Dissertations and Theses @ UNI

Award Winner

Recipient of the 1992 Outstanding Master's Thesis Award - First Place.

To go to the Graduate Student Award Recipients collection page, click here.


Open Access Thesis


Pound, Ezra, 1885-1972. Cantos;


Can poetry "make new" the world? Ezra Pound thought so. In "Cantico del Sole" he said: "The thought of what America would be like/ If the Classics had a wide circulation/ Troubles me in my sleep" (Personae 183). He came to write an 815 page poem called The Cantos in which he presents "fragments" drawn from the literature and documents of the past in an attempt to build a new world, "a paradiso terreste" (The Cantos 802). This may be seen as either a noble gesture or sheer egotism.

Pound once called The Cantos the "tale of the tribe" (Guide to Kulchur 194), and I believe this is so, particularly if one associates this statement with Allen Ginsberg's concerning The Cantos as a model of a mind, "like all our minds" (Ginsberg 14-16). But Pound was a Fascist and anti-Semite, was he not? This is what I think faces a reader of Pound: Perhaps the reader finds he is not so different from Pound, or any other "mind." Perhaps that is what is most disturbing. After all, do we not each wish to build our own little terrestrial paradise?

Year of Submission


Year of Award

1992 Award

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of English Language and Literature

First Advisor

Philip Furia, Outside Examiner, Thesis Committee, University of Minnesota


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit an email request to scholarworks@uni.edu. Include your name and clearly identify the thesis by full title and author as shown on the work.

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (ix, 645 pages)



File Format