By Carroll F. Terrell
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Extra info for A Companion to The Cantos of Ezra Pound: Vol. I (Cantos 1-71)
Pound adds the charge that Sigismundo did not believe that the Church should own property or have temporal power to show how his ideas were far ahead of his age, prefiguring the criticism later to be leveled against the Church by the Reformation. 31. ]. For Pound this Greek philosopher represented an enlightened mind [cf. 31/156 where John Adams and Jefferson agree on 10/44-46 this point in their old age, at the same time bringing up the very arguments touched upon by Sigismundo's enemies]. 32.
Corn-salve: The hasty sally of "an hundred two-wheeled oxcarts" to strip S. Apol- lines are intended to show Sigismundo's con- cern for the peasants and the integrity of his arrangement with the abbot [cf. 29 above]. 36. " Pius II, on the other hand, presents the story in his Commentan'es in the lurid denunciatory language of a cheap journalist: "Meeting not far from Verona a noble lady who was going from Germany to Rome in the jubilee year, he [Sigismundo] assaulted her (for she was very beautiful) and when she struggled, left her wounded and covered with blood" .
He used the arena as a symbolic stage where many a dramatic or significant moment of human history, past and present, is acted out. At 4/16, "there in the arena" leads into the historical events of Canto V. At 29/145, "toward sundown by the arena / (les gradins)," a linkage is established by repeating "les gradins," suggesting steps up a metaphorical Mt. Purgatory on the way to a terrestrial paradise [ef. also 78/481]. 2. les gradins ... " At 91/614, "the steps" are 44. [Asked about the disparity in 19n, Pound affirmed 44, which would include the arena pavement.
A Companion to The Cantos of Ezra Pound: Vol. I (Cantos 1-71) by Carroll F. Terrell