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Canto 13

Rating: 2.8

Kung walked
by the dynastic temple
and into the cedar grove,
and then out by the lower river,
And with him Khieu Tchi
and Tian the low speaking
And "we are unknown," said Kung,
"You will take up charioteering?
"Then you will become known,
"Or perhaps I should take up charioterring, or archery?

"Or the practice of public speaking?"
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Fabrizio Frosini 29 January 2016

Canto XIII introduces Confucius, or Kung, who is presented as the embodiment of the ideal of social order based on ethics.

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Stanton Hager 21 September 2006

Frequently in The Cantos, as this one, luminous lines are overshadowed by gray dull ones. Unless you are a Pound scholar, the best way to read The Cantos is to BROWSE them for best lines and passages, like these from this canto: '...with his hand on the strings of his lute/The low sounds continuing after his hands left the strings/And the sound went up like smoke under the leaves.' There are more good passages in this canto worth browsing for, many of them embodying Pound's insights into Confucianism.

3 1 Reply
Alex Proctor 22 March 2018

I can see how you'd feel this way, but for me the drier language is both the perfect environment to contain, and not all that different from the more luminous poetry.

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