Tuesday 12 November 2019

The sunday poem: From Canto xlv

Usura was the name given to lending at interest, which in the Catholic Middle Ages was a mortal sin. Pound, a follower of the amateur economist CH Douglas, whose theories of social credit gained a wide popular following between the wars certainly believed this also. His economics have been much debated by people who know nothing of economic science and others who have little sensitivity to poetry.

Anthony Cronin

With usura hath no man a house of good stone

each block cut smooth and well-fitting

that design might cover their face...

No picture is made to endure nor to live with

but it is made to sell and sell quickly

with usura, sin against nature,

is thy bread evermore of stale rags

is thy bread dry as paper,

with no mountain wheat, no strong flour

with usura the line grows thick

with usura is no clear demarcation

and no man can find site for his dwelling.

Stone-cutter is kept from his stone

weaver is kept from his loom...

Usura rusteth the chisel

it rusteth the craft and the craftsman

it gnaweth the thread in the loom...

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