The Ward M. Canaday Center

for Special Collections

The University of Toledo

Finding Aid

 Mary de Rachewiltz Collection, 1973-1975



Size: .5 linear feet

Provenance: received from Mary de Rachewiltz in March 1987.

Access: Open

Copyright: The literary rights to this collection are assumed to rest with the person(s) responsible for the production of the particular items within the collection, or with their heirs or assigns.  Researchers bear full legal responsibility for the acquisition to publish from any part of said collection per Title 17, United States Code.  The Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections may reserve the right to intervene as intermediary at its own discretion.

Completed by: Paul Gifford, April 1987.


Biographical Sketch

Born July 9, 1925, in Bressanone, Italy, to Ezra Pound and the violinist Olga Rudge, Mary de Rachewiltz was raised in the South Tyrol by a peasant couple. Her first language was the Tyrolese dialect of German spoken by her adoptive parents, but she honed her linguistic skills with the Italian and French taught to her in school and by the English spoken by her natural parents. Under her father’s guidance, she translated one chapter from Frobenius’s Erlebte Erdteile and excerpts from ‘Noh’ or Accomplishment by Ernest Fenellosa and Ezra Pound; these were published in 1942.


She married Boris de Rachewiltz, a half—Russian Egyptologist of noble lineage age, in 1946. Two children, Sigifredo Walter and Patrizia, followed in 1947 and 1949.  Her time since then has been occupied with raising their family, restoring their residence, Brunnenburg, a medieval castle near Merano, and studying and translating the works of her father.


Mrs. de Rachewiltz is Curator of the Ezra Pound Archive, Center for the Study of Ezra Pound and His Contemporaries, Beinecke Rare Book Room and Manuscript Library, Yale University. She was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute from 1973 to 1975 and has since given lectures at many colleges and universities in the United States. Although she was born and has lived in Italy all her life, she holds American citizenship. From January to March 1987, Mary de Rachewiltz served as the first Canaday Fellow at the University of Toledo.


Selected Bibliography


Translations of Works by Ezra Pound


 Catai. Milan: AII’lnsegna Del Pesce d’Oro, 1959.


Alcuni Nobili Drammi dal Giappone: da Manoscritti di Ernest Fenellosa, scelti e finiti da          Ezra Pound. Milan: AII’lnsegna del Pesce d’Oro, 1961.


II Teatro Giapponese No di Ernest Fenellosa e Ezra Pound. Florence: Vallec—

         chi, 1966.


Opere Scelte. Milan: Arnoldo Mondadori, 1970.


Cantos Scelti. Milan: Arnoldo Mondadori, 1973.


Le Nuvole di Pisa. Milan: V. Scheiwiller, 1973.


I Cantos. Milan: Arnoldo Mondadori, 1985.


Poetry and Prose


Il Diapason. Milan: Lerici—Scheiwiller, 1965.

Di Reflesso. Milan: AII’lnsegna del Pesce d’Oro, 1966.


Discretions. Boston: Little, Brown, 1971. (In Italian as: Discrezione: Storia

         di un Educazione. Milan: Rusconi, 1973).


Process in Verso. Milan: AII’lnsegna del Pesce d’Oro, 1973.



Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of eight notebooks and ten leaves containing translations of the Cantos made while Mary de Rachewiltz was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute from 1973 to 1975. The sole exception is the ten leaves containing Canto 76, which appears to have been written in the 1950's. This material seems to be a preliminary version of that which was ultimately published in 1985, since the text of these manuscripts frequently varies from the final edition. The serious student may find it worthwhile to compare these versions.


In addition to the Cantos themselves, the collection also contains Rachewiltz’s comments, bibliographical references, and marginal explications. The comments (Commento) are written in a separate notebook and form a separate section in the published edition. Bibliographical references, either to critical studies or to the original sources used by Pound, are scattered throughout the notebooks. In some cases, photocopies of those studies and sources are placed with the translations. Marginal explications include quotations from other works by Pound or from Pound’s sources, as well as Rachewiltz’s own comments.


As Rachewiltz notes in the preface to I Cantos, she used Pound’s original manuscript versions as the source for her translations of Cantos 31 to 71. She does not describe the sources for the later Cantos. Since she had Pound’s own library at her disposal, because she has spent the past forty years studying Pound’s writings, and not least because she is the poet’s daughter, her translations are as authoritative as no others.


Folder List









Adams Cantos (LXII—LXXI)



 Pisan Cantos





























Last Updated: 6/27/22