May 10, 2010: First Notes for a Walking Tour of Provence with Jonathan Gill on the 100th Anniversary of Ezra’s Walking Tour of Provence, Summer 2012

Notes for a Walking Tour of Provence with Jonathan Gill on the 100th Anniversary of Ezra’s Walking Tour of Provence, Summer 1912

“Pound admits to hesitating between two opposite models of travel writing—on the one hand, the ‘voyage of sentiment’ (in which the depaysement of foreign parts serves as a stimulus to ‘strange and exquisite emotions’), and on the other hand, the ‘realist’ method of representation, based on the ‘scientific’ registering of observed fact and sensation.” Richard Sieburth

“Pound’s excursion through southern France thus has little to do with the Wordsworthian marriage of Imagination and Nature. Indeed, Nature, dismissed as mere ‘scenery,’ is conspicuously absent from the narrative: Pound’s roving eye is only drawn to that already aestheticized (and semioticized) arrangement of place into legible contour which he calls ‘landscape’—a field of visual particulars seized not as ineffable totality but as a sequence of detached details whose fragmentation observes the same erotic scenario as the festishized attributes of Bertran de Born’s ‘composite lady.’ Dissociated into a virtually free-floating pattern of discrete traits, the body of landscape can thereby be recomposed at will—whether by metaphorical superposition (the mountains of the Pyrenees overlaid with the mist of Mind landscape painting, the towers of Perigueux rhymed with the skyscrapers of New York) or by metonymical juxtaposition (the swift cuts from place to place or name to name creating a kaleidoscopic montage of topographical features).” RS

From Canto XX

“a band of bluish metal with rippled chevrons in the shallows”

“a wine-red glow in the shallows, / a tin flash of sun-dazzle.”

“Sound: as of the nightingale too far off to be heard.”
“On the right of my way was a low ruin of two towers, and finding no approach I drowned my self in the long grass to reach it.” EP in Mareuil

“That is, going my way amid this ruin & beauty it is hard for me at times not to fall into the melancholy regarding that it is gone, & this is not the emotion that I care to cultivate for I think other poets have done so sufficiently.” EP in Altafort

“Except, … except….” EP in Altafort

“There is a place of trees … grey with lichen.
I have walked there
thinking of old days.”—EP, Provincia Deserta

“It is undeniable that if one wishes to see objects instead of to realize conditions, he had better travel by rail.”—EP

“—and walking the roads I have found a deal more force in certain lines & stanzas than I had ever expected.”—EP

“The Curate a hundred ft. below me by the river has not changed his gown, nor the fisherman in mid stream so altered his tackle.”—Uzerche EP

“I had set out upon this book with numerous ideas, but the road had cured me of them. There is this difference, I think, between a townsman & a man doing something or going somewhere in the open, namely that the townsman had his head full of abstractions. The man in the open has his mind full of objects—he is, that is to say, relatively happy.”—Uzerche EP

EP mentions Dordoigne, in Ur Canto 2:

And the blue Dordoigne
Stretches between white cliffs,
Pale as the background of a Leonardo.

“Cahors & Rodez: not that one should see, or sees them, for some names are so heavy with unreality that we can never find them—not tho’ our senses deceive us.”—EP C&R

“For the charm in poetry or in any other art is nothing else, & nothing less than the effect of the ‘finer points’ which are for the most part amenable to law—tho’ the sentimentalist & amateur would have us think for the most part, otherwise.”—EP

Please Leave a Comment:

Comment Guidelines: Basic XHTML is allowed (a href, strong, em, code). All line breaks and paragraphs are automatically generated. Off-topic or inappropriate comments will be edited or deleted. Email addresses will never be published. Keep it PG-13 people!

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>

All fields marked with "*" are required.