CALENDAR OF COMPOSITION
To Isabel Weston Pound, 23 May 1915
Apart from war considerations it should be granted that I have a career or something of that sort to consider, or at least an income to make and that a trip to America would not in the least assist in the process.
I am working on a long poem.
To Alice Corbin Henderson, 9 August 1915
I am working on a long poem which will resemble the Divina Commedia in length but in no other manner. It is a huge, I was going to say, gamble, but shan’t, it will prevent my making any money for the next forty years, perhaps.
To Milton Bronner, 21 September 1915
I am also at work on a cryselephantine poem of immeasurable length which will occupy me for the next four decades unless it becomes a bore.
Note: This letter, now in the Alice Corbin Henderson Archive of the Harry Ransom Research Center, is cited from Robert M. Crunden, American Salons: Encounters with European Modernism, 1885–1917 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 472 and Peter Liebregts, Ezra Pound and Neoplatonism (Madison: Fairley-Dickinson, 2004), 100.
To Homer Pound, 25 September 1915
L/HP 353; A 11
Have done a few more ‘Cathay’ and am at work on a very long poem.
To Homer Pound, 18 December 1915
L/HP 360-61; A 11
If you like the “Perigord” you would probably like Browning’s "Sordello". [...]
It is a great work and worth the trouble of hacking it out.
I began to get it on about the 6th reading - though individual passages come up all right on the first reading.
It is probably the greatest poem in English. Certainly the best long poem in English since Chaucer. You'll have to read it sometime as my big long endless poem that I am now struggling with, starts off with a barrel full of allusions to “Sordello”- which will intrigue you if you haven’t read the other.
I must have the lot typed out & send it you as a much belated Xmas. – though I dare say the present version needs a lot done to it.
It will be two months at least before I can send it. - I suppose - as I dont want to muddle my mind now in the Vth canto - by typing the first three cantos - and I dont want to leave the only copy with a typist while I’m out of town.