Study Guide

Canto XLV Setting

By Ezra Pound


The Angriest Part of Pound's Brain

Seriously, this is a lyric poem, which means that its main purpose is to give us insight into the thoughts and feelings of a given speaker. In this case, we're getting access to the thoughts and feeling of Pound himself. And if you were to draw up a picture of what the inside of his mind looks like, it looks a lot like some village from Bible-times that's being ruined by usura and modern finance.

For example, when Pound writes that, "With usura hath no man a house of good stone/ each block cut smooth and well fitting" (2-3) or that "weaver is kept from his loom/ WITH USURA" (22-23), you'll notice that he's not talking about skyscrapers or telephones. He's using images that make us feel connected to our humanity's quaint, rural roots. You feel like you're in a nice little village, except this village is being totally ruined by modern finance and usura.

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