Cantos 1 &2


This is increasingly my reading log/blog. A painting friend texted that she was reading Ezra Pound’s Cantos. Now I have dipped into the cantos but have never read them cover to cover. I am not going to talk about the cantos because I really don’t know anything about the cantos – and everything I know is probably wrong. I do know that Ezra Pound edited that modernist classic -The Waste Land. And so this is sort of waste land ish -and also sort of James Joycean – those were the influences.

My friend sent a screenshot of a commentary on the text comparing logopoeia with phanopoeia. The play of ideas versus the play of images. The cantos being phantopoeia. Now what are the images of the first two cantos!

Canto 1 is from the Odyssey! It is reworked from a dated translation. It begins with a ship! We are going on a voyage my friend! My friend Orit and I decided that we should make an animated tv show about noah’s ark but it is a decadent party ark- because it is the end of the world. There is something magical about this passage – setting sail – a ocean passage – an adventure (although I prefer Cimmerian not Kimmerian), rituals and sacrifices and gods (Pluto and Persephonie) And the dead. To begin we must go back maybe but not to repeat. I just wanted the D&D movie with my kids and in that movie to they go and talk to the dead. What do the dead have to tell us?

Canto 2 we continue but we enter into history from mythology of legend – we talk to Robert Browning – a poet! We are not connecting with tradition – with our transmission from poet to poet – the great golden chain. “Under black fur-hood, hthe daughter of Ocean,” This line is so tactile. Reading the greek – I am reminded eleanor is helen – but what if I did not read greek – what would this look like to me – these arcane symbols. The format changes in the middle of canto 2 – I don’t know the proper name.

“Leopards snrffing the grape shoots by scupper-hole, Crouched panthers by fore-hatch,” No idea what is going on here. But Images YES! Runa Puma

“And So-shu churned In the sea, So-shu also, USIng the long moon for a churn-stick” All mythology and the milky ocean of Rama and the milky way and all poetry and mythology is about the cosmos/ the world – I am that!

“And we have heard the fauns eluding Proteus m the smell of hay under the olive-trees.

And the frogs singing against the fauns In. the half-light



I also wants to put something about Boothby’s book Death and Desire on Lacan and Freud’s metapsychology. The first 30 pages are about painting and the relationship between the foreground and teh background but what if everything is just atmosphere and certain objects have more weight more gravity in the atmosphere. Monet’s heystacks and different from Millet. Millet has gleaners – people – subjects – objects. Monet has light – the heystacks are just as they appear in light. They arise from. the atmosphere. How do we organize our experience. Lacan is about language – language is the structure of the unconscious – Jung (or maybe Hillman) is about images – images are the structure/of the unconscious (or perhaps archetypes for Jung). Freud is also about myths and drives – oedipus, the death drive. Logopoeia and phanopoeia in another place. When I think of ordering – i think of yes – computation. What if the order is the first thing and from that the word and the image arise.

Leave a Reply