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USURERS NOT GENTLEMAN by Peter Maurin AND CANTO XLV By Ezra Pound - Catholic Worker odds & ends
September 10th, 2008
12:28 am

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USURERS NOT GENTLEMAN by Peter Maurin AND CANTO XLV By Ezra Pound
The Prophets of Israel
and the Fathers of the Church
forbid lending money at interest.
Lending money at interest
is called usury
by he Prophets of Israel
and the Fathers of the Church.
Usurers were not considered
to be Gentlemen
when people used to listen
to the Prophets of Israel
and the Fathers of the Church.
When people used to listen
to the Prophets of Israel
and the Fathers of the Church
they could not see anything gentle
in trying to live
on the sweat of somebody else's brow
by lending money at interest.

Canto XLV by Ezra Pound

WITH USURA
With usura hath no man a house of good stone...
wool comes not to market
sheep bringeth no gain with usura etc.

In 1956 Kieran Dugan who later became an became an editor of THE CATHOLIC WORKER took me to St. Elizabeth's Hospital in the District of Columbia to meet the poet Ezra Pound. Our entre was that I was at that time an editor of THE CATHOLIC WORKER and Pound was known to be interested in the economic theories of Peter Maurin. There were a lot of visitors that day so we had little opportunity to speak to the great man and we spent most of our time there talking to Pound's wife, Dorothy Shakespeare. A good thing too because what did an uneducated nobody like me have to say to such a genius? I do, however, treasure that meeting in spite of the fact that I was aware of Pound's anti-semitism with which neither then nor now did I have any sympathy. I read somewhere that when Allen Ginsberg visited Pound in Venice at the end of his life he "apoligized" to him for this prejudice. Just before we left Pound scribbled some lines on a small piece of paper, handed it to me and saying that it was the name and address of a woman in California who was "anti-Communist." Why he thought I would be interested in contacting her I don't know. I wasn't and didn't. RS

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