Ezra Pound - Cantico del Sole, 1939 (0'58") and 1958 (0'49"). To Richard Swigg's invaluable edition of the audioworks of William Carlos Williams the PennSound editors have now added Richard Sieburth's smaller, but equally impressive, edition of Ezra Pound's recordings, prefaced by a long essay on "The Work of Voice in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," which looks to be a major contribution to the emerging body of scholarship on poetic phonography. The 1939 recording of "Cantico del Sole" has been familiar to me for years (I first heard it while preparing my oral exams at Brown in the early 1990s, when I would fall asleep to cassette tapes of various poets on my reading list: talk about troubled sleep!), but the quicker, more voluble, altogether hammier take of twenty years later I'd never heard before this morning. Gone is the complicit giggle shared at the end of the Cambridge recording, and the shifts in tempo and phrasing pretty much eliminate the trace of melancholy still audible in the earlier version, leaving sarcasm the dominant tone of the Caedmon track. Needless to say, Ezra's too-deep slumber needed troubling of a more serious sort than this little ditty documents. For evidence of that, check out my colleague Benjamin Friedlander's "Pound's Invective: A Sampler." • A gloss on Luke 2.29, alluded to in the poem.

XML feed here. • Elsewhere on Third Factory: index, ensemble, nb.

Wednesday -- 11 April 2007 -- permalink

The Lipstick of Noise is a product of the Third Factory • Inspired by the music blogs • And by Paul Blackburn's reel-to-reel deck. Intending to make good use of PENNSound and other sources of digital audio files of poetry • Comments welcomeXML.