Ezra Pound Writing Styles in The Cantos

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The construction of The Cantos is extremely complex. It is an epic, so it involves a journey, but unlike the Odyssey or the Aeneid the journey is not through space but through history. Pound initially thought of his poem in terms of Dante's medieval epic the Divine Comedy, in which the poet journeys from earth to the depths of hell, then ascends through purgatory to the heights of Heaven. But Pound's poem does not do this in any linear fashion. The first canto presents, in Pound's translation of a translation, Odysseus' preparations to journey into the underworld, and in these early cantos, Sigismondo Malatesta braves terrestrial and spiritual hells. The first section of cantos ends with the famous "Hell Cantos," which present images as horrific as anything since Dante.

But after the first sixteen cantos, the Dantean structure fades. Pound provides the reader the occasional glimpse of what he...

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This section contains 579 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Cantos Study Guide
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Epics for Students
The Cantos from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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