Ezra Pound on video: “Late, very late I have known sadness.”


A handsome interlocutor

The American poet Ezra Pound in 1967, interviewed by the Italian film director, poet, journalist, philosopher Pier Paolo Pasolini – who reads the aging poet’s poems (and beautifully).

There’s a little discussion of the Pisan Cantos, written in 1945 when Pound was held for treason in an American military detention center near Pisa, after his pro-Fascist wartime broadcasts to America. He was imprisoned for  weeks in a wire cage open to the elements. Pound had a nervous breakdown.

Pasolini asks him about the music at the end of Pound’s Second Pisan Canto: “What music is it?”  Pound replies: “The birdsong of Clément Janequin, written for choir. Francesco da Milano transcribed it for the lute, and Gerard re-transcribed for violin.”  If that doesn’t make one long for Renaissance France, I don’t know what would.

The “Lewis” in the video is the painter Wyndham Lewis, Pound’s his great friend.

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