Pound begins Canto 29 with a reference to a cosmology and a tribute to light (lux). This description is consonant with the metaphysics of light proposed by the thirteenth century philosopher Grosseteste, whose thinking was familiar to Pound. According to Grosseteste light is from God and is the basis of matter and form. Any dimming of light in the cosmos indicates a decline and a decadence in matter owing to the privation of light. This view constitutes Pound’s notion of forma; forma is that something which produces “ideas,” especially “ideas in action,” which is Pound’s definition of history.
Then Pound presents his views on the natures of women and love. Because of their biology and their beauty of face and figure, women are natural lures of men; hence they can be agents of enhancement to men or agents of destruction. Pound presents the latter type in Pernella, the concubine of Count Aldobrando Orsini of Verona. Having given birth to two male children, she wishes her second to be the heir to her lover’s estate despite the fact that Aldobrando has an heir in his grown son, Niccolò Orsini, Count of Petigliano, a gifted mercenary soldier. Believing that Niccolò’s courage will get him killed in battle in the near future, Pernella murders her first child in order to advance the second. Seeing into her ambition, Niccolò kills her second child. Foiled in her scheme, Pernella through false communication starts a war. For her treason Niccolò kills her.
Next Pound introduces the troubadours—those aristocratic poet-musicians whose...
(The entire section is 653 words.)