Z-siteA Companion to the Works of Louis Zukofsky
Barely and widely (1958)
Corman, Cid. “Love—In These Words.” MAPS 5 (1973): 26-54 [comments on the entire book in sequence].
Barely and widely
30 March 1956
161.5 “barely / twelve”: PZ would have turned 12 on 22 Oct. 1955; according to Scroggins this phrase is quoted from a review of a PZ performance (Bio 292).
161.8 “widely / published / throughout / a long / career”: LZ published the poem “The Guests” (CSP 153-154) in the March 1956 issue of Poetry, and the Contributors note remarks: “Louis Zukofsky is known best for his work in the Objectivist movement, both as a poet and as a leader. He has been widely published throughout a long career” (382).
#1 “This is after all vacation. All that”
19 June 1956
162.23 hautboys: oboes.
#2 “You who were made for this music”
20 Dec. 1952; slight rev. 19-21 June 1956
LZ’s notebook indicates the initial version of this poem is dated 29 Nov. 1952, which he then heavily reworked into its final form on 20 Dec. 1952 (HRC 3.13).
#3 “The green leaf that will outlast the winter”
1 Jan. 1957
#4 A Valentine
2 Feb. 1957
#5 The Heights
25-27 Feb. 1957 / Colorado Review (Spring 1958)
Title The Heights: Brooklyn Heights, the area near the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge where the Zukofskys lived almost continuously from 1942-1964 at addresses on Columbia Heights and Willow Street. From Brooklyn Heights one has a good view of New York harbor and the southern end of Manhattan. See #8 “This year” below.
#6 “Send regards to Ida the bitch”
9 May 1957
1 July-4 Aug. 1957 / Poetry (June 1958)
On the second and final draft of this poem (HRC 16.1), LZ listed the following dates and places from his European trip, which presumably indicate when and where he worked on the poem: July 1/57 Stratford to Windermere – July 4/57 Windermere to Edinburgh – Aug. 4/57 Rapallo (Hotel Riviera Splendida) – Siena-Rome Aug 7/57.
Title Stratford-on-Avon: Shakespeare’s birthplace, a pilgrimage site and tourist trap in the southern Midlands of England, which the Zukofskys visited during their summer 1957 trip to Europe (see “4 Other Countries” below). Worth reading in relation to this poem is Henry James’ long story, “The Birthplace” (1903), which is a send-up of the commercialization of Shakespeare and particularly of Stratford-on-Avon; LZ gives a page of quotations from this story in Bottom (99-100).
166.8 Anne Hathaway’s cottage at Shottery: the family home of Shakespeare’s wife is an Elizabethan farmhouse in the village of Shottery, down the road from Stratford.
166.9 Mary Arden’s house: another Tudor farmhouse, formerly the home of Shakespeare’s mother in Wilmcote.
166.27 No tall perch, Helena…: through 167.16 refers to and quotes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Helena is described as tall, or at least taller than Hermia; see quotation at 166.32.
166.28 Bard’s or Swan’s: both conventional designations for Shakespeare, the latter from Ben Jonson’s “To the Memory of My Beloved the Author, Mr. William Shakespeare” included in the First Folio:
Sweet Swan of Avon! what a sight it were
To see thee in our waters yet appear,
And make those flights upon the banks of Thames,
That so did take Eliza and our James!
166.32 we, Hermia / Have with our neelds…: through 167.3 from Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream III.ii, where Helena and Hermia accuse each other of treachery:
Helena: Injurious Hermia! most ungrateful maid!
Have you conspir’d, have you with these contriv’d
To bait me with this foul derision?
Is all the counsel that we two have shar’d,
The sister-vows, the hours that we have spent,
When we have chid the hasty-footed time
For parting us, O! is it all forgot?
All school-days’ friendship, childhood innocence?
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
Have with our neelds [needles] created both one flower,
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,
Both warbling of one song, both in one key,
As if our hands, our sides, voices, and minds,
Had been incorporate. So we grew together,
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
But yet an union in partition;
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem;
So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart;
Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,
Due but to one, and crowned with one crest.
And will you rent our ancient love asunder,
To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
Hermia: Now I perceive that she hath made compare
Between our statures; she hath urged her height;
And with her personage, her tall personage,
Her height, forsooth, she hath prevail’d with him.
And are you grown so high in his esteem;
Because I am so dwarfish and so low?
167.6 The course of true love never did run smooth…: this and the next few lines from Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream I.i:
Lysander: Ay me! for aught that ever I could read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth;
But, either it was different in blood,—
Hermia: O cross! too high to be enthrall’d to low.
Lysander: Or else misgraffed in respect of years,—
Hermia: O spite! too old to be engag’d to young.
Lysander: Or else it stood upon the choice of friends,—
Hermia: O hell! to choose love by another’s eye.
Lysander: Or, if there were a sympathy in choice,
War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it,
Making it momentany as a sound,
Swift as a shadow, short as any dream,
Brief as the lightning in the collied night,
That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
And ere a man hath power to say, ‘Behold!’
The jaws of darkness do devour it up:
So quick bright things come to confusion.
Hermia: If then true lovers have been ever cross’d,
It stands as an edict in destiny:
Then let us teach our trial patience,
Because it is a customary cross,
As due to love as thoughts and dreams and sighs,
Wishes and tears, poor fancy’s followers.
167.11 Until / Theseus judged…: from Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream IV.i, when Theseus and entourage discover the lovers asleep in the woods:
Theseus: No doubt they rose up early to observe
The rite of May, and, hearing our intent,
Came here in grace of our solemnity.
But speak, Egeus, is not this the day
That Hermia should give answer of her choice?
Egeus: It is, my lord.
Theseus: Go, bid the huntsmen wake them with their horns. [Horns and shout within. Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia, and Helena, wake and start up.]
Good morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is past:
Begin these wood-birds but to couple now?
166.20 the Birthplace: the house where Shakespeare was born is located on Henley Street (see 166.10) in Stratford. As LZ mentions, the gardens in back have been planted with various flowers and trees mentioned in Shakespeare’s works.
166.21 Good Friend for Jesus sake forbeare: the epitaph on the slab over Shakespeare’s grave inside the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford reads:
Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare,
To dig the dust enclosed here.
Blessed be the man that spares these stones,
And cursed be he that moves my bones.
167.25 full-blown polychrome / bust: on the wall near Shakespeare’s grave is a colored bust in relief showing him in the act of writing put up by his family.
167.29 Anne Hathaway’s burden—: this line appears to refer to the common assumption that the Shakespeares had a difficult marriage, in large part based on Shakespeare’s will, in which his wife is given the “second-best bed,” although current scholarship generally does not accept this negative interpretation. On the other hand, it may simply refer to the fact that Anne Hathaway outlived her husband by some years, dying in 1623, by which time the monument to Shakespeare with the above mentioned bust had been erected.
167.30 the new Queen’s…: Queen Elizabeth II planted a rose-tree in the garden at Shakespeare’s birthplace (see 166.20) to mark her coronation in June 1953.
168.13 Can no longer / Live by thinking: from As You Like It V.ii.50, spoken by Orlando in his impatience to publicly declare his love for Rosalind.
168.16 “That may not be bad / If it turns out well”: echoing Shakespeare’s All’s Well that Ends Well.
#8 “This year”
22 Feb. 1958 / Poetry (June 1958)
168.7 Washington’s Birthday: 22 February.
168.12 Governors Island: island in New York harbor near Brooklyn, to the east of the Statue of Liberty; until very recently it was a military installation with various fortifications and not accessible to the public.The view here is presumably from Brooklyn Heights; see #5 “The Heights” above.
168.11 Staten / Island: large island that forms the western entrance to New York harbor.
3 April 1958
#10 Another Ashtray
8 April 1958
#11 Head Lines
13 July 1958
As the poem indicates, this was constructed from an issue of the San Francisco Chronicle, when LZ was teaching a summer course at San Francisco State College. LZ sent the poem to Cid Corman the following day, although his title does not capitalize “lines” (HRC 17.8).
171.7 Krushchev / won’t debate / satellites: Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971) leader of the Soviet Union from 1953-1964 (see “A”-13.265.7-9 and 284.10f). The space race was initiated with the launch of the first satellite, Sputnik 1, by the USSR on 4 Oct. 1957, which was followed by Sputnik 2 on 3 Nov. 1957 and then countered by the US with Explorer 1 on 31 Jan. 1958.
#12 4 Other Countries
Summer 1957-1 Sept. 1958 / Texas Quarterly (Autumn 1962)
Corman, Cid. “Meeting in Firenze.” Sagetrieb 1.1 (1982): 120-124.
Twitchell-Waas, Jeffrey. For detailed discussion of select passages, see Z-Notes commentaries on “A”-17 [on Williams], on LZ, Williams & Pound [on Pound] and LZ and Henry Adams [on Adams].
Zukofsky, Paul. “Why 4 Other Countries.” PEPC Library (2008).
This poem is an account of the Zukofskys’ trip to Europe from late June to mid-Sept. 1957; the four countries are England, France, Italy and Switzerland.
171.1 Merry, La Belle / antichi, tilling—: this opening alludes to the four countries visited and the three main languages of the Zukofskys’ European sojourn. Merry as in Merry Old England, La Belle, Fr. the beautiful, antichi, It. ancient or the ancients, and tilling referring to the peaceful agricultural Switzerland—the word appears twice on 196 (Scroggins Bio 283). In a 15 Oct. 1958 letter to Lorine Niedecker, LZ translates antichi as antiques, remarking that this is what he saw on store signs in Italy (HRC 20.4).
171.3 of pastime and / good company: echoes a famous song composed by King Henry VIII, often called “The King’s Ballad,” whose opening lines are: “Pastime with good company / I love and shall until I die…” (Corman, “Love—In These Words,” 40-41). LZ repeats these lines, with a slight variation, as the closing lines of the poem.
171.14 Tours: city in central France on the Loire River.
172.1 La Gloire in the black…:
172.5 A lavender plough / in Windermere…: Windermere is in the Lake District of northern England near where William Wordsworth lived. On this and the following stanza, LZ wrote to Lorine Niedecker in an undated 1958 letter: “Innocent Louis a symbolist? Nah! Nah! The J. W. [Jonathan Williams] quote: are objects of the French + English landscape, exact; french blue is a gray <(powder)> blue sorta like what they call delft [?]. Anyway, the words are no more Symbolic than the objects they stand for – + what endless worlds in ’emselves they mean. What infinite suggestion of all life only our minute genius can chirp” (HRC 20.4).
172.12 Angers: capital of Anjou province in France, near the Loire River.
172.30 Poitiers: city in central France, where Eleanor of Aquitaine had her court in the 12th century and center of troubadour culture.
173.5 Arc de triomphe: in Paris.
173.7 madeleine memories: referring to Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past, which is quoted at “A”-18.407.23-25.
173.8 Ouest: Fr. the West.
173.25 Cake Tower of / Babel / that is / Nice:
174.2 Lascaux: site of the most famous caves containing Upper Paleolithic paintings located in the Dordogne area of southern France.
174.4 Eyzies: another area in the French Dordogne with numerous caves containing Paleolithic remains, including paintings, but best known for the discovery of Cro-Magnon skeletons; apparently LZ visited several of the caves (Davenport 110).
174.6 Périgueux: capital of the Dordogne department in southwest France at the heart of what was troubadour country.
174.10 merde at St. Front: merde = Fr. shit. St. Front is the main cathedral of Périgueux, which is based on a Byzantine design and some believe copied from a Constantinople church, which perhaps explains the mention of Istanbul at 174.12.
174.14 Tower / of Vésone: a Gallo-Roman structure in the center of Périgueux originally the central part of a temple.
174.31 arena’s ruin: Roman amphitheatre in Périgueux, which is comparatively small.
175.3 Bertran de Born / and Girault de Borneil: troubadour poets of Provence, France. Bertran de Born (c.1140-1214), Provencal noble and poet from the Périgueux area, famously appears in Dante’s Inferno (XXVIII.118-126) and EP’s “Sestina: Altaforte” and “Near Perigord.” Girault de Borneil, also spelled Bornehl, (c.1162-c.1199), troubadour poet, also from the general area of Périgueux, is mentioned in Dante, Purgatorio XXVI.120 and De Vulgari Eloquentia. LZ includes a free homophonic rendition of a couple lines by Borneil in “A”-23.558.23-24.
175.9 The vowels / abide / in consonants…: from the Book of Bahir (Sefer ha-Bahir) among the earliest works of medieval Cabbala, first published in the 12th century. The text is concerned with the mysticism of letters; written Hebrew lacks vowels. LZ’s source is Ernest Müller, History of Jewish Mysticism (1949); also qtd. Bottom (421).
176.14 St. Michael.…: Mont-Saint-Michel, the spectacular fortified Benedictine abbey on a small isle off the coast of Normandy and subject of the early chapters of Henry Adams’ Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres (1904, 1913). The legend of the monastery’s founding is that St. Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, was commanded to do so in a dream by the Archangel Michael, which he initially ignored until Michael returned and bore a hole with his finger in the bishop’s skull. LZ may be referring at 175.32f to the fact that the abbey was turned into a prison during the French Revolution, which it remained for over half a century.
176.24 Merveille: La Merveille (Fr. the marvel) is the imposing wall on the north side of Mont-Saint-Michel facing out toward the Atlantic, behind which is situated the cloister and refectory.
176.19 Up to the mount / where the Druids / in white surplice / sacrificed: supposedly the site of Mont-Saint-Michel was originally the site of Druid altars dedicated to the worship of the sun.
177.5 Master / Aristotle’s eternal / whiteness of / a day: refers to a passage from Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics I.6 (1096a-b): “And one might ask the question, what in the world they mean by ‘a thing itself,’ if (as is the case) in ‘man himself’ and in a particular man the account of man is one and the same. For in so far as they are man, they will in no respect differ; and if this is so, neither will ‘good itself’ and particular goods, in so far as they are good. But again it will not be good any the more for being eternal, since that which lasts long is no whiter than that which perishes in a day” (trans. W.D. Ross); see 12.237.25; also qtd. Bottom 61, 335.
177.13 Pontorson: town on the Normandy coast of France near Mont-Saint-Michel.
177.30 Perilous / Castle: in Arthurian romances, designates a number of castles so perhaps here simply generic for romantic medieval fortresses.
178.21 Saint Cecelia: or Cecilia, patron saint of music, whose legend is the subject of “The Second Nun’s Tale” in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.
178.30 Quimper: city in Brittany, France. Here LZ is referring to Quimper faïence, hand-painted pottery with colorful traditional Breton designs (thanks to Abigail Lang for noting this).
179.1 Bede’s tomb: the Venerable Bede (673-735), author of the Ecclesiastical History of the English People (731). Although originally buried at the monastery at Jarrow, Northumbria where he spent most of his life, he was later reburied in the Durham cathedral.
179.2 Chartres’ / two towers: the gothic cathedral of Notre-Dame at Chartres, southwest of Paris, has two massive mismatched towers. Henry Adams discusses the history of these two towers in some detail in Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres (67-74).
179.6 Leoninus / to / Josquin: Léonin (fl. 1160-1180), French composer active in Paris and possibly the earliest polyphonic composers. Leoninus also was a poet and supposed inventor of Leonine verse, who may in fact be the same person. Josquin Després or Desprez (c.1450-1521), Flemish composer, the finest master of polyphonic vocal music of his time.
179.26 Middle / Sea: Mediterranean < L. medius, middle + terra, land. Middle Sea is the literal designation for the Mediterranean in many Western languages, e.g. L. mare internum, Ger. das Mittelmeer.
179.32 via Marsala 12: EP’s address in Rapallo, on the Italian Riviera, when LZ visited him in 1933. At the time the Zukofskys made their 1957 trip, EP was still incarcerated in St. Elizabeths.
180.3 Gino Pasterino: presumably a Rapallo neighbor.
180.29 That song / is the kiss…: these lines through 181.9 are included in LZ’s tribute to WCW in “A”-17.386, along with another passage at 190.23-191.3.
181.11 Nicollà Pisano’s / pulpit: (c.1220-1278) Italian sculptor, one of whose major works is the design for the pulpit in Pisa’s Baptistery, which depicts scenes from the life of Jesus and the Last Judgment.
182.14 Cimabue: (c.1230-1302?), Italian artist whose major authenticated work is a mosaic in the apse of the Pisa Cathedral.
182.25 Duccio’s / chromatic story…: Duccio di Buoninsegna (c.1255/60-1319), Sienese painter, whose most important work is the huge Maestà for the high altar of the Cathedral but now in the Cathedral Museum in Siena, which includes numerous panels depicting scenes from the life of Christ.
183.17 Museo / Opera del Duomo: the Duomo Cathedral museum in Florence.
183.29 Chapel / in Santa Croce: a major church in Florence, several of whose chapels have fresco’s by Giotto (1267-1337) depicting the life of St. Francis.
184.1 Fra Angelico’s brother…: Fra Angelico (c.1387-1455), Italian Renaissance painter and Dominican friar, who for many years lived at the convent of San Marco, where he decorated the cells of the friars and other walls with numerous frescos.
185.9 San Miniato…: the famous romanesque church of San Miniato al Monte, in the hills south of the Arno River offering a splendid view of Florence on the other side. The name Florence means flowering or blossoming, but quite likely the “flower / structure” refers to the Duomo, which dominates the view from San Miniato and whose proper name is Cattedrale di Santa Maria del FIore (Cathedral of Our Lady of the Flower), while the dome itself can easily be seen as a flower bud.
185.14 Masaccio: (1401-1428?), Florentine painter, whose most famous works are frescos in the Brancacci Chapel of the Santa Maria del Carmine located on the south side of the Arno. During the Zukofskys’ visit to Florence, Cid Corman, who happened to be spending a few months there, acted as host. He recalls that they visited San Miniato on the Italian holiday of Ferragosto, which is 15 Aug.—it was hot and crowded so the Zukofskys begged off Corman’s suggestion that they stop on the way back to see the Masaccio frescos (“Meeting in Firenze,” 122-123).
185.28 the Fall / Before / the Decline…: alluding to Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (see quotation at 186.18 and note at 187.12).
186.8 Forum: the Roman Forum; there are several churches built on the site of the ruins, which were excavated in the 19th century.
186.18 Henry / qualmishly / shy…: Henry Adams, whose The Education of Henry Adams is being evoked in the following lines; from Chap. VI: Rome (1859-1860):
“Rome could not be fitted into an orderly, middle-class, Bostonian, systematic scheme of evolution. No law of progress applied to it. Not even time-sequences—the last refuge of helpless historians—had value for it. The Forum no more led to the Vatican than the Vatican to the Forum. Rienzi, Garibaldi, Tiberius Gracchus, Aurelian might be mixed up in any relation of time, along with a thousand more, and never lead to a sequence. The great word Evolution had not yet, in 1860, made a new religion of history, but the old religion had preached the same doctrine for a thousand years without finding in the entire history of Rome anything but flat contradiction.
Of course both priests and evolutionists bitterly denied this heresy, but what they affirmed or denied in 1860 had very little importance indeed for 1960. Anarchy lost no ground meanwhile. The problem became only the more fascinating. Probably it was more vital in May, 1860, than it had been in October, 1764, when the idea of writing the Decline and Fall of the city first started to the mind of Gibbon, ‘in the close of the evening, as I sat musing in the Church of the Zoccolanti or Franciscan Friars, while they were singing Vespers in the Temple of Jupiter, on the ruins of the Capitol.’ Murray’s Handbook had the grace to quote this passage from Gibbon’s Autobiography, which led Adams more than once to sit at sunset on the steps of the Church of Santa Maria di Ara Coeli, curiously wondering that not an inch had been gained by Gibbon, —or all the historians since, —towards explaining the Fall. The mystery remained unsolved; the charm remained intact. Two great experiments of western civilisation had left there the chief monuments of their failure, and nothing proved that the city might not still survive to express the failure of a third.
The young man had no idea what he was doing. The thought of posing for a Gibbon never entered his mind. He was a tourist, even to the depths of his sub-consciousness, and it was well for him that he should be nothing else, for even the greatest of men cannot sit with dignity, ‘in the close of evening, among the ruins of the Capitol,’ unless they have something quite original to say about it. Tacitus could do it; so could Michael Angelo; and so, at a pinch, could Gibbon, though in figure hardly heroic; but, in sum, none of them could say very much more than the tourist, who went on repeating to himself the eternal question: —Why! Why!! Why!!!—as his neighbor, the blind beggar, might do, sitting next him, on the church steps. No one ever had answered the question to the satisfaction of any one else; yet every one who had either head or heart, felt that sooner or later he must make up his mind what answer to accept. Substitute the word America for the word Rome, and the question became personal.”
186.21 Chaim / (life): as LZ indicates, a Heb. name meaning life.
186.26 Adam / (earth): the Heb. etymology of Adam is contentious and most often taken to mean man or human, but of earth or earth-born is another strong candidate. Evidently LZ is alluding to Henry Adams’ anti-Semitism in this passage.
187.8 repeating / Like his neighbor…: see quotation at 186.18.
187.12 Ara Coeli / Altar of Heaven: the church of Santa Maria d’Aracoeli stands on Capitol Hill in Rome overlooking the Forum and Palatine. See quotation above at 186.18 where Henry Adams gives an account of sitting on the steps of the church, which evokes the epiphanic moment when Edward Gibbon conceived his great history. The Santa Maria d’Aracoeli is on the site of the Temple of Jupiter, which supposedly is also the site where the Sibyl of the Tiber announced the coming of Christ to Emperor Augustus. Throughout The Education, Adams repeatedly mentions the Ara Coeli, or more precisely this early visit on the steps, as an image of the protagonist contemplating the ruins and ultimate incoherence of history.
187.17 column of / Trajan: located in the Roman Forum.
187.22 Victoria / & Albert: major London museum specializing in applied and decorative arts, which includes a full-scale plaster copy of Trajan’s Column in two pieces.
188.5 Pantheon’s dome…: the great imitation Greek temple in Rome. “Coffers” here refers to sunken square panels decorating the interior of the temple’s dome.
188.18 Christians / in the catacombs…: catacombs of the early Christians in Rome, which were often decorated with depictions of Christ as the Good Shepherd (188.27); see “A”-12.185.23.
189.12 baths of Diocletian: largest of the public bath complexes in Imperial Rome; part of the National Museum of Rome is now housed in its remains. In Bottom LZ also indicates his appreciation of the “Native Roman sculpture, tile, and wall-painting” (184) he saw at the Baths of Diocetian and elsewhere in Rome.
189.17 Farnesina / stuccoes…: Roman wall stuccoes depicting idyllic scenes, which were excavated from beneath the Renaissance Villa Farnesina on the outskirts of Rome; the stuccoes are in the National Museum of Rome.
189.24 Livia’s / Villa Ad Gallinas: located in northern Rome, this villa belonged to Emperor Augustus’ consort Livia Drusilla. The villa’s famous garden frescos, however, were moved to the National Museum of Rome.
190.15 San Vitale: the major Byzantine church in Ravenna, contains remarkable mosaics.
190.23 Galla Placidia: (c. 390-450) daughter of Roman Emperor Theodorius I, wife of the Emperor Constantius and mother of Emperor Valentinian III, but here the primary reference is to her famous Byzantine-style mausoleum near San Vitale in Ravenna. LZ’s “the gold that shines / in the dark” echoes EP’s “Gold fades in the gloom, / Under the blue-black roof, Placidia’s” (Canto 21/98; see also Canto 11/51, 17/78: “In the gloom, the gold gathers the light against it”). This passage in included in LZ’s tribute to WCW, “A”-17.386.
190.29 crying / peacock is immortal: alludes to the passage in EP, Pisan Cantos where Pound recalls William Butler Yeats composing out loud: “proide ov his oy-ee / as indeed he had, and perdurable / a great peacock aere perennius” (Canto 83/ 533-534).
191.5 Bell Tower / in Venice…: on the central square, Piazza San Marco, near the basilica (191.14).
192.13 Banda Municipale: It. municipal (music) band.
192.14 Boccherini’s / “Menuetto”: Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805), Italian composer and virtuoso cellist, best known for a minuet from one of his string quartets.
192.31 Jesu Lavoratore…: It. Working Jesus. Apparently this is the church, Gesu lavoratore, finished in 1954 in Marghera, an industrial area on the mainland immediately opposite the main island of Venice.
193.1 The faded / fresco / in San Zeno / of Verona: San Zeno is the major Romanesque church of Verona. The fresco is also mentioned in Bottom: “where the fresco says, tho paint fades, there are leaves unclouded by thought” (184). The statue of San Zeno (193.18f) is in the tympanum over the main doorway, whose doors are decorated with square panels of bronze reliefs depicting biblical scenes, which LZ here compares with Chinese (Han) style. This church and particularly its doors was a favorite of EP and is mentioned frequently in the Cantos (e.g. 91/614).
193.28 Ghiberti’s gates: the doors of the Baptistry in Florence created by Lorenzo Ghiberti (1378-1455), which were dubbed by Michelangelo the “Gates of Paradise.”
194.1 Montecchio…: Montecchio Maggiore is a town not far from Verona where the rival families depicted in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the “star-cross’d” lovers, each had castles.
194.15 Giulietta’s Tomb: located in a cloister in Verona next to the church where Romeo and Juliet were married.
194.32 Adige: river flowing through Verona.
195.1 Roman theatre: the theatre, as opposed to the Roman arena, is just across the Adige from the main center of the city.
195.6 Gens Valeria: L. family or clan of Valeria, see next note.
195.8 Catullus: Gaius Valerius Catullus (c.84-c.54 BC), Roman poet from Verona. LZ translated one of his poems in 1939 (see CSP 88-89) and would shortly begin homophonically translating his entire works with CZ.
195.9 Sirmio: Catullus owned a villa at Sirmio on Lake Gardia near Verona, about which he wrote a famous poem (Carmina 31), quoted at 195.11. Another of EP’s sacred places; see Cantos 76/458, 78/478.
195.11 o Lydiae lacus: L. o Lydian lake; from Catullus, Carmina 31 about Sirmio.
195.18 the innocent / pyramid of red and blue…: these lines refer to Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper in Milan, and LZ told a number of correspondents how immensely impressed he was by seeing Leonardo’s work despite its damaged state. In a 15 Oct. 1958 letter to Lorine Niedecker, LZ says that the “pyramid” refers to the composition of Christ in the painting (HRC 20.4)
195.27 Milano’s Sforzesco: the Castello Sforzesco, the large fortress and residence of the Sforza Dukes of Milan. According to Corman, the “One work of art / to a room” in the Castello museum is Micheangelo’s Rondanini Pietá (“Love—In These Words” 52).
195.31 Luini: Bernardino Luini (1480-1532), Milanese painter, follower of Leonardo da Vinci. LZ mentions Luini in “Poem beginning ‘The’,” echoing the artist’s appearance in EP’s “Hugh Selwyn Mauberley,” where he appears as an exemplar of a refined but limited artist.
196.8 Pilatus: Mount Pilatus faces Lucerne, Switzerland from across the lake. Strictly speaking Pilatus is a massif with several peaks, which is no doubt why LZ refers to it as a “wave.”
196.20 Berne: Bern is the capital of Switzerland, with its well-preserved medieval old town situated in a loop of the Aare River.
196.29 Of travel’s / sickness…: LZ recounted that the boat trip back from Europe was very stormy and the entire family was sick (letter dated 30 Sept. 1957 to Lorine Niedecker; HRC 20.4).
197.6 Confucian egg…: this quip presumably refers to the Chinese preserved egg (thousand-year-old egg or century egg) and is almost certainly made by PZ, who has long had a fondness for Asian food.
198.12 Colorado’s Red Rocks…: as LZ says, a natural amphitheatre outside Denver created from two red sandstone monoliths called Ship Rock and Creation Rock.