Study Guide

Canto XLV Tough-o-Meter

By Ezra Pound

Tough-o-Meter

(7) Snow Line

As with most modernist poetry, you're going to have a tough time following Canto XLV if you don't get all of Pound's references. But with that said, you can at least get a sense of how much this guy doesn't like what he calls "usura."

Also, you can probably get a general sense of how usura tends to discourage craftspeople and artists from doing good work. Even though the poem is difficult, it is also very repetitive, which can help you understand it a little more easily than something like Eliot's "The Waste Land," which keeps jumping between speakers and talks about lots of different things.

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