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Readings in the Cantos: Volume I$
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Richard Parker

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781942954408

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781942954408.001.0001

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Canto 4

Canto 4

(p.57) 4 Canto 4
Readings in the Cantos: Volume I

Henry Mead

Liverpool University Press

This chapter provides a close reading of Ezra Pound's Canto 4, concentrating on its revolutionary use of 'subject-rhyme' - a breakthrough in technique formative to the Cantos' developing architecture. Pound's initial material for these 'rhymes' included various Greek and Roman myths, notably Ovid's account of the rape of Philomela and the revenge of Procne on Tereus; however he also juxtaposed and merged these stories with similar troubadour tales of infidelity, transgressive love, and bloody revenge. The chapter notes the recurring patterns of male-female conflict and violence that form the basis of the Canto, and considers the place of such destructive yet transformative energy in the vision of history presented by Pound's epic as a whole.

Keywords:   Subject Rhyme, Trojan War, Seremonda, Peire Vidal, Loba of Penautier, Cabestan, Neoplatonism, Allen Upward, Windsong, Ecbatan

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