Degree Year


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




John Hobbs


Cantos, Ezra Pound, Ulysses, The Wasteland


Between 1922 and 1924, Ezra Pound completed the first sixteen Cantos. He had published three Cantos in 1917, but suspended work on them shortly thereafter. It was not until 1922, after he had moved to Paris that he resumed work on the Cantos, piecing together what now stand as the first sixteen by the summer of 1924. This places the creation of Cantos I-XVI at the same time as the writing of Ulysses and "The Wasteland." Cantos XVII-XXVII were published in 1929. In July of 1922 Pound wrote of the first Cantos in a letter: "The first 11 cantos are preparation of the palette. I have to get down all the colours or elements I want for the poem. Some perhaps too enigmatically and abbreviatedly. I hope, heaven help me, to bring them into some sort of design and architecture later. Because these first cantos represent such a freshly prepared palette, they provide an excellent microcosm in which to examine the elements of Pound's art."

Although Canto XVII was written later than the first sixteen, sometime between 1922 and 1928, it adheres so closely to them thematically and stylistically, in many ways tying elements of the first sixteen together, that studying it with I-XVI is helpful in gaining a glimpse of Pound's nascent "design and architecture."