A Walking Tour In Southern France

Study, Nonfiction

Ezra Pound

Edited by Richard Sieburth

Rummaging through his papers in 1958, Ezra Pound came across a cache of notebooks dating back to the summer of 1912, when as a young man he had walked the troubadour landscape of southern France. Pound had been fascinated with the poetry of medieval Provence since his college days. His experiments with the complex lyric forms of Amaut Daniel, Bertran de Born, and others were included in his earliest books of poems; his scholarly pursuits in the field found their way into The Spirit of Romance (1910); and the troubadour mystique was to become a resonant motif of the Cantos. In the course of transcribing and emending the text of "Walking Tour 1912," editor Richard Sieburth retraced Pound's footsteps along the roads to the troubadour castles. "What this peripatetic editing process... revealed," he writes, "was a remarkably readable account of a journey in search of the vanished voices of Provence that at the same time chronicled Pound's gradual discovery of himself as a modernist poet….”