Study Guide

Canto VII Setting

By Ezra Pound

Setting

The Old House of Pound's Mind

Yes, Shmoopers. You read it right. This poem takes place for the most part in a bunch of rooms in an old house. But the old house is actually a symbol of what's going on in Pound's mind as he lives day after day in the sad and boring modern world. We first hear about this strange mind-house when Pound describes how he "made ghostly visits" to "the stair that knew us, found us again on the turn of it,/ Knocking at empty rooms" (28-30).

The fact that Pound is knocking at empty rooms means that he's searching for "a buried beauty" in his current life. The problem, though, is that the "well-formed fingers" of beauty "Lift no latch of bent bronze" and offer "no voice to answer" (30-33). In other words, Pound is never able to find what he's looking for as he wanders through his day-to-day life. Like T.S. Eliot, Pound has a way of imagining the inside of his mind as a physical space, something he can wander through like an old house, searching for something he might never find.

Yeah, it's sad. But then again, it's also Modernism.