The whole canto is a musical composition of images and their tensile associations, formulated in firm rhythmic phrases, and organized into a complex which calls for contemplation, not monolinear explication. The ear, the inner eye, and the intelligence are all engaged here, and the contemplation needs to be just as active as the composition in envisioning and critically discriminating one image against another, the oak woods on the green slope against the forest of marble, the sea cave shaped and coloured by waves against the still waters reflecting ‘Dye-pots in the torch-light’.
(David Moody Ezra Pound Poet II: 89)
There's a dictionary of symbols, but I think it immoral. I mean that I think a superficial acquaintance with the sort of shallow, conventional, or attributed meaning of a lot of symbols weakens - damnably, the power of receiving an energized symbol. I mean a symbol appearing in a vision has a certain richness & power of energizing joy - whereas if the supposed meaning of a symbol is familiar it has no more force, or interest of power of suggestion than any other word, or than a synonym in some other language.
(Ezra Pound to Dorothy Shakespear, 14 January 1914. EP/DS 302; Tryphonopoulos 72)
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