs often assume a version of this position, using dramatic as well as purely vocal gestures based on a combination of words and cadences. A song cycle then becomes lyric-dramatic in its narrative impact. Or is it the poet who is being projected--as if the song were a message in the bottle of the musical composition? For it is the composer who after all has chosen these particular words to set--therefore postulating some meaning has accrued to them for him as an individual or for him as a cultural figure. Or is it the voice of performance itself--a third-person impersonality--the voice of something like reality, fate, fact, the world?

One might imagine a variety of answers to this question. For example, in Schubert's "Erlkonig" (1815), setting the poem by Goethe, the music is like the onrushing of fate and the performer/singer is trapped with the words of anguish inside that onrush--here the sung words and the accompanying music veer in slightly different directions to stunning effect. Any one composer could choose any of these options--the choice might depend on her career stage, on the function of the piece for the composer (the nature of the commission, for example, or the personal investment), various specific local or occasional circumstances, other relationships (a desire to honor the language of the poem, the poet, the singer, another person in the composer's life).

For people new to the question of musical setting, an observation: one challenge of setting text is to use every word, but never to repeat or double anything when the poet/author did not. This makes any song setting quick, metamorphic, and allusive. (This poetic succinctness contrasts with libretti for opera, which are often written as quite reiterative.) In On Conversing with Paradise Carter divides the work into three sections of uneven length, two longer sections with a brief coda. Despite its finality, the last section that includes the four lines of Canto 120 is by far the shortest (five pages of the score) and the most abrupt--the piece ends emphatically but with the listener somehow expecting more. Leigh Melrose's performance on The Music of Elliott Carter, Volume Eight (16 Compositions, 2002-2009) seems to have taken to heart Carter's rejection of hyperdramatic performance. In an essay called "The Gesamtkunstwerk" (1966/94), Carter treats the word-music combination of the song or song cycle to an analysis inflected with his critique of Wagner's contradictory claims about the melding of the arts in a Gesamtkunstwerk, and, by extension, of "bourgeois" song style. Carter approvingly cites at length Roland Barthes's devastatingly droll analysis of "I'Art vocal bourgeois" in Mythologies. For Barthes, bourgeois vocal art delivers "signs of emotions" in gesture and other dramatic exaggeration by articulation of the poem's sounds. The result is that the singer "stifles both the words and the music, and particularly their connection, which is the very object of vocal music." In keeping with this approach, the baritone Melrose has made every effort to underplay melodrama to allow the orchestration to take precedence, although he gets a good deal of emotional force into the fortissimo passages.

The orchestration loosely allies the three groupings of instruments in this piece with the three parts and the three moods. Certain qualities of these instruments are called upon at distinctive moments: continuities for the strings; punctuation with the piano; emphasis with the percussion choir, but a vibratory hum (cymbals, gongs) also given to the very low register of the winds. The instruments function as a commenting chorus--though not as in a Greek tragedy where the chorus often urges moderation, antiextremism, and a kind of temperate middle way as against the hero's defiant overreach. Here the chorus role provided by the instruments acts like an echo chamber of the baritone's speaking consciousness: Carter seems to have chosen the projection of the main character who is the poet precisely as the heroic artist beyond heroism, embodying the passage of his art into timelessness, or Paradise. The instruments pick up and broadcast what he is saying. They also effectively illustrate the singing voice's shifts in poetic (mood-emotion) tone and musical-allusive tone.

Carter's divisions of the piece support a range of emotions: pensive, haunted, intense, and mercurial. The piece begins with six measures of a French horn call, with just a touch--idiomatic to the history and uses of that instrument--of a hunting call, and capped by an Asian sounding splay of chimes, prefiguring the pensive first part. Five measures of percussion, particularly snare drum and wooden blocks, prefigure the aggression of the second part. A shimmery mix of cymbals and gong at the end of this passage evokes an echo chamber of memory and meditation--like the coda. The first section is moody and seems to have mood changes similar to quick turns of consciousness and memory. A sense of auditory hallucination or reminiscence with the Lawes and Jenkins lines recall the English song tradition that both poet and composer honor with an archaic, poeticized English: "tempered," "viol," "grave," "acute," "lute."

The trope is vaguely Orphic--music helps nature to grow and thrive. Composers use various resources for musical emphasis: the height of note drawing on the strongest part of the singer's range gives power and emphasis; the length of note (usually best on a long, open vowel) and loudness (or sometimes great softness) can create dramatic moments. The pragmatic commonplaces of composition are generally true to Carter's setting of Pound: the high notes, the long notes, and the climactic moments coincide. For instance, the second syllable of the word "acute" is sung high (D-natural) and with force. The nearby word "light" is sung on an E-flat--but contrastively a related word, "shade" is on a higher E-natural, prefiguring some of the power of the oppositional and negative that Pound proposes and that Carter frames. The contrastive and forceful use of the choirs of the ensemble occurs after the dreamy evocation of the beauties of women and art. This section is scored mainly in the strings and in the B-flat clarinet, abruptly shifting to Pound's insistent historical challenge--the downfall of art after the song tradition ("And for one hundred eighty years almost nothing"), scored for staccato percussion. Notably when the voice sings the number of years and the words "almost nothing," the baritone's proud isolation and angry mourning is accompanied by only one instrument, the bass drum, hitting three quick taps. As his readers know, Pound uses foreign language citations to evoke a world cultural tradition as a whole. Carter emphasizes those foreign words, giving them length, height and general cachet--as if much emotion is pooled in their mysterious, archaic presence. The climactic Greek word "E[tau][delta][omega][??]" is given full force in the first section by its evocation of a traditional language and idealizing word on a D, mezzo forte.

All of these musical effects heighten toward a climax that reveals visionary women, clarity of nature, and a sense of peace in beauty all combining, supported mainly by piano and percussion in which bright bell sounds by crotales play a strong role. In the vocal line, the words "sky's," "night's," and "green of the mountain pool" as well as "half-mask's space" makes everything a possessive of everything else, played in the upper registers of this voice at an intense moment. The high and long F-sharp on the word "space" comment on Pound's confinement as opposed to his open and free imagination of beauty. The ensemble plays a five-measure lyric dirge as a transition to the second part of the piece.

The second section is the brilliant centerpiece of this work, an agitated, emphatic, angry, even juridical section in which the speaker, a prisoner, shifts role and becomes the judge, declaiming what has been taken generally--and is clearly taken by Carter--as a riposte to his imprisonment. Loosely paraphrased: you have captured me and brought me low, but do not forget what I did culturally. Do not forget to be humble, because you did not do these things nor did you draw upon them to do what you did. In contrast, I tried for grace and courage. There's no sense of remorse; repentance and Pound are far apart. It is a pointed and taut section, featuring sharp, emphatic drumbeats to be read as ripostes, challenges, claims of pride and even contempt toward those who have dared to capture the speaker.

This second part, divided into three units, begins with crotales calling into space but becomes more and more agitated and emphatic. The first unit sets the repeated phrase "What thou lov'st well remains" with its claim of"Elysium"; high, long, and climactic, an atonal melisma hits an F and then tempers to an E, which opposes the almost one-octave drop of the low note "hell" (low G) in which he finds himself, with a tom-tom and tam-tarn offering sardonic agreement.

The second unit of the second section features the multiply repeated phrase "Pull down thy vanity." This is the most agitated and angry section. It begins with dramatic, startling fortissimo in the percussion and violins, and reiterates it in the winds to frame the baritone's emphatic imperative "Pull," which moves to a reverent mezzo piano word "grace." This pattern of an emphatic wake-up call in the percussion is repeated with the next "pull down," interestingly high, and passing to a rumbling, grumbling didactic moment (buzz of woodwinds and percussion) challenging listeners to understand "true artistry" with sonic emphasis on the syllable "art." This is followed by a six-measurefortissimo percussion riff, with emphasis on the sharp, bright bongos, introducing the next commanding "Pull down"--the first in a series of five (for a total of seven repeats of this phrase). The music sets the term "vanity" reasonably high (and it parallels the broken thirds in the word "falsity"), to call attention to the pretension of others' vanity--something underscored by the virtual Bronx cheer in measure 229 (here the French horn is activated, trilling).

As I have mentioned, in settings semantic meanings usually coincide with the expected register--the word "loud" is rarely sung softly, nor is the word "down" often sung on a high note. Carter uses this resource of semantic-musical doubling throughout, but destabilizes this convention twice in the piece's climax. These violations offer him significant interpretative leverage and produce a judgmental ferocity. In the final "I say pull down," the word "down" is sungvery high and long (high G-fiat), loudly and climactically, with much staccato agitation (including a military-rhythm snare drum) in the full-ensemble accompaniment, signaling the apogee of the judgment on others. This section also contains the (more debatable) second moment of a countersemantic" setting, in which Carter uses the word "fall" as a word encrypted in the word "faltered." The "fall" of "faltered" occurs on a high and fortissimo F moving to E, suggesting that even such "faltering," if attempting to sustain art, is heroic. The third unit of the second part (about eight pages of the score) is exculpatory to all those who have lived dedicated to "tradition" and the "flame" of art. This last fortissimo word is on a high F, as if a triple emphasis (note F, markingff, and initial consonant "f" of "flame") on this heroism.

The third part of this work, the coda, is the setting of four lines from Canto 120. It has a hymnlike elegance, beginning with a long chord sound like an organ made by the woodwinds and strings, and the culturally coded heavenly sound of a vibraphone under the voice singing "I have tried to write Paradise." The tone has changed to a sense of a high purpose after the angry fortissimi of section two have been put aside. In this elegant, calmed passage, the main words are sung on virtually the same note. The long open "i" sound of the four key words is notable and allows for the notes to be held at an impressive length. In this line, all words but one ("to") are held for four to six beats: "I have" (high C) "tried to" (A) "write" (B) and the syllables of "Pa-ra- dise" all on C#, the three syllables held for almost six beats. The length of the notes, their close placement in the tonal spectrum, and the use of vibes and chimes as the choral accompaniment make this a noble, calm, even austere credo of a section, closing quickly with an emphatic set of full ensemble intensity in the accompaniment.

There is drama enough within this brief coda for art, including the rage at those whose "vanity" tries to transcend nature and undervalue art. But who are these others? Who is instructed to "pull down thy vanity"? The intimate "thy" suggests that the poet is talking to himself as double voiced, double intentioned, in a "crowning moment of confessional insight into his own tragic hubris," as Richard Sieburth summarizes this argument in his introduction to The Pisan Cantos. However, this argument doesn't account for the "mongrel" imagery attributed to these figures: the "half-black, half-white," reminding Pound of a "magpie"--a large bird, the Eurasian Magpie (pica pica) is a notably intelligent, pied member of the crow family. This bird is known for two traits: its attraction to shiny objects (which it "steals") and its aggression toward songbirds (or perhaps toward lyric poets?). In European folklore therefore it serves as an omen of bad luck. The interpretation that Pound is talking only to himself does not account for the word "niggard" in the phrase "niggard of charity," containing a crypt word made paradoxical by Pound's thanks tendered for the kindness of a black soldier who made him a table (Canto 81, lines 66-70). Peter d'Epiro has suggested that Pound's "thou" makes archaic, perhaps condescending, reference not to individuals but to groups, and in particular to the entire American army of black and white soldiers. Sieburth also reminds us that the detention center in which Pound was held "was the only [racially] integrated command in the entire Mediterranean theater."

A nuanced reading of the Poundian contradictions in the poem, such as Sieburth's, would suggest that both readings are plausible. In Canto 120, this passionate section is both a contradictory self-critique and a proud resistance to self-critique by deflection onto a significant and powerful target for Pound's rage: the winners of the war and the army that holds him as a prisoner, whose authority to do so he resists. Carter, however, favors the self-reflective interpretation. Carter's aestheticization, made visible in his specific selections from The Cantos, is not a problem but rather a condition of his employment as an artist and his choices--his training, his allegiances to art, his poetics of transcendence. As a composer of a "later" late work, Carter has absorbed and transcended even Pound's contradictions with an Olympian austerity and passionate force.


(1.) Ezra Pound, The Pisan Cantos, ed. Richard Sieburth (1948; repr., New York: New Directions, 2003). Citations refer to the Sieburth edition, with its brilliant and synoptic introduction.

(2.) Edward Said, "Thoughts on Late Style," London Review of Books, August 5, 2004, 3.

(3.) It should be noted that Lowell participated in the decision-making committee for the prize. Jed Rasula's witty review of the Bollingen controversy is in The AMCriCall Poetry Wax Museum: Reality Effects 1940-1990 (Urbana, IL: NCTE, 1996).

(4.) On Conversing with Paradise: for Baritone and Chamber Ensemble (New York: Boosey & Hawkes, 2008). With thanks to Alan Golding and the University of Louisville Music Library. Statement also found, dated January 27, 2009, at

(5.) Interestingly, the distinction Carter offers between himself and Pound in the Guardian interview also rests upon a sense of aesthetics and poetics rather than politics: "But my turn of mind is not quite as apocalyptic as Pound's. I prefer to think of myself as just working along, like any other person. I could be mending shoes or something, but I'm also aware that sometimes newly mended shoes are not only useful, but beautiful. And perhaps even fascinating."

(6.) Cited in Nancy Cunard: Brave Poet, Indominable Rebel, ed. Hugh Ford (Philadelphia: Chiton Book Company, 1968).

(7.) See Peter Stoicheff, "The Cantos: Drafts and Fragments of Cantos CX-CXVIL" in The Ezra Pound Encyclopedia, Demetres P. Tryphonopoulos and Stephen J. Adams, eds..(Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2005), 48-49.

(8.) Copyright [c] 1956, 1957. by Ezra Pound. Used with permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.
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Author:Duplessis, Rachel Blau
Publication:Chicago Review
Article Type:Essay
Date:Jun 22, 2014
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