Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry

Volume 8, Issue 20, Fall 2015

Peter Nicholls
Pages 1-16

Late Pound
The Case of Canto CVII

Pound’s Thrones de los Cantares, the last full sequence of The Cantos has always been the least popular part of the long poem. Ronald Bush speaks for many when he concludes that its “substance is so abbreviated as to be unreadable” and that “the truncated and gnomic style of Thrones is inappropriate to the point of absurdity.”This essay seeks to analyze in detail one Canto from the sequence–Canto CVII–so as to define more closely the particular problems, formal and conceptual, that it presents to the reader. The essay offers a reading of the Canto and of Thrones that detects a profound tension in Pound’s writing between reference and allusion.