Ezra Pound and Roman Poetry: A Preliminary Survey


Ezra Pound and Roman Poetry is an examination of a crucial phase in the development of Pound as translator and, therefore, of creative translation in the twentieth century. The book provides a survey of Pound's attempt to appropriate the poetry of Classical Rome, by tracing the histories of the poet's involvement with Horace, Virgil, Catullus, Ovid and Propertius, in order to express his own marginal position within London during the First World War. No extensive critical discussion is attempted, but attention is given to Pound's critical writings on the Latin poets as well as his translations from their work. Dr Davidson also treats other aspects of Pound's problematic relation to the Classical Tradition: the use and abuse of dictionaries; Laforgue and Baudelaire as a third term haunting Pound's translations; the difficult monolith of English classicism; the invention of an oppositional romanitas. It is hoped that this work may encourage others to produce the comprehensive survey which Pound's sustained and Protean relationship to the classical languages would appear to demand. Pound's readings of Latin poetry are inevitably readings also of English poetry, in the context of England, and particularly London, in the first two decades of the twentieth century.

Table of contents

Abbreviations and References. Preface. Introduction. Chapter 1 Pound and the Pervigilium Veneris. Chapter 2 Pound and Horace. 1 Introduction. 2 Translation of Odes 1:11. 3 Translation of Odes 1:31. 4 Translation of Odes 3:30. 5 Translation of Odes 4:10. Chapter 3 Pound and Catullus. 1 Introduction. 2 Allusions and Epigrams. 3 Translation. 4 The Cantos and Ur-Cantos. Chapter 4 Pound's Homage to Sextus Propertius. Chapter 5 Pound and Ovid. 1 Introduction: Pound and the Metamorphoses. 2 Canto II. Chapter 6 Pound and Virgil: the Aeneid in The Cantos. Appendix I A List of the References to Roman Poetry in The Cantos. Appendix II A Note on the Relation to Pound's Metric to Classical Metres. Appendix III Sources of Homage to Sextus Propertius. Bibliography. Index.