X

 

I notice the increasing "modernism" or colloquialsim of

the language in these Sigismundo Cantos --

"darlint," "out of a job," "Urbino's gang," "bunkum,"

"littlerunt," "s.o.b.," "pewk," "jailed a chap" etc

Ez want us to feel the Rennaisance as closer to us

than the earlier Canti.

 

And the poor devils dying of cold, outside Sorano,

 

Repeat from Canto IX. Ez glorifies Sigismundo

as builder of the Tempio but carefully does not prettify

the wars in which Sig. served.

 

And from the other side, from inside the chateau,

Orsini, Count Pitigliano, on the 17th of November:

"Siggy, darlint, wd. you not stop making war on

"insensible objects, such as trees and domestic vines, that have

"no means to hit back... but if you will hire yourself out to a

"commune (Siena) which you ought rather to rule than

"serve..."

††††††††††† which with Trachulo's damn'd epistle...

And what of it anyhow? a man with a ten acre lot,

Pitigliano... a lump of tufa,

††††††††††† And S. had got back their horses

And the poor devils dying of cold...

 

Still emphasizing the pathos or horror of war

 

(And there was another time, you know,

He signed on with the Fanesi,

††††††††††† and just couldn't be bothered...)

And there were three men on a one man job

††††††††††† And Careggi wanting the baron,

And not getting it just then in any case.

And he, Sigismundo, refused an invitation to lunch

††††††††††† In commemoration of Carmagnola

(vide Venice, between the two columns

††††††††††† where Carmagnola was executed.)

††††††††††† Et

††††††††††† "anno messo a saccho el signor Sigismundo"

 

"and they got the better of the Lord Sigismundo"

 

As Filippo Strozzi wrote to Zan Lottieri, then in Naples,

††††††††††† "I think they'll let him through at Campiglia"

†††††††††††† Florence, archivio Storico, 4th Series t. iii, e

†††††††††††† "La guerra dei Senesi col conte di Pitigliano."

And he found Carlo Gonzaga sitting like a mud-frog

††††††††††† in Orbetello

And he said:

††††††††††† "Caro mio, I can not receive you

It really is not the moment."

And Broglio says he ought to have tipped Gorro Lolli.

But he got back home here somehow,

And Piccinino was out of a job,

And the old row with Naples continued.

And what he said was all right in Mantua;

And Borso had the pair of them up to Bel Fiore,

 

Borso d'Este, leading advocate of peace

in that war-torn century. He recurs in later

Cantos; a Pound surrogate sorta...

 

The pair of them, Sigismundo and Federico Urbino,

 

Feddy: Sigismundo's most relentless enemy.

 

Or perhaps in the palace, Ferrara, Sigismundo upstairs

And Urbino's gang in the basement,

And a regiment of guards in, to keep order,

††††††††††† For all the good that did:

"Te cavero la budella del corpo!"

El conte levatosi:

††††††††††† "Io te cavero la corata a te!"

 

"I'll tear your liver out!" "I'll cut your guts out!"

I think Ez wants us to see a certain continuity

with the feuds in the Mafia.....

 

And that day Cosimo smiled,

That is, the day they said:

††††††††††† "Drusiana is to marry Count Giacomo..."

(Piccinino) unsorriso malizioso.

Drusiana, another of Franco Sforza's;

It would at least keep the row out of Tuscany.

And he fell out of a window, Count Giacomo,

Three days after his death, that was years later in Naples,

For trusting Ferdinando of Naples,

And old Wattle could do nothing about it.

 

††††††††† ††††††††††††††Et:

 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

INTEREA PRO GRADIBUS BASILICAE S. PIETRI EX ARIDA MATERIA

INGENS PYRA EXTRUITUR IN CUJUS SUMMITATE IMAGO SIGIS-

MUNDI COLLOCATUR HOMINIS LINEAMENTA, ET VESTIMENTI

MODUM ADEO PROPRIE REDDENS, UT VERA MAGIS PERSONA,

QUAM IMAGO VIDERATUR; NE QUEM TAMEN IMAGO FALLERET,

ET SCRIPTURA EX ORE PRODIIT, QUAE DICERET:

††††††††††† SIGISMUNDUS HIC EGO SUM

MALATESTA, FILIUS PANDULPHI, REX PRODITORUM,

DEO ATQUE HOMINIBUS INFESTUS, SACRI CENSURA SENATUS

IGNI DAMNATUS;

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† SCRIPTURAM

MULTI LEGERUNT.DEINDE ASTANTE POPULO, IGNE IMMISO,

ET PYRA SIMULACRUM REPENTE FLAGRAVIT.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Com Pio II, Liv. VII, p. 85.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Yriarte, p. 288.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

The pope had Sigismundo burned in effigy

[because they cdnt catchhim and burn him personally];

the sign on the effigy called him

"King of traitors/enemy of God and Man" etc.

 

So that in the end that pot-scraping little runt Andreas

††††††††††† Benzi, da Siena

Got up to spout out the bunkum

that that monstrous swollen, swelling s. o. b.

 

POUNDíS UNLOVING DESCRIPTION OF POPE PIUS II

 

††††††††††† Papa Pio Secundo

††††††††††† AEneas Silvius Piccolomini

††††††††††† da Siena

Had told him to spout, in their best bear's-greased latinity;

 

Stupro, caede, adulter,

homocidia, parricidia ac periurus,

presbitericidia, audax, libidinosus,

wives, jew-girls, nuns, necrophiliast, fornicarium ac sicarium,

proditor, raptor, incestuosus, incendiarius, ac

concubinarius,

 

"Rapist, butcher, adulterer, murderer, patricide, perjuror, priest-killer, reckless, sex-nut, necrophile, fornicator, traitor,

assassin, incestuous, arsonist, keeper of harems..."

Almost all historians regard this as er um

somewhat exaggerated

 

and that he rejected the whole symbol of the apostles,

and that he said the monks ought not to own property

and that he disbelieved in the temporal power,

neither christian, jew, gentile,

††††††††††† nor any sect pagan, nisi forsitan epicureae.

 

This part makes Sig. sound like an 18th Century Man of Reason

born three centuries too soon....

"nisi forsitan epicureae:" except perhaps the Epicureans.

Look it up, it didn't mean then what it means now,

and foreshadows the introduction of Kung fu Tze

in Canto 13.

[Epicurus also endorsed by Jefferson and

Adams, heroes of the middle Cantos]

 

And that he did among other things

Empty the fonts of chiexa of holy water

And fill up the same full with ink

That he might in God's dishonour

Stand before the doors of the said chiexa

Making mock of the inky faithful, they

Issuing thence by the doors in the pale light of the sunrise

Which might be considered youthful levity

††††††††††† but was really a profound indication;

 

Delicous anti-climax...from rape, murder and necrophilia

to boyish pranks! [Poundfollows the actual record

of Sig's excommunication.];

Also indicative of Sigismundo's hilaritas;

progression from "making mock" thru "inky faithful"

to "in the pale light of the sunrise" shows 3 kinds

of poetic effect in 2 lines.

 

"Whence that his, Sigismundo's, foetor filled the earth

And stank up through the air and stars to heaven

Where - save they were immune from sufferings-

It had made the emparadised spirits pewk:

††††††††††† from their jeweled terrace.

 

EP's parody in English of the rotund Latin of

the original.

 

"Lussurioso incestuoso, perfide, sozzure ac crapulone,

assassino, ingordo, avaro, superbo, infidele

fattore di monete false, sodomitico, uxoricido"

 

"lustful in incest, liar, shitpot, glutton, assassin, greedy, grabbing, proud"--that was a sin then -- "unbeliever, counterfeiter, homosexual, wife-killer"

 

and the whole lump lot

given over to...

 

I mean after Pio had said, or at least Pio says that he

Said that this was elegant oratory "Orationem

Elegantissimam et ornatissimam

Audivimus venerabilis in Xti fratres ac dilectissimi

filii...(stone in his bladder

†††† †††††††testibus idoneis)

The lump lot given over

To that kid-slapping fanatic il cardinale di San pietro in Vincoli

††††††††††† To find him guilty, of the lump lot

As he duly did, calling rumour, and Messire Federico d'Urbino

And other equally unimpeachable witnesses.

 

i.e equivelant to convicting on the basis of hearsay

and the accused's worst enemy

 

So they burnt our brother in effigy

A rare magnificent effigy costing 8 florins 8 bol

(i.e. for the pair, as the first one wasn't a good enough likeness)

And Borso said the time was ill-suited

††††††††††† to tanta novita, such doings or innovations,

God's enemy and man's enemy, stuprum, raptum

††††††††††† I. N. R. I. Sigismund Imperator, Rex Proditorum.

 

Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudorem [Jesus of Nazareth,

King of the Jews], inscription on the cross/

a great cinematic cross-cut

 

And old Pills who tried to get him into a front rank action

In order to drive the rear guard at his buttocks,

Old Pills listed among the murdered, although he

Came out of jail living later.

 

Et les angloys ne povans desraciner... venim de hayne

Had got back Gisors from the Angevins,

 

Cross-cut to the burning of Joan of Arc

 

And the Angevins were gunning after Naples

And we dragged in the Angevins,

And we dragged in Louis Eleventh,

And the tiers Calixte was dead, and Alfonso;

And against us we had "this AEneas" and young Ferdinando

That we had smashed at Piombino and driven out of the

Terrene of the Florentines;

And Piccinino, out of a job;

And he, Sidg, had had three chances of

Making it up with Alfonso, and an offer of

Marriage alliance;

 

And what he said was all right there in Mantua;

But Pio sometime or other, Pio lost his pustulous temper.

And they struck alum at Tolfa, in the pope's land,

††††††††††† To pay for their devilment.

And Francesco said:

††††††††††† I also have suffered.

When you take it, give me a slice.

††††††††††† And they nearly jailed a chap for saying

The job was mal hecho; and they caught poor old Pasti

In Venice, and were like to pull all his teeth out;

And they had a bow-shot at Borso

As he was going down the Grand Canal in his gondola

††††††††††† (the nice kind with 26 barbs on it)

And they said: Novvy'll sell any man

††††††††††† for the sake of Count Giacomo.

(Piccino, the one that fell out of the window).

 

And they came at us with their ecclesiastical legates

Until the eagle lit on his tent pole.

And he said: The Romans would have called that an augury

E gradment li antichi cacaler romanj

††††††††††† davano fed a quisti annutii,

All I want you to do is to follow the orders,

They've got a bigger army,

††††††††††† but there are more men in this camp.

 

The Latin just repeats the English...

Sigismundo makes a nasty joke about the number

of pederasts in the Pope's army.

 

Funny coincidence dept: not only did the Cantos

end up, like Sigismundo's temple, unfinished,

but Sig and Ez both got condemned by the most

powerful force in the Occident at thier time --

Sig by the Vatican, Ez by the US govt........