Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Analysis


Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

Get this: Pound is translating an Ancient Greek poem for the sake of writing this canto, which is itself a nod to medieval Italian poetry. And the form and meter he decides to use are… from old E...

Speaker

For the most part, it seems like Odysseus—the main character of Homer's Odyssey—is the speaker of "Canto I." The way he keeps using "we" at the beginning of the poem definitely suggests that th...

Setting

I'm on a Boat!Yes, you read it right. You spend most of this poem on a boat with Odysseus, sailing toward the edge of the world. Doesn't that sound like fun? Yeah, you might be right. It doesn't so...

Sound Check

Over in "Form and Meter," we talk about the way that "Canto I" takes its cue from Old English "accentual meter." Now, typically, "Form and Meter" tells us how the rhythm and structure of a poem wor...

What's Up With the Title?

Well, "Canto I" might not seem like the most interesting of titles, but if you look closely, it actually tells you a lot. First of all, "canto" is the Italian word for "song." Second, the word come...

Calling Card

There are a few Modernists who would probably mention Homer's Odyssey in their work, like maybe T.S. Eliot or James Joyce. But you know you're reading Ezra Pound in "Canto I" because most of this p...

Tough-o-Meter

(7) Snow Line Now you might be thinking, "Aw, come on Shmoop. This thing's definitely a 9 or 10 in toughness. But when you really look at this poem and figure out what's going on, the thing is pre...

Trivia

When Pound was young, he made a promise to himself to learn more about poetry than “any man living.” This makes sense once you’ve read a bit of his poetry. (Source.) Unfortunately for his fa...

Steaminess Rating

There's not even a mention of sex in "Canto I," which isn't true of all Pound's Cantos. Instead, Pound like to spend most of "Canto I" talking about mourning, loss, death, and all that less-than-se...

Allusions

Homer, The Odyssey (1-71) Andreas Divus (68) Georgius Dartona Cretensis (73) William Frazer, The Golden Bough (76)
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