rsz burgos cathedral 3332108 l

    The Burgos Cathedral where El Cid is buried.


In Burgos there are other relics of the Campeador: some bones that do not belong to him and a chest - one of those, so the story runs, that he filled with sand and pawned to the Jews, Rachel and Vidas on pretense that it held booty which he should have turned over to the king, and which the Jews were to open as forfeit, if he did not redeem it at the year's end. But the chest stayed unredeemed, at least until the end of the epic. We have here the record of the first successful deal of this bandit Cassie Chadwick, who never saw a barber through his long campaign, and who set all Spain a-rhyming - mostly of the deeds he did not do - not because he took Valencia, but because he embodied the Zeitgeist and all the strife against Islam.

From the "Puerta Santa Maria" I wandered about the town seeking breakfast, and to see that web of spun stone, the cathedral, from its divers sides and angles. It is a white cob-web, delicate as no picture seems to show it.

One never realizes the marvelous detail of these old cathedrals until one comes upon some sheltered corner where time has not eaten the lines into a haze, and finds there little six-inch gothic arches with columns a half-inch thick, in perfect miniature of the great arches that tower above them and in no wise detracting from the lines of the whole.

Victor Hugo has done "Notre Dame": but the cathedral in Paris seems crude when one is in Burgos. 

The wonder that comes upon one entering the cathedral of Burgos, with the memory of dusky cathedrals of other towns upon him is the light. Here when they worship they will not hide themselves in midnight for the homage of noonday.

Ezra Pound. Burgos: "A Dream City of Old Castile." (1906). P&P I: 11-14.







Pound old

Ezra Pound reading Canto III
Spoleto Festival, 1967.







Screenshot 2017 02 26 04.28.54

Screenshot 2017 02 26 04.52.09



 Canto III title page and tailpiece in A Draft of XVI Cantos. Paris: Three Mountains Press, 1925. Illustrations by Henry Strater.


canto 3 1930

Canto III in A Draft of XXX Cantos. Paris: Hours Press, 1930. Capitals by Dorothy Pound.

Note: The above images are not to scale. The 1925 edition is a folio, whereas the 1930 one is pocket-size.





First published in A Draft of XVI Cantos, Three Mountains Press, 1925

[for a more comprehensive Calendar, please consult the one for Three Cantos]



  A  “Annals.” Variorum Edition of Three Cantos. A Prototype . Ed. Richard Taylor. Bayreuth: Boomerang, 1991. 
  L  The Letters of Ezra Pound 1907-1941. Ed. D.D. Paige. London: Faber, 1951




To Dorothy Pound, 23 August 1922

Lilly Library, Pound mss. III, Box 1, TLS



Have ground out a couple of articles. also got vague idea for further Cantos.


Find Gabriele’s “Notturno” much less impossible than one wd. have thought. 





To Kate Buss 12 May 1923

L 256


The three Mts. is following this prose series by a dee looks edtn of my Cantos (about 16 of ‘em, I think) of UNRIVALLED magnificence. Price 25 dollars per copy, and 50 and 100 bones for Vellum and illuminateds.
           It is to be one of the real bits of printing; modern book to be jacked up to somewhere near level of mediaeval mss. No Kelmscott mess of illegibility. Large clear type, but also large pages, and specially made capitals. Marse Henry [Strater] doing these; and the sketches already done are A-1. 
            Not for the Vulgus. There’ll only be about 60 copies for sale; and about 15 more for the producers.


To Dorothy Pound, [13 July 1923] 

A 20

Am rewriting the first three cantos; trying to weed out and clarify; etc, a BHLoody JHobb.


To Dorothy Pound, [17 July 1923]

A 20

also have been trying to rewrite Cants I. II. III. so haven't been back to museum myself.


From Dorothy Pound, [21? July 1923]

A 21

Are you wise to be already revising the first Cantos? Don't kill them.


To Dorothy Pound, [23 July 1923]

A 21

     Re Cantos, I shdnt, have started revising if it hadn't been for the edtn? de LOOKS; probably no harm, I have now a sense of form that I hadn't in 1914, (very annoying, in some ways). Also I shd have rested a few months before tackling it. May save time in the end. Anyhow, anything I leave out can be restored later from earlier edtns, if needed. With sense of form, very difficult to get it all in, hodge podge, etc,


To Dorothy Pound, [25 July 1923]

A 21

     Have started some sort of revision; cuts down the opening to two cantos instead of three, beginning with Odysseus descent into Nekuia, and doing the Browning item after that, with Bacchus ship as second canto. & then the miscelany. & then 4. 5 etc. Also various repetitions, even in later cantos, can go. Mostly its too cluttered.


From Dorothy Pound, 28th [July 1923]

A 21

     HE not entirely rewrite those early cantos: or HE'll lose the life in them: She's coming back soon to put a stop to it!


To Dorothy Pound, [1] Aug. [1923] 

A 21

     Ugh, have got draft of first three cantos done.








italy 1037265 640 lions


  1. Dodd, Elisabeth. “Metamorphosis and Vorticism in The Cantos: How to Read the Allusive Image.” Midwest Quarterly 29.4 (1988): 425-37. Print. (Canto III).
  2. Barnes, David. "'Ct/Volpe's Neck': Re-Approaching Pound's Venice in the Fascist Context." In Ezra Pound, Ends and Beginnings. Eds. John Gery and William Pratt. New York: AMS Press, 2011. 17-30.
  3. Glenn, E. M. "A Guide to Ezra Pound's Cantos (I-IV)." The Analyst I (March 1953): 1-7.
  4. Glenn, E. M. "A Guide to Canto III of Ezra Pound (Revised and Enlarged)." The Analyst. 25 (April 1969): 1-18.
  5. Moody, David A. "Cantos I and III." Agenda 21.1 (1979-1980): 65-79.
  6. Pryor, Sean. "'How Will You Know?': Paradise, Painting, and the Writing of Ezra Pound's Canto 3." Paideuma: Studies in American and British Modernist Poetry 37 (2010): 267-92. Print.  
  7. Scherman, Timothy H. "Towards a New Translation of Canto III." Paideuma: A Journal Devoted to Ezra Pound Scholarship 19.3 (1990): 123-7. Print.  



  1. Altieri Charles. “Modernist Abstraction and Pound’s First Cantos: The Ethos for a New Renaissance.” Painterly Abstraction in Modernist American Poetry.  Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2009. 283-320. Print. 
  2. Bacigalupo, Massimo. "Annotazioni III." Ezra Pound XXX Cantos. Parma: Ugo Guanda, 2012. 338.
  3. Bacigalupo, Massimo. The Forméd Trace. The Later Poetry of Ezra Pound.  New York: Columbia UP, 1980. 55-60. 
  4. Brooker, Peter. "Canto III." A Student's Guide to the Selected Poems of Ezra Pound. London: Faber 1979. 244-47.
  5. Cookson, William. “III: Venice – El Cid.” A Guide to the Cantos of Ezra Pound. London: Anvil, 2001. 9-10. 
  6. Dennis, Helen. Canto Three. A New Approach to the Poetry of Ezra Pound Through the Medieval Provençal Aspect. Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Pres, 1996. 347-50. 
  7. Froula, Christine. A Guide to Ezra Pound's Selected Poems. New York: New Directions, 1983. 136-39.
  8. Kenner, Hugh. The Pound Era. London: Faber, 1972. 143. 
  9. Makin, Peter. “Canto III.” Pound’s Cantos. Baltimore: JHUP, 1985. 132-36. 
  10. Sicari, Stephen. Pound’s Epic Ambition. Dante and the Modern World. New York: SUNY Press, 1991. 25-27.
  11. Terrell, Carroll F. Companion to The Cantos of Ezra Pound. Berkeley: U of California Press, 1993. 7-10.



  1. Pound, Ezra. “Ezra Pound in Venice.” Kaplan Harris, Richard Sieburth, and Rachel Blau DuPlessis on Canto III. PoemTalk #41, 15 March 2011.  Jacket2. Podcast. 17 Oct. 2015. Free online.
  2. "Pound remembers youth and Venice" [on the discussion of Canto III in PoemTalk #41, 15 March 2011].  Jacket2, December 3, 2016. Free online.
  3. Sellar Gord. Blogging Pound's The Cantos: Canto III. Blog, 6 March, 2012. Free online.