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Canto II

Canto II


by Ezra Loomis Pound

Stanza 5 Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Lines 147-152

Olive grey in the near,
          far, smoke grey of the rock-slide,
Salmon-pink wings of the fish-hawkcast grey shadows in water,
The tower like a one-eyed great goose
          cranes up out of the olive-grove,

  • First grapes, now we're hearing about olives out at sea as well. This helps Pound continue in his theme about Greek wine and food, which are associated with Dionysius. He also stops talking about seagulls and instead starts to describe "fish-hawks," which we can picture swooping around in the ocean and trying to eat fish. Maybe they're eating the men from Acoetes' ship, who have all been turned into fish. Bummer for them.

  • But what's this business about a tower in line 151? Pound says it reaches up like a "one-eyed goose" and "cranes" (meaning to bend, but also a reference to the bird) up out of the water. Clearly, the tower still has some sort of connection to the animal kingdom, though we're not sure what. Might it represent the coming of a new age, an age where Dionysius and his cult of beauty can restore their earthly kingdom?

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