University of Virginia Library

Search this document 


expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
collapse section 
Pound's Personae: From Manuscript to Print by C. G. Petter
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 
expand section 

expand section 


Page 111

Pound's Personae: From Manuscript to Print
C. G. Petter [*]

In his recent edition of the Collected Early Poems of Ezra Pound Michael John King states that his is only the beginning of a definitive edition of the early poems, "for additional manuscript versions are very likely to be uncovered."[1] The manuscripts for Personae (Gallup A3, 1909), Pound's first important collection of poems have been at the University of Victoria since 1966, so I cannot claim that I am uncovering their existence. However, apart from an entry in the Union List of Manuscripts in Canadian Repositories the presence of these manuscripts in the University of Victoria Special Collections has not been publicized and they are therefore unknown to the majority of Pound scholars. A study of this significant archive sheds important new light on the development of Pound's design in Personae.

The University of Victoria English Department and Library together acquired the Personae archive, as part of a larger Ezra Pound Collection in 1966 in order to provide research material for a recently initiated graduate program.[2] The Pound collection was purchased through the New York book dealer, Lew David Feldman.[3] Special Collections learned subsequently that the collection had been assembled by a Mr. Bromwell Ault Jr. of New York and that he had previously loaned the Personae archive to the Yale Rare Book Room for their Pound exhibition of 1956. In the Yale University Library Gazette of 1956 (30, no. 3, 126) the Personae archive is described as "the star attraction of the show", and its provenance is noted as: "given by Pound to his friend John Gould Fletcher". We can readily date this gift since the friendship between Pound and Fletcher was relatively brief: 1913-14.[4]


Page 112


Page 113


Page 114


Page 115
We can also conjecture that the papers did not pass out of Fletcher's estate until after his death in 1950.

The Personae archive must be one of the most complete archives for any book of an early twentieth century American poet, consisting, as it does, not only of preliminary drafts and printer's-copy drafts but also of four sets of proofs. But on first inspection the manuscripts would appear to be incomplete since there are no manuscript drafts for fifteen of the first sixteen poems which appeared in the published book. On closer inspection, however, it becomes apparent that Pound originally included with the manuscripts either a marked copy, or sheets from, his first book A Lume Spento, 1908. The fifteen missing poems are printed verbatim in Personae in exactly the same order as in the earlier book. Two new poems are inserted in the earlier sequence: "Praise of Ysolt" and "Tally-O"; the latter being added after the first set of proofs had been pulled. Since the printer or publisher numbered the manuscript printer's copy used to produce the first set of proofs we can conjecture that a printed copy from A Lume Spento would have been similarly numbered. The first poem in manuscript printer's copy, "Praise of Ysolt" is numbered [26], 27, 28, and the next numbered page of copy is, "At the Heart O' Me", 34. The gaps, 1-26 and 29-34 are exactly filled if the sheets of the poems and notes used from A Lume Spento are counted: the first eleven poems before "Praise of Ysolt" take twenty-five pages and the following four, before "At the Heart O' Me", take up five pages. Collation of those poems which first appeared in A Lume Spento with the first page proofs from Personae reveal exactly similar spellings, punctuations and typographical errors. It thus appears very probable that A Lume Spento furnished part of the printer's copy missing from the archive and that the only authorial copy missing is that for the preliminaries. The McPherson Library Special Collections has a copy of Canzoni and Ripostes which Pound marked and to which he added a table of the poems selected for the printer of the 1917 Lustra . . . with Earlier Poems. I suspect that somewhere there exists a marked copy of A Lume Spento with preliminaries and table of contents laid in, which provided the printer's copy for the first part of the 1909 Personae.

Not only does the University of Victoria Personae archive provide a complete record for the poems and notes first published in 1909 but it also offers some additional insight into the formation and shaping of the book as a whole. On the verso of a half sheet identifying the characters in the first draft of "Marvoil" (bearing the archive code [E.P.Po.76]), there is found what appears to be an early plan for the book (see Plate No. 2). This plan outlines three sections: the first containing three poems from A Lume Spento; the second, three poems from A Quinzaine


Page 116
for this Yule, and the third two new poems: "Marvoil" and "Picadilly". Connected with the last three poems in the plan are what appear to be notes for epigraphs to the poems: "Nel Biancheggiar" / Shelly 'Music when soft voices die'; "Marvoil" / — Browning Men and Women or Dramatists; and "Picadilly" / — Yeats— Cloths of Heaven. Critics of the early poems have already remarked the influences of these poets on Pound, but it is interesting to find Pound noting the connections himself. As the collection developed this original plan evidently was modified: the poems from A Quinzaine for this Yule were abandoned and the A Lume Spento and the new poems expanded. But the original concept of beginning with "Cino" or "La Fraisne" and ending with "Piccadilly" was maintained to the end. Nevertheless Pound was changing and adding poems within this framework right up to the last proof.

The Personae archive contains 108 pages of holograph manuscript and typescript. Of the eighteen 'new poems' five are present in one draft; eleven in two drafts; and two in three drafts. As noted above one can determine which of these drafts form the printer's copy by the pencilled numbering from [26]-28; 34-74. Although many of these printer's-copy drafts are simple transcripts from earlier drafts, some of them have been revised and a few heavily edited. The drafts, exclusive of the printer's copy, are either heavily revised manuscript or the author's even more heavily annotated initial typescript or manuscript. The revisions reveal Pound honing down the poems and ridding them of superfluous lines or notes (see especially "At the Heart O' Me" and "An Idyl for Glaucus"). But there are also a few poems like "From Syria" and "In the Old Age of the Soul" where he makes changes to render the Provençal verse more archaic. The early drafts also reveal the author working out ideas and jotting notes on the versos of his poems for later clarification. Odd notes occur on the versos of several Mss. and the most important of these notes is the plan mentioned above. It is also interesting to find a draft of "Motif" a poem included in A Lume Spento but not in Personae, here entitled "Search". There is also a draft of "Roundel", unpublished in Pound's lifetime, and extant only in the San Trovaso Notebook, here found on the verso of an early draft of "Xenia". The inclusion of the latter with the archive is probably an accident brought about by recycling paper. Both Pound's final and his rejected readings are of exceptional interest to the textual critic for the way they reveal the steps towards his final design, particularly the notes which he decided not to publish (see below).

The drafts of Personae are written on an incredibly diverse variety of paper stock: graph paper, paper torn from notebooks, mould-made rag paper with watermarks, and cheap typing paper. Two poems, "Occidit"


Page 117
and "Xenia", are written on foolscap paper torn from a notebook, the same size as the San Trovaso Notebook. (I am going from the illustration in M. J. King, p. 319.) Others can be grouped by watermarks. "An Idyl for Glaucus", "In Revolt", "And Thus in Nineveh" (1st draft), and "In the Old Age of the Soul" are all on paper watermarked OCEAN / MAIL / HM&S /; "And Thus in Nineveh" (2nd draft), "Search", "The White Stag", and "In Durance" are on paper with the watermark 888 / and the device with a winged charioteer; "Tally-O" and "In Durance" are on Cardinal Bond; and the early draft "At the Heart O' Me" is written on bank bond marked "TRUSLOVE & HANSON / SLOANE BANK / LONDON". It will be interesting to see whether some bibliographic sleuth can work out a chronology from this evidence in relation to other Pound drafts existing at Yale and elsewhere.

Some help with the chronology is provided by the dates on various of the drafts, although these dates are not necessarily the dates of composition as King (p. 316) notes in reference to the San Trovaso Notebook date. The poems are dated as follows: "Alba Belingalis", Hamilton Lit., 1905; "From the Saddle", König Albert, Hight [sic] Sea, April 1906; "From Syria", Madrid, May 1906; "Praise of Ysolt", 19 April 1907; and "An Idyll for Glaucus", November 1908. The most interesting of these dates is that for "Praise of Ysolt" which appeared first in a shorter form ("Vana") in A Lume Spento, June 1908, and was later expanded in Personae, April 1909. Louis L. Martz raises the question of whether Pound expanded the poem after the publication of A Lume Spento or whether it was completed earlier and only the first part published in A Lume Spento.[5] Unfortunately, the answer provided by the date on the manuscript remains ambiguous because of Pound's note in pencil on the second page of the typescript "Contine for p. 30 A.L.S." [A Lume Spento]. "Vana" appears on p. 30 of A Lume Spento so this note at least was post-publication, just as the text appears to be. Thus the date which appears on the manuscript may be the date of the original composition of "Vana" or it may be the date of the original composition of the whole poem. The date for the composition of "Praise of Ysolt" thus remains puzzling.

The chronology of the four sets of Personae proofs that complete the picture of the book's development is much clearer. The first two sets are duplicates of each other; they are almost identically heavily revised by the author, but they can be distinguished from each other by pencil markings on their half-title pages: one is marked "Final" (evidently the one returned by Pound to the printer's) and the other is marked "Dup"


Page 118


Page 119
(indicating the duplicate set retained by the author). The "Dup" is also marked "1" and was issued on 13 March, 1909. Pound obviously scrutinized these first sets of proofs very carefully. They were, after all, for his first important collection of poems published in England. The most radical revisions are to his notes and particularly to the section appended to the poems: "Notes on New Poems". (Notes were also dropped from "Xenia", "An Idyl for Glaucus", "In Revolt", and "In Durance" by being excised in proofs.) The most interesting excisions are those from the notes to "Guillaume de Lorris Belated: A Vision of Italy" on pages 58 and 59 of the first edition. From note 2 Pound cut the following (my italics) after the phrase, "as I have not the Benjamin Minor by me": "but the distinction once understood is never lost". Furthermore, after the sentence, "Following St. Victor's figure of radiation: Poetry in its acme is expression from contemplation" he struck out:

"A poem is an algebraic formula for spiritual or human truths, expressing as do the formulae of analytical geometry not one particular figure but the ideal of the figure.

Thus a2 + b2 = c2 gives the ideal of the circle's circumference; or

(a-r)2 + (b-r)2 = (c-r)2

gives the circle of any radius, infinite or infinitesmal, in any quadrant.

And if a man's mathematics can teach him to think in this fashion, and not after the fashion

3 X 3 + 4 X 4 = 5 X 5

then it is worth all the grind that he may give to it." This omission is revealing. It looks as if Pound cut this treatise because he thought it too complex to explain at length or because he was on uncertain ground with his mathematics. The formula a2 + b2 = c2 does not refer to the circle's circumference but rather to the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle. The second formula does refer to the area of the circle's quadrants, but its relation to the earlier formula is not really discernible.

This mathematical explanation of the various levels of poetic truth was central to Pound's thought as has been well illustrated by Forrest Read's excellent article "The Mathematical Symbolism of Ezra Pound's Revolutionary Mind", Paideuma, VII, 1 & 2, (1978), 7-73. Mr. Read notes (pp. 10-11) that Pound applied a mathematical analogy to explain the four levels of meaning in Dante's Comedy in The Spirit of Romance (1910), just as he used it here to explain the three levels of meaning of Richard St. Victor's figure of radiation. The presence of this note in the original draft of the notes for "Vision of Italy" shows how far Pound's ideas of a mathematical paradigm for poetic understanding had developed by 1909.


Page 120



Page 121

Other notes were apparently cut because he wished to hide his vagueness about the origin of the idea. Thus he cut a note from p. 59 giving the source of the line "that white-footed wind, pale Dawn's annunciatrice":

Straight steal from Dante. (I think the "Earthly Paradise", but I cannot find the passage.)

Also in "Glaucus" the "two-foot coursairs" is "bipeded equos" from the "Pervigilium Veneris".

The first of these two passages is in fact from Dante's La Divina Commedia Purgatorio Canto XXV, 145,[6] while the second is a quote from the anonymous Latin poem which Pound cites, line 8. Finally, Pound cut the subtitle from "Marvoil": "A song of real people."

Aside from Pound's decision to excise some of his notes, there are several minor substantive changes in the first proofs. But there are a plethora of spelling and punctuation corrections and emendations, more than 120 in all. Many of the spelling corrections were made to correct Pound's eccentric American renderings of words, e.g., "Tho" for though and "thru" for through, but also "coursairs" for coursers. Not only does Pound anglicize spellings and repunctuate (some in answer to proofreader's queries) but he also comments on the general book design, type sizes, blank pages, running titles and spacing of individual lines and words. In this regard it is interesting to note how Pound agonized over the lineation of the famous dedication to Mary Moore. At first he decided to change the layout to three lines of uniform size type but in the end opted to leave it the way it was originally set and finally published: as four lines with MARY MOORE in a larger face.

Some major additions were also made in these first proofs. Four poems were added: "Tally-O" (4 lines), "Search" (7 lines), "And Thus in Nineveh" (23 lines), and "The White Stag" (7 lines). The addition of the first two poems did not have any bearing on the pagination. "Search" fitted perfectly into the blank space under "Occidit" while the first two stanzas of "Ballad for Gloom" had to be moved from p. 31 to p. 32 to accommodate "Tally-O". The addition of the last two poems was brought about by moving "Piccadilly" to the other side of the leaf (from p. 55 to p. 56). In this way not a single leaf had to be added. These additions show how shrewdly Pound made use of the space he had at his disposal without diminishing the aesthetic feeling created by the fine type-setting and layout of the Chiswick Press. In these proofs Pound also ironed out a minor mixup caused by the misnumbering of the Mss. of


Page 122
"In Durance" which had resulted in the setting of the third and fourth stanzas before the first two. Pound also insured that his name be printed in larger type on the title page and made the following note above the dedication: "Italic one line here 'Make-strong old dreams lest this our world lose heart'." As one becomes aware of these changes the realization grows of just how self-conscious Pound was about the production of this small volume.[7]

The second proofs, again consisting of two sets, only one of which is marked by Pound, confirm the impression of self-conscious tinkering created by the first. These proofs were issued only a week after the first according to the date they bear: 19.3.09. In the set revised by Pound, marked "2 Revd", there are still efforts to rearrange individual spacing of words, most notably on the title page. There are twelve substantive or semi-substantive corrections; (notwithstanding the deletion of notes); at least one suggested by the publisher, Elkin Mathews, and about forty-six accidental corrections to spelling and punctuation. Throughout both sets the copy editor is also at work querying readings, adding the publishing date and moving the printing information to the colophon. He jots on the front page, supposedly for the printer, "2 Revd /a, B-D / on our paper" and another note I cannot decipher. From there it was in the hands of the Chiswick Press. According to Pound's bibliographer, Donald Gallup, "1000 sets of sheets [were] printed (of which an undetermined number—not more than 500— were issued as part of Personae and Exultations (1913)).""[8]

It appears likely that the numerous markings on the second proofs in a shaky small hand are those of Elkin Mathews, the publisher. The University of Victoria Special Collections was fortunate in acquiring, in the same accession as the Personae archive, some of Pound's letters to Elkin Mathews, 1909-11. The most illuminating item in relation to the Personae archive is an envelope, addressed to Mathews and postmarked 19 March 1909, the exact date of the second proofs. On the verso of this envelope are holograph notes, I presume Mathews', which refer by pages to queries which were marked on the text of the second proofs. This would seem to indicate that Mathews personally supervised the marking of the second and possibly also the first proofs.[9]

The University of Victoria Mathews' correspondence also provides


Page 123
some corroborating evidence and a date for Homer Pound's famous story about how his son Ezra approached Mathews to publish Personae. As this colourful anecdote relates directly to the original disposition of the manuscripts being described I will repeat it here.

"When he'd spent every cent he'd saved out of his allowance, he walked into a little bookshop in London and handed the manuscript of a book of poems, Personae, to the owner, Elkin Mathews, who had 'discovered' Yeats.

"'If you can make an advance payment on this manuscript,' said Mr. Mathews, after he'd read it, 'I might consider bringing it out.' 'Well,' said Ezra, 'I've only got a shilling, but you're welcome to that if you want it.' 'No, never mind,' said Mr. Mathews, 'I want to bring out the book anyway.'"[10]

Evidence concerning this anecdote is provided by the following letter, (E.P.C.76):

35, Park Lane
February 20th 09
Dear Sir,

Mr. George Wyndham desires me to thank you for letting him see the poems by Ezra Pound, and to express his regret that owing to his numerous political engagements he is unable to accede to your request.

I return the poems herewith.

yours faithfully,
G. King Secy
Elkin Mathews Esq.

Mathews was evidently seeking George Wyndham, a prominent politician and man of letters as a reader for the publication of Personae. Three years before Wyndham had published an essay on Ronsard with a few selections of verse translations of Provençal verse. Whether or not Mathews was able to find other knowledgeable readers for the volume or went ahead on his own initiative cannot be established and it would be interesting to learn whether there is any further correspondence of this nature in other Pound archives.

What follows is a description of the manuscripts and proofs in the University of Victoria, McPherson Library, Special Collections. This includes a list of only the most important substantive corrections in each poem, in the drafts and proofs. No effort has been made to list the many accidental variations described in general above. It is hoped that these descriptions together with my general observations on the manuscripts will pave the way for a definitive edition of the 1909 Personae.


Page 124

Throughout the following list my numbering, and manner of listing, is similar to that used by Michael King in his edition of the Collected Early Poems of Ezra Pound. Variants listed in angle-brackets were crossed out in the draft and replaced by readings in the published version; while those not in angle-brackets were written in without being crossed out. All my remarks have been italicized to distinguish them from the remarks actually excised. The page and line numbering is keyed to King's text so that readers can check the variants against the 'established' text. Line numbers are calculated by counting from the top of King's pages, exclusive of titles, subtitles or notes. Transcriptional errors which Pound crossed out of his later drafts have not been recorded.

    Personae Manuscripts

  • E.P.P0.1-3 [Praise of Ysolt.]
  • typescript, lightly revised in pencil, early draft, 3 leaves, 25 x 20½, numbered in pencil [26]-28, folded, dated, 07, April 19, his pencil note on E.P.Po.2 "Continue from p. 30. A.L.S."
  • 79/8 Ts. follows line with: ""We be little elf words/ that thy soul sendeth thee to make/ "<a> song" a song"
  • 79/14 Yet there] There
  • 79/15 "A song,"] <for> a song
  • 79/17 "A song,"] for a song
  • 79/21 Whither] where
  • 79/26 pled] <said>
  • 79/27 be] <are>
  • E.P.P0.4 Tally-O.
  • ink holograph, late draft, 1 leaf, 26 x 20, folded, watermark: "888" with device "horses pulling winged charioteer".
  • E.P.P0.5 [Tally-O.]
  • ink holograph, early draft, 1 leaf, approx. 21 x 22, torn from larger sheet, folded, watermark "CARD[INAL BOND]", dated Feb. 3.09.
  • E.P.P0.6-8 [At the Heart O'Me—A.D. 751].
  • ink holograph with light pencil corrections and notes, early draft, 2 leaves 22½ x 17½, numbered 7-8, folded, watermark "TRUSLOVE & HANSON'S / SLOANE BANK / LONDON", holograph pencil notes on the verso of p. 6 explaining the Anglo-Saxon derivation for "Middan-gard", "utlaf", "Ut-gard" and "As-gard".
  • 81/8 delights] delight
  • 81/12 the pale] pale
  • 81/14 barge] barge<let>
  • 81/15 the kindly] kind
  • 81/24 An] And
  • 82/1,3,5,7 What should] What then should
  • 82/8 O my beloved] Myrtha-iy-matha]
  • 82/9 Middan-gard] Midlan-geard
  • E.P.P0.9-10 At the Heart O' Me-A.D. 751.
  • ink holograph with one purple crayon correction, late draft, 2 leaves, 25 x 20, numbered in pencil 34-35, folded, lined paper, a few accidental variants.
  • E.P.P0.11 Xenia.

  • 125

    Page 125
  • ink holograph with one deleted purple crayon correction, late draft, 1 leaf, 25 x 20, numbered 36, lined paper, with note, not present in 1909 ed. "the name of the Tags attached to gifts at the Saturnalia".
  • E.P.P0.12 [Xenia].
  • ink holograph, entitled "Cum dono", early draft, 1 leaf, 33 x 20, [torn from a notebook], lined paper, with final line not present in 1909 ed. "Fragrant-Lotus Bloom".
  • E.P.P0.13 [Roundel].
  • early draft entitled "After Joachim Du Bellay", 1 leaf, 33 x 20, [verso of E.P.P0.12], numbered 12 at top of page and 1 at bottom of page, much as it appears in the San Trovaso Notebook. See M. J. King ed., p. 319.
  • 234/18 And] <Yet>
  • E.P.P0.14-15 [OCCIDIT].
  • ink holograph with pencil corrections, early draft entitled "Occidit <Phoebe>", 2 leaves, 33 x 20, [torn from a notebook], numbered in pencil 26, 27, extensive variants. Draft between STN and final published version.
  • 82/ Title] Occidit <Phoebe> with the subtitle <For Beginning a Scene in an Heroical Play>
  • 82/21 As in STN an introductory passage was revised out of the Ms.: <Sing I the <spleandor> splendor to the measures old. / Seek ye who will what tricks the time doth bear.>
  • 83/4 the] <frail>
  • 83/7 unto their] <again to>
  • E.P.P0.16-17 Occidit.
  • ink holograph, late draft, 2 leaves, 25 x 20, numbered in pencil 37, 38, lined paper, close to final draft.
  • E.P.P0.18 Search.
  • ink holograph, late draft, 1 leaf, 26 x 20, folded, watermark: "888" with device "horses pulling winged charioteer", close to final draft of "Motif" which is not found in Personae but is found in A Lume Spento, see M. J. King ed., p. 46.
  • E.P.P0.19-34 [An Idyl for Glaucus].
  • ink holograph with some notes and ink corrections, early draft, 15 leaves, 26 x 20½, numbered [ ], 1-14, folded, watermark on unnumbered page "OCEAN / MAIL / HM&S", p. 1 dated Nov. 1 / 1908, contains a note on the idea for the poem "Ovid tells the tale of the fisherman Glaucus. Tasting the grass which had revived a fish he had caught, and thereon being seized with a yearning for the deep, into which he plunged and became a sea-god." On the verso of the last leaf is the note: "Glaucus / Mrs. Alfred Fowler / c/o John Fowler & Co. / 6 Lombard Street / London. E.C.", also some jotting on the same page.
  • 83 Epigraph] Paradiso, 1, 67-9.] Paradiso, 1 67-<70>, also note included as above.
  • 83 Note] with] of
  • 83/16 thinking] <seek> thinking
  • 83/17 The] <a>
  • 83/22 And all the sea] <he never was>
  • 84/23 held] <me> held
  • 84/27 after this line Pound wrote and then scrawled out: <I thought it madness, and so checked his smile./ III/ And I would follow but I fear the sea if I>
  • 84/31 know] <no>
  • 84/32 Since] <Since>, That
  • 84/32 not in] <within> (not in)
  • 85/2 he did not jest] <there was no> jest
  • 85/2 some simples] <to> simples
  • 85/3 draw] <get>

  • 126

    Page 126
  • 85/5 Perhaps] <Mayhap>
  • 85/6 his] this
  • 85/7 two-foot] <(bipedes equos)>
  • 85/9 subtitle "Voices in the Wind" not in Ms.
  • 85/14 subtitle "Out of the Wind"] <the wind so>
  • 85/19 They] <That>
  • 85/29 after this line no ending note in Ms.
  • E.P.P0.35-41 An Idyl for Glaucus.
  • ink holograph, late draft with note for printer, 7 leaves, 25 x 20, numbered in pencil 39-45, [1]-7 in ink, lined, virtually no substantive variants, marked "Smith" in another hand across top left corner of E.P.P0.35.
  • E.P.P0.42-43 In Durance.
  • typescript with holograph ink corrections, late draft marked for the printer, 2 leaves, 35½ x 22, numbered in pencil 46a-46, watermark "Cardinal Bond", holograph ink note at bottom of E.P.P0.43 "lines writen [sic] during a certain exile of mine own past", the numbering of these leaves apparently caused the printer to set the second page before the first which was corrected in proofs, 13.3.09.
  • title Durance] "Durence"
  • 86/10 is] s
  • 86/24 followed by note as above, E.P.P0.43
  • 87/4 sapphire for the] saphir <and> for
  • 87/6 a] an
  • E.P.P0.44-53 Gauillaume de Lorris Belated — A Vision of Italy.
  • ink holograph, late draft with one pencil holograph correction, 10 leaves, 25 x 20, numbered in pencil 47-56, lined.
  • 87/21 A] An
  • 88/2 a] an
  • 88/29 not yet] not <the>
  • 89/17 equation governing] followed by a notation for a footnote in Ms.
  • 90/28 annunciatrice] followed by a notation for a footnote in Ms.
  • E.P.P0.54 In the Old Age of the Soul
  • ink holograph, late draft, 1 leaf, 25 x 20, numbered in pencil 57, lined, one accidental variant.
  • 91/8 a] an
  • E.P.P0.55-56 [In the Old Age of the Soul].
  • pencil holograph, heavily revised, early draft, 2 leaves, p. 55, 26 x 20½; p. 56, 32 x 20, folded, watermarks: p. 55—"OCEAN / MAIL / HM&S"; p. 56—"C&D / MADE BY THE / NALLEY PAPER CO., note after last line E.P.P0.56 "Senectu Animae".
  • 91/1 cometh on] <comes upon>
  • 91/4 the sword-hilt] a broken sword or
  • 91/4 or the war-worn wonted helmet] <or rusted spear>
  • 91/6 my soul] <me> soul is
  • 91/8 This line which is absent from the Ms. is found on E.P.P0.56 verso.
  • 91/9 send him] bring <me>
  • 91/9 deed] <deeds> <action>
  • 91/12 more] <longer>
  • 91/13 that such might] <of such honour>
  • 91/13 no more cleaves to him] <age doth to him>
  • 91/14 [marginalia] <forget> / Senectu Animae
  • E.P.P0.57-58 Alba Belingalis.
  • typescript, heavily revised in pencil and ink, early draft, 2 leaves, 26½ x 20, numbered in pencil 58, 59, folded, dated, <Hamilton Lit. 1905>, poem rearranged in revisions, note at head of page E.P.P0.58 "(from mss. of tenth century, Latin verses


    Page 127
    and the refrain is the first speciman of Provençal that has come down to us.)" and "Hamilton Lit. 1905" excised from foot of page E.P.P0.58.
  • 91 notes] as above, omitted in proof
  • 91/18 after this line a refrain is excised. <Ref. / Dawn light o'er sea and hight riseth bright/ Passeth vigil, clear looketh on the night>
  • 91/18 [marginalia] "insert here also these lines" [i.e., 91/25, 26]
  • 91/25 ocean the white] 'the' inserted
  • 91/26 It passeth] 'It' inserted
  • 92/2 The stars] 'The' inserted
  • 92/6 the first line of the refrain is repeated in the Ms. but has been crossed out
  • E.P.P0.59-64 From Syria.
  • ink holograph, printer's copy, 6 leaves, lined, 25 x 20, numbered in pencil, [unnumbered] 60-64, initialed E.P. Subtitle also present in incomplete form E.P.P0.59 "The Song of Peire [sic] lo Tort,—a crusader—that"
  • 92/20 the more] <be more>
  • 93/15 lose] loose
  • E.P.P0.65-67 [From Syria].
  • Ts. heavily annotated with holograph corrections, early draft, 3 leaves, unlined, 26 x 20, unnumbered, folded, dated: Madrid, May, 1906; judging by the variants, King, ed. ibid., p. 302, a later revise of the Ms. there recorded.
  • subtitle] made for] sent to
  • 92/8 blow] <grow>
  • 92/9 streams with] streams <flow> with
  • 92/9 bands]'s' inserted
  • 92/10 Eke] <And>
  • 92/11 When] <The>
  • 92/12 Then 'tis] <Tis then>
  • 92/13 Do make mine] <Maketh my>
  • 92/14 old] old <to>
  • 92/17 services]'s' inserted
  • 92/18 Be] <Is>
  • 92/19 works]'s' inserted
  • 92/20 Wherefore should his fight the more be bold.] <And therefor he should fight more bold.> The whereof <for> <he> he should his fight the more <than> be bold. [marginalia] & therefor <should> <he> be his fight more bold.
  • 92/21 bear I] <I bear>
  • 92/22 Sith ire] For <wrath>
  • 92/23 think I to make me joy] <I think> [marginalia] or (take my joy)
  • 92/24 Yet ne'er have I] Yet <have I ne'er>
  • 93/2 Natheless I will] Naetheless <will I>
  • 93/3 sometime I'll] somewhile I [marginalia] Time I'll
  • 93/5 I'll] I
  • 93/6 lowered me] lowered me <hath pow'r>
  • 93/8 if e'er I] if I [e'er inserted above the line]
  • 93/14 I left her] her I left [marginalia] or I left her
  • 93/15 An] & <An>
  • 93/16 Pardi, hath the wide world in fee] [marginalia] (more literal./ He knoweth hath/ the world for me.)
  • 93/21 that] <the> 'at' inserted over 'e'
  • 93/23 and what of me to-morrow?] what do I tomorrow¿ [marginalia] & what of me tomorrow?
  • E.P.P0.68 From the Saddle.
  • ink holograph, printer's copy, 1 leaf, lined, 25 x 20, numbered in pencil 65, almost


    Page 128
    as published save a few accidentals.
  • E.P.P0.69 [From the Saddle].
  • Ts. heavily annotated in holograph ink corrections, early draft, 1 leaf, unlined, 26 x 20, unnumbered, folded, dated: König Albert, Hight [sic] Sea. April 1906. a later revision than that recorded on King ed. ibid., p. 302.
  • title and subtitle] A Diane. from the french [sic] of D'Aubigne.
  • 94/3 me] <doth>
  • 94/4 hounds the tempests] <hound a tempest>
  • 94/5 woes] <foeas>
  • 94/6 Pistols my pillow's service pay] Asleep arms neath my head I lay / <or (My pistols neath my head I lay)> marginalia: <prefer 1st this more lit.> (pistols my pillow's service pay.)
  • 94/7 Yet Love makes] <Yet> Yet Love tis make<th>s
  • 94/9 line] lines
  • 94/14 Of powder] <Of powr'r> Of powd'r
  • E.P.P0.70-75 [Marvoil].
  • pencil holograph, early draft, 6 leaves, poem, 25½ x 20½, numbered 1-6, folded, some inked numbers on verso.
  • 94/18 o' figures for] of figures our [?]
  • 94/20 Beziers's] Beziers is
  • 94/21 year] years
  • 94/22 till that] <& / she> till that
  • 94/22 son of] son
  • 94/25 Then came] Then there came
  • 95/1 Mont-Ausier] <the> Mont-Ausier
  • 95/4 To] &/ to
  • 95/6 Bored to] <us> to
  • 95/7 Tibors all tongue and temper at Mont-Ausier,] Tibors, <shouts shriving her> [?] at Mount Ausier all tonge & Temper
  • 95/8 Me! in this] Me <on the> in this
  • 95/12 Alfonso] Alfonso IV
  • 95/18 Save this] Save <a> this
  • 95/22 except] <save> inserted above except
  • 95/24 have] ha<th>ve
  • 95/28 I fill] I fill<ed>
  • 95/34 blows sigh] sighs sigh
  • epilogue Mihi pergamena deest] <k . . . [?]> mihi pergiminem <desumt> deest.
  • E.P.P0.76-77 People in Marvoil.
  • 1 leaf, notes, 20½ x 13, unnumbered, torn from full leaf, notes on both sides, p. 77 in pencil holograph title "People in Marvoil" and refers to the personae of the poem. On the verso p. 76 ink holograph listing the titles of poems in Personae, [see enclosed illus. no. 2], using variant titles and subtitles, evidently a preliminary listing for collection.
  • E.P.P0.78-82 Marvoil.
  • ink holograph, late draft, 5 leaves, 25½ x 20½, numbered [1]-5, folded, evidently a transcript of corrected Ms. with a few accidental variants. No Latin epigraph in Ms.
  • 95/30 So] Even so
  • E.P.P0.83-86 Marvoil.
  • ink holograph, printer's copy, 4 leaves, 25 x 20, lined, numbered in pencil 66-69, evidently a transcript of a revised earlier draft because accidentals (for the most part) as in Q1.
  • E.P.P0.87-91 [Revolt].

  • 129

    Page 129
  • ink holograph, lightly revised in pencil, early draft, 5 leaves, 26 x 20½, numbered 1-5, folded, watermark: "OCEAN / MAIL / HM&S", no title or subtitle, a few revealing revisions, i.e., "grapple" for "buckle" in last stanza, a curious note on bottom of final leaf "[It is the book that saith] To Michael Agnolo <my father> (or sith no man hath dared to weave these shapes then I)." Angle bracket Pound's.
  • 96/13 deeds] deed
  • 96/24 For ills unnamed] & for ills unnamed <ill>
  • 97/9 or tread too] or tread <or>
  • 97/11 grapple] <buckle>
  • 97/12 hills] hill
  • E.P.P0.92-94 Revolt.
  • ink holograph, printer's copy, 3 leaves, 25 x 20, lined, numbered in pencil 70-72, accidentals by and large as Q1 but note appended "[It is poem [sic] that saith "To Michael Agnolo, my father"]."
  • E.P.P0.95-96 And Thus in Nineveh.
  • ink holograph revised in pencil and ink, early draft, signed E. P., 2 leaves, 26 x 20½, numbered [1]-2, folded, watermark: "OCEAN / MAIL / HM&S", "(For the "Author of "Erebus")" deleted in pencil.
  • 97/23 dim] <still>
  • 97/25 a] an
  • 98/3 Raama] Rana
  • 98/4 sweet in tone than] sweet than
  • E.P.P0.97-98 And Thus in Nineveh.
  • ink holograph, printer's copy?, 2 leaves, 26 x 20, numbered [1]-2, folded watermark: "888" with device "horses pulling winged charioteer", on mould-made paper, close to final draft except for a few accidentals.
  • 97/25 a] an
  • E.P.P0.99 [The White Stag].
  • ink holograph, early draft, 1 leaf, 27 x 21½, graph paper, torn from a notebook, folded, blotched with ink on top left, untitled.
  • ref. we're a-hunting] we are hunting
  • E.P.P0.100 The White Stag.
  • ink holograph, late draft, 1 leaf, 25½ x 20½, folded, signed "E", one accidental, evidently a copying mistake, corrected in pencil.
  • ref. we're a hunting] we're hunting
  • E.P.P0. 101 The White Stag.
  • ink holograph, printer's copy?, 1 leaf 26 x 20, folded, watermark: "888" with device "horses pulling winged charioteer", on mould-made paper, instructions for printer "italic one line", note on verso "his/hart/white/breaks/cover/stag/stag/fa/m/ing!"
  • E.P.P0.102 Piccadilly.
  • ink holograph, late draft, 1 leaf, folded, 25½ x 20½, with pencil marking "in Italics to be / got in at end./ 64 pp.", few variants, on verso "Print in italics at end of book".
  • E.P.P0.103 Piccadilly.
  • ink holograph, late draft, signed E. P., 1 leaf, folded, 25½ x 20½, with autograph correction in pencil and note; "(italics last page.)"
  • E.P.P0.104-107 Notes on New Poems.
  • ink holograph, late draft, 5 leaves, 25 x 20, lined, numbered in pencil 73-77, some ink revisions and a fragment of printed text [a programme?] for "Nel Biancheggior" preceded by the line: "un suo concerto, e che ci permettiamo tradurre:" and initialed "m.l.", These notes were extensively revised by Pound in proof.
  • For variants see pp. 119-121 above, and p. 130.
  • 99/28 after known] <The verses are supposedly>


Page 130

    Personae Proofs

  • Set 1a
  • First set of proofs marked by the printer and then by Pound, author's set, 8° a8 B-D8 on Chiswick Press uncut rag stock, embossed: "Chiswick Press/ 20 & 21 Tooks Court/ Chancery Lane, E. C." marked: "1/13.3.09 marked proof" and "dup." at the beginning of each gathering and with the note "check printer's corrections". Some questioning of substantive readings in lead pencil, possibly the publisher's.


    Pound has underlined his name twice and written next to it "larger font".

    DEDICATION: Note: "Italic one line / here "Make-strong old dreams lest this our world loose heart", Pound has crossed out "MARY MOORE / OF TRENTON" and written "3 lines uniform" meaning he wanted those lines printed "THIS BOOK IS FOR MARY MOORE OF TRENTON / IF SHE WANTS IT."

    p. viii: Contents: DURANCE] DURENCE also Pound's note "leave/ blank-page between/ This index & the "Grace before Song"

  • Substantives (Not including Pound's notes on lineation or printer's accidentals) "Cino"
  • p. 11/36 it is] i<s> is 'it' inserted [typographical error in A Lume Spento]
  • "Mesmerism"
  • p. 17/27 lief] <leave> lief
  • "Fifine Answers"
  • p. 18/14 borne] <born> borne
  • "Praise of Ysolt"
  • p. 79/26 pled] "if you like plead" comment by printer? or publisher? "both wrong forms for pleaded"
  • "Camaraderie"
  • title: Comraderie] <Cameraderie>
  • p. 31/3 my] <mine>
  • "At the Heart O' Me"
  • p. 82/9 Middan-gard] Middan-yard
  • "Xenia"
  • p. 82 the note on the meaning of the title is cancelled (see Ms. description)
  • "Occidit"
  • p. 82/25 waning] warning
  • "An Idyl for Glaucus"
  • p. 84/18 the realm] <the> "our" inserted
  • p. 85/7 coursers] <coursairs> [marginalia] coursers
  • "In Durance"
  • title Durance] <Durence>
  • p. 86/10 "thee" is] <"thee"> "thee is" inserted. Footnote excised from proof (see Ms. description)
  • "Guillaume de Lorris Belated: A Vision of Italy"
  • p. 89/15 How all things are but symbols of all things,2] How <2> all things are but symbols of all things.2
  • p. 89/17 governing.] governing.<3>
  • p. 90/16 Adige.3] Adige<4>
  • p. 90/28 Dawn's annunciatrice] Dawn's annunciatrice<5>
  • p. 90/30 so well before] so well <in days> before
  • "Revolt"

  • 131

    Page 131
  • footnote cancelled in proof (see Ms. description) after "Revolt" Pound's pencil note: "And Thus in Nineveh"
  • "Picadilly"
  • on final page Pound's pencil note: "The White Stag" and "Mary" [What the latter refers to is unclear, perhaps the dedication?]
  • "Notes"
  • revised as described above but in this copy of the proof Pound scrawled in a note to move the Notes to "LA FRAISNE" "this note to precede poem as p. 10." This note was never acted upon, like the note concerning the dedication, proving that these corrections were never seen by the printer.
  • Also revision to Marvoil Notes.
  • p. 100/1 The Personae are] <A SONG OF REAL PEOPLE>
  • p. 100/11 Marco Londonio's Italian version of "Nel Biancheggiar":] Italian version of "<n>el Biancheggiar "<un suo concerto, e che ci permettiamo de tradurre,>" by Marco Londonio:
  • Set 1b
  • First set of proofs marked by printer and then by Pound, printer's set, 8° a8 B-D8 on Chiswick Press uncut rag stock, marked "Final". These proofs bear only Pound's "final" corrections of the proofs in ink with corrections made in another hand (the publisher's?) in lead and purple pencil.
  • All corrections as in 1a except: layout of publishing information changed in pencil; Pound's suggestions on relining the dedication crossed out with the note "O.K.", pencil insertion marks in Table of Contents between "Masks" and "Ballad for Gloom", between "Occidit" and "An Idyl for Glaucus" and between "Revolt" and "Picadilly". Also on the corresponding pages in the text notes to begin "Ballad for Gloom" on the next page and "insert here 'Tally-O'"; after "Occidit", "insert here 'Search'"; after "Revolt", insert 'And Thus in Nineveh'"; above "Picadilly", "The White Stag" and below, "'Picadilly' to be set over leaf."
  • Set 2a
  • Second set of proofs, marked by printer and possibly publisher but not by Pound, 8° a8 B-D8, on cheap paper, dated 2/19.3.09. Pencil markings on these proofs correspond with notes on the back of an envelope addressed to Elkin Mathews dated March 19, 1909. (E.P.C49)
  • Set 2b
  • Second set of proofs marked by printer, publisher and Pound, author's set, 8° a8 B-D8 on cheap paper, dated 2/19.3.09 and with the note on the title "2 Revd aB-D, on our paper" / "CP36 Mup Aut 106[?]." The latter part possibly meaning Makeup using Chiswick Press 36 binding, 106 to be autographed? Each subsequent gathering marked in pencil Rev.
  • Substantives
  • note to move London above publisher's information date inserted by printer on title verso: "First published in April, 1909" Contents SENECTUTIS] <SENECTUS>
  • "Villonaud for This Yule"
  • p. 15/15 mine] <mine> "my" inserted
  • "In Tempore Senectutis"
  • title Senectutis] <Senectus>
  • "For E. McC."

  • 132

    Page 132
  • p. 39/24 of] <of> "by" inserted
  • "In Durance"
  • p. 87/6 a] an
  • "Guillaume de Lorris Belated"
  • p 87/21 A] <An>
  • "In the Old Age of the Soul"
  • p. 91/4 or] <on>
  • "From Syria"
  • note Bornelh] <Bornelgh>
  • "Marvoil"
  • p. 94/15 clerk] <cleark>
  • epigraph pergamena] <pergaminum> pergamena inserted
  • "The White Stag"
  • p. 98/7 on] <or>
  • p. 98/10 hart] <stag>
  • Notes on New Poems
  • p. 100/11 Marco Londonio's Italian version of "Nel Biancheggiar"] <Italian version of "Nel Biancheggiar," by Marco Londonio.>

    Manuscripts Relating to the Publication of Personae

  • Personae 1st edition
  • (sc) PS3531 B82P4 1909(a)
  • Special Collections has a copy of the original issue of Personae with the following postal card tipped in: Postal card, 11½ x 9, 31. Jan.08, embossed: 5 Holland Place Chambers, Kensington W. addressed to Elkin Mathews, 4a Cork St., W1, inscription "all right, go where the booze is cheaper. For shilling lots apply at the notion counter. Curio hunters kindly apply to Burns & Oats for replicas of the Blessed Julia Fisher. Y.T. E. P."
  • E.P.C.50 Envelope to Elkin Mathews:
  • Envelope, 28 x 20, postmarked 7:30 P.M., March 19,-09. from P. M. Bomard M.A., 85 Bridge Street, Manchester. addressed to: C. Elkin Mathews Esq., Russettnap, Chorleywood West, Herts.
  • verso notes: page 9 line 3—Eternal—meaning [7/3]
  • page 10 ? Ellumleaf [9/25]
  • page 16 ? snow-foods—gueredon? [15/5]
  • page 17 line 7 — ? mine fashion (my) [15/15 was changed as M. suggested]
  • page 26 line 9 wright? read might make it well [25/9]
  • page 28 at bottom 'slow stream' better [79/23]
  • page 45 l. 18 wine was of all good? [89/37]
  • E.P.C.76 (see p. 123 above)



Previously unpublished material by Ezra Pound copyright © 1981 by the Trustees of the Ezra Pound Literary Property Trust.


Michael J. King, ed., Collected Early Poems of Ezra Pound (1976), p. 291.


A checklist of Ezra Pound manuscripts in the McPherson Library Special Collections, including all the items purchased in 1966 that were Mss., is in preparation.


House of EL DIEFF, Catalogue 66a, item #598, pp. 52-57.


These terminal dates have been established from Fletcher's account of his friendship with Pound in his autobiography, John Gould Fletcher, Life is My Song (1937), pp. 59-138.


L. L. Martz, "Introduction" in M. J. King ed., Collected Early Poems of Ezra Pound, p. xv.


I am grateful to Miss Donna Signori of our Collections Division for pointing this out to me.


This is further evidenced by Pound's letter to Mathews of Nov. 30 [1911], in which he complains about the "botch Maynard has made of Provença." (E.P.C.70-73. UVic Special Collections).


Donald Gallup, A Bibliography of Ezra Pound (1969), p. 24.


The first proofs are marked "check printer's corrections" and all the queries are of accidentals, while the second contain both accidental and substantive queries, the latter corresponding with notes mentioned above.


"[An Interview with Homer Pound]", Evening Bulletin, Philadelphia, Feb. 20, 1928.