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On Sun, 17 Jun 2012 13:06:13 -0400, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
>I have not read about the questioning of "fabbro" despite having had to
reread masses of the early stuff to write the reception article for
Chinitz's book. I'm fascinated. But it has generally been read, I think, not
as the better poet but as the better craftsman, a reference to the editing.
The line is from Purgatorio--now I want to check the source. But do you know
what they thought he did mean?

Besides several meanings for fabbro it seems that miglior can be translated
as either better or best.

The wikipedia page for TWL has the following (I played a part in this so I
hope you give it more  credit than an ordinary quote from wikipedia):

Following the epigraph [to TWL] is a dedication (added in a 1925
republication) that reads "For Ezra Pound: il miglior fabbro" Here Eliot is
both quoting line 117 of Canto XXVI of Dante's Purgatorio, the second
cantica of The Divine Comedy, where Dante defines the troubadour Arnaut
Daniel as "the best smith of the mother tongue" and also Pound's title of
chapter 2 of his The Spirit of Romance (1910) where he translated the phrase
as "the better craftsman."[22] This dedication was originally written in ink
by Eliot in the 1922 Boni & Liveright paperback edition of the poem
presented to Pound; it was subsequently included in future editions.[23]


Page images of The Spirit of Romance are online.

Chapter II entitled "IL MIGLIOR FABBRO" is on page 13
and on page 14 is:
   "This one whom I point out with my finger was
   the better craftsman in the mother tongue."

http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015008147608;page=root;view=image;size=100;seq=30;num=14

http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015008147608;page=root;view=image;size=100;seq=29;num=13

Regards,
   Rick Parker