Ezra Pound: Canto XLV


With Usura
hath no man a house of good stone 
each block cut smooth and well fitting 
that design might cover their face, 
with usura 
hath no man a painted paradise on his church wall 
harpes et luz
or where virgin receiveth message 
and halo projects from incision, 
with usura 
seeth no man Gonzaga his heirs and his concubines 
no picture is made to endure nor to live with 
but it is made to sell and to sell quickly 
with usura, sin against nature, 
is thy bread ever more of stale rags 
is thy bread dry as paper, 
with no mountain wheat, no strong flour 
with usura the line grows thick 
with usura is no clear demarcation 
and no man can find site for his dwelling.
Stonecutter is kept from his stone 
weaver is kept from his loom 
wool comes not to market 
sheep bringeth no gain with usura 
Usura is a murrain, usura 
blunteth the needle in the maid’s hand 
and stoppeth the spinner’s cunning. Pietro Lombardo 
came not by usura 
Duccio came not by usura 
nor Pier della Francesca; Zuan Bellin’ not by usura 
nor was ‘La Calunnia’ painted. 
Came not by usura Angelico; came not Ambrogio Praedis, 
Came no church of cut stone signed: Adamo me fecit.
Not by usura St Trophime 
Not by usura Saint Hilaire, 
Usura rusteth the chisel 
It rusteth the craft and the craftsman 
It gnaweth the thread in the loom 
None learneth to weave gold in her pattern; 
Azure hath a canker by usura; cramoisi is unbroidered 
Emerald findeth no Memling 
Usura slayeth the child in the womb 
It stayeth the young man’s courting 
It hath brought palsey to bed, lyeth 
between the young bride and her bridegroom 
                       CONTRA NATURA 
They have brought whores for Eleusis 
Corpses are set to banquet 
at behest of usura.

Ezra Pound (b. 30 October 1885)

Photo: NYSE Panorama by Duo de Hale


~ by matt on 30 October 2008.

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Natalie E. Illum...

is a poet, performer and disability activist. Bring her stumbling to your city.

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