Additional Poems By Ezra Pound


Additional Poems By Ezra Pound Essay, Research Paper

Sestina: Altaforte

Loquitur: En Bertrans de Born.

Dante Alighieri put this man in hell for that he was a

stirrer-up of strife.


Judge ye!

Have I dug him up again?

The scene in at his castle, Altaforte. "Papiols" is his jongleur.

"The Leopard," the device of Richard (C?ur de Lion).


Damn it all! all this our South stinks peace.

You whoreson dog, Papiols, come! Let’s to music!

I have no life save when the swords clash.

But ah! when I see the standards gold, vair, purple, opposing

And the broad fields beneath them turn crimson,

Then howl I my heart nigh mad with rejoicing.


In hot summer have I great rejoicing

When the tempests kill the earth’s foul peace,

And the lightnings from black heav’n flash crimson,

And the fierce thunders roar me their music

And the winds shriek through the clouds mad, opposing,

And through all the riven skies God’s swords clash.


Hell grant soon we hear again the swords clash!

And the shrill neighs of destriers in battle rejoicing,

Spiked breast to spiked breast opposing!

Better one hour’s stour than a year’s peace

With fat boards, bawds, wine and frail music!

Bah! there’s no wine like the blood’s crimson!


And I love to see the sun rise blood-crimson.

And I watch his spears through the dark clash

And it fills all my heart with rejoicing

And pries wide my mouth with fast music

When I see him so scorn and defy peace,

His lone might ‘gainst all darkness opposing.


The man who fears war and squats opposing

My words for stour, hath no blood of crimson

But is fit only to rot in womanish peace

Far from where worth’s won and the swords clash

For the death of such sluts I go rejoicing;

Yea, I fill all the air with my music.


Papiols, Papiols, to the music!

There’s no sound like to swords swords opposing,

No cry like the battle’s rejoicing

When our elbows and swords drip the crimson

And our charges ‘gainst "The Leopard’s" rush clash.

May God damn for ever all who cry "Peace!"


And let the music of the swords make them crimson!

Hell grant soon we hear again the swords clash!

Hell blot black for always the thought "Peace!"The Seafarer

(From the early Anglo-Saxon text)

May I for my own self song’s truth reckon,

Journey’s jargon, how I in harsh days

Hardship endured oft.

Bitter breast-cares have I abided,

Known on my keel many a care’s hold,

And dire sea-surge, and there I oft spent

Narrow nightwatch nigh the ship’s head

While she tossed close to cliffs. Coldly afflicted,

My feet were by frost benumbed.

Chill its chains are; chafing sighs

Hew my heart round and hunger begot

Mere-weary mood. Lest man know not

That he on dry land loveliest liveth,

List how I, care-wretched, on ice-cold sea,

Weathered the winter, wretched outcast

Deprived of my kinsmen;

Hung with hard ice-flakes, where hail-scur flew,

There I heard naught save the harsh sea

And ice-cold wave, at whiles the swan cries,

Did for my games the gannet’s clamour,

Sea-fowls, loudness was for me laughter,

The mews’ singing all my mead-drink.

Storms, on the stone-cliffs beaten, fell on the stern

In icy feathers; full oft the eagle screamed

With spray on his pinion.


any protector

May make merry man faring needy.

This he little believes, who aye in winsome life

Abides ‘mid burghers some heavy business,

Wealthy and wine-flushed, how I weary oft

Must bide above brine.

Neareth nightshade, snoweth from north,

Frost froze the land, hail fell on earth then

Corn of the coldest. Nathless there knocketh now

The heart’s thought that I on high streams

The salt-wavy tumult traverse alone.

Moaneth alway my mind’s lust

That I fare forth, that I afar hence

Seek out a foreign fastness.

For this there’s no mood-lofty man over earth’s midst,

Not though he be given his good, but will have in his youth greed;

Nor his deed to the daring, nor his king to the faithful

But shall have his sorrow for sea-fare

Whatever his lord will.

He hath not heart for harping, nor in ring-having

Nor winsomeness to wife, nor world’s delight

Nor any whit else save the wave’s slash,

Yet longing comes upon him to fare forth on the water.

Bosque taketh blossom, cometh beauty of berries,

Fields to fairness, land fares brisker,

All this admonisheth man eager of mood,

The heart turns to travel so that he then thinks

On flood-ways to be far departing.

Cuckoo calleth with gloomy crying,

He singeth summerward, bodeth sorrow,

The bitter heart’s blood. Burgher knows not –

He the prosperous man — what some perform

Where wandering them widest draweth.

So that but now my heart burst from my breast-lock,

My mood ‘mid the mere-flood,

Over the whale’s acre, would wander wide.

On earth’s shelter cometh oft to me,

Eager and ready, the crying lone-flyer,

Whets for the whale-path the heart irresistibly,

O’er tracks of ocean; seeing that anyhow

My lord deems to me this dead life

On loan and on land, I believe not

That any earth-weal eternal standeth

Save there be somewhat calamitous

That, ere a man’s tide go, turn it to twain.

Disease or oldness or sword-hate

Beats out the breath from doom-gripped body.

And for this, every earl whatever, for those speaking after –

Laud of the living, boasteth some last word,

That he will work ere he pass onward,

Frame on the fair earth ‘gainst foes his malice,

Daring ado, …

So that all men shall honour him after

And his laud beyond them remain ‘mid the English,

Aye, for ever, a lasting life’s-blast,

Delight mid the doughty.


little durable,

And all arrogance of earthen riches,

There come now no kings nor C?sars

Nor gold-giving lords like those gone.

Howe’er in mirth most magnified,

Whoe’er lived in life most lordliest,

Drear all this excellence, delights undurable!

Waneth the watch, but the world holdeth.

Tomb hideth trouble. The blade is layed low.

Earthly glory ageth and seareth.

No man at all going the earth’s gait,

But age fares against him, his face paleth,

Grey-haired he groaneth, knows gone companions,

Lordly men are to earth o’ergiven,

Nor may he then the flesh-cover, whose life ceaseth,

Nor eat the sweet nor feel the sorry,

Nor stir hand nor think in mid heart,

And though he strew the grave with gold,

His born brothers, their buried bodies

Be an unlikely treasure hoard.

from Ripostes (1912)

The Garden

En robe de parade.


Like a skein of loose silk blown against a wall

She walks by the railing of a path in Kensington Gardens,

And she is dying piece-meal


a sort of emotional anemia.

And round about there is a rabble

Of the filthy, sturdy, unkillable infants of the very poor.

They shall inherit the earth.

In her is the end of breeding.

Her boredom is exquisite and excessive.

She would like some one to speak to her,

And is almost afraid that I


commit that indiscretion.

from Lustra (1913-1915)

Ancient Music

Winter is icumen in,

Lhude sing Goddamm,

Raineth drop and staineth slop,

And how the wind doth ramm!



Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,

An ague hath my ham.

Damm you; Sing:


Goddamm, Goddamm, ’tis why I am, Goddamm,

So ‘gainst the winter’s


Sing goddamm, damm, sing goddamm,

Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM.

from Lustra (1913-1915)

Further Instructions

Come, my songs, let us express our baser passions.

Let us express our envy for the man with a steady job and no worry about the future.

You are very idle, my songs,

I fear you will come to a bad end.

You stand about the streets, You loiter at the corners and bus-stops,

You do next to nothing at all.

You do not even express our inner nobilitys,

You will come to a very bad end.

And I? I have gone half-cracked.

I have talked to you so much that I almost see you about me,

Insolent little beasts! Shameless! Devoid of clothing!

But you, newest song of the lot,

You are not old enough to have done much mischief.

I will get you a green coat out of China

With dragons worked upon it.

I will get you the scarlet silk trousers

From the statue of the infant Christ at Santa Maria Novella;

Lest they say we are lacking in taste,

Or that there is no caste in this family.

from Lustra (1913-1915)

The Lake Isle

O God, O Venus, O Mercury, patron of thieves,

Give me in due time, I beseech you, a little tobacco-shop,

With the little bright boxes

piled up neatly upon the shelves

And the loose fragment cavendish

and the shag,

And the bright Virginia

loose under the bright glass cases,

And a pair of scales

not too greasy,

And the votailles dropping in for a word or two in passing,

For a flip word, and to tidy their hair a bit.

O God, O Venus, O Mercury, patron of thieves,

Lend me a little tobacco-shop,

or install me in any profession

Save this damn’d profession of writing,

where one needs one’s brains all the time.

from Lustra (1913-1915)


Go, dumb-born book,

Tell her that sang me once that song of Lawes:

Hadst thou but song

As thou hast subjects known,

Then were there cause in thee that should condone

Even my faults that heavy upon me lie

And build her glories their longevity.

Tell her that sheds

Such treasure in the air,

Recking naught else but that her graces give

Life to the moment,

I would bid them live

As roses might, in magic amber laid,

Red overwrought with orange and all made

One substance and one colour

Braving time.

Tell her that goes

With song upon her lips

But sings not out the song, nor knows

The maker of it, some other mouth,

May be as fair as hers,

Might, in new ages, gain her worshippers,

When our two dusts with Waller’s shall be laid,

Siftings on siftings in oblivion,

Till change hath broken down

All things save Beauty alone.


Hugh Selwyn Mauberly (Part I)

"Vocat aestus in umbram"

Nemesianus Es. IV.

E. P. Ode pour l’?lection de son s?pulchre

For three years, out of key with his time,

He strove to resuscitate the dead art

Of poetry; to maintain "the sublime"

In the old sense. Wrong from the start –

No, hardly, but, seeing he had been born

In a half savage country, out of date;

Bent resolutely on wringing lilies from the acorn;

Capaneus; trout for factitious bait:

"Idmen gar toi panth, os eni Troie

Caught in the unstopped ear;

Giving the rocks small lee-way

The chopped seas held him, therefore, that year.

His true Penelope was Flaubert,

He fished by obstinate isles;

Observed the elegance of Circe’s hair

Rather than the mottoes on sun-dials.

Unaffected by "the march of events",

He passed from men’s memory in l’an trentiesme

De son eage; the case presents

No adjunct to the Muses’ diadem.


The age demanded an image

Of its accelerated grimace,

Something for the modern stage,

Not, at any rate, an Attic grace;

Not, not certainly, the obscure reveries

Of the inward gaze;

Better mendacities

Than the classics in paraphrase!

The "age demanded" chiefly a mould in plaster,

Made with no loss of time,

A prose kinema, not, not assuredly, alabaster

Or the "sculpture" of rhyme.


The tea-rose, tea-gown, etc.

Supplants the mousseline of Cos,

The pianola "replaces"

Sappho’s barbitos.

Christ follows Dionysus,

Phallic and ambrosial

Made way for macerations;

Caliban casts out Ariel.

All things are a flowing,

Sage Heracleitus says;

But a tawdry cheapness

Shall reign throughout our days.

Even the Christian beauty

Defects — after Samothrace;

We see to kalon

Decreed in the market place.

Faun’s flesh is not to us,

Nor the saint’s vision.

We have the press for wafer;

Franchise for circumcision.

All men, in law, are equals.

Free of Peisistratus,

We choose a knave or an eunuch

To rule over us.

A bright Apollo,

tin andra, tin eroa, tina theon,

What god, man, or hero

Shall I place a tin wreath upon?


These fought, in any case,

and some believing, pro domo, in any case ..

Some quick to arm,

some for adventure,

some from fear of weakness,

some from fear of censure,

some for love of slaughter, in imagination,

learning later …

some in fear, learning love of slaughter;

Died some pro patria, non dulce non et decor" ..

walked eye-deep in hell

believing in old men’s lies, then unbelieving

came home, home to a lie,

home to many deceits,

home to old lies and new infamy;

usury age-old and age-thick

and liars in public places.

Daring as never before, wastage as never before.

Young blood and high blood,

Fair cheeks, and fine bodies;

fortitude as never before

frankness as never before,

disillusions as never told in the old days,

hysterias, trench confessions,

laughter out of dead bellies.


There died a myriad,

And of the best, among them,

For an old bitch gone in the teeth,

For a botched civilization.

Charm, smiling at the good mouth,

Quick eyes gone under earth’s lid,

For two gross of broken statues,

For a few thousand battered books.

Yeux Glauques

Gladstone was still respected,

When John Ruskin produced

"Kings Treasuries"; Swinburne

And Rossetti still abused.

Fœtid Buchanan lifted up his voice

When that faun’s head of hers

Became a pastime for

Painters and adulterers.

The Burne-Jones cartons

Have preserved her eyes;

Still, at the Tate, they teach

Cophetua to rhapsodize;

Thin like brook-water,

With a vacant gaze.

The English Rubaiyat was still-born

In those days.

The thin, clear gaze, the same

Still darts out faun-like from the half-ruin’d face,

Questing and passive ….

"Ah, poor Jenny’s case" …

Bewildered that a world

Shows no surprise

At her last maquero’s


"Siena Mi Fe’, Disfecemi Maremma"

Among the pickled fœtuses and bottled bones,

Engaged in perfecting the catalogue,

I found the last scion of the

Senatorial families of Strasbourg, Monsieur Verog.

For two hours he talked of Gallifet;

Of Dowson; of the Rhymers’ Club;

Told me how Johnson (Lionel) died

By falling from a high stool in a pub …

But showed no trace of alcohol

At the autopsy, privately performed –

Tissue preserved — the pure mind

Arose toward Newman as the whiskey warmed.

Dowson found harlots cheaper than hotels;

Headlam for uplift; Image impartially imbued

With raptures for Bacchus, Terpsichore and the Church.

So spoke the author of "The Dorian Mood",

M. Verog, out of step with the decade,

Detached from his contemporaries,

Neglected by the young,

Because of these reveries.


The sky-like limpid eyes,

The circular infant’s face,

The stiffness from spats to collar

Never relaxing into grace;

The heavy memories of Horeb, Sinai and the forty years,

Showed only when the daylight fell

Level across the face

Of Brennbaum "The Impeccable".

Mr. Nixon

In the cream gilded cabin of his steam yacht

Mr. Nixon advised me kindly, to advance with fewer

Dangers of delay. "Consider

Carefully the reviewer.

"I was as poor as you are;

"When I began I got, of course,

"Advance on royalties, fifty at first", said Mr. Nixon,

"Follow me, and take a column,

"Even if you have to work free.

"Butter reviewers. From fifty to three hundred

"I rose in eighteen months;

"The hardest nut I had to crack

"Was Dr. Dundas.

"I never mentioned a man but with the view

"Of selling my own works.

"The tip’s a good one, as for literature

"It gives no man a sinecure."

And no one knows, at sight a masterpiece.

And give up verse, my boy,

There’s nothing in it."

* * *

Likewise a friend of Bloughram’s once advised me:

Don’t kick against the pricks,

Accept opinion. The "Nineties" tried your game

And died, there’s nothing in it.


Beneath the sagging roof

The stylist has taken shelter,

Unpaid, uncelebrated,

At last from the world’s welter

Nature receives him,

With a placid and uneducated mistress

He exercises his talents

And the soil meets his distress.

The haven from sophistications and contentions

Leaks through its thatch;

He offers succulent cooking;

The door has a creaking latch.


"Conservatrix of Mil?sien"

Habits of mind and feeling,

Possibly. But in Ealing

With the most bank-clerkly of Englishmen?

No, "Mil?sian" is an exaggeration.

No instinct has survived in her

Older than those her grandmother

Told her would fit her station.


"Daphne with her thighs in bark

Stretches toward me her leafy hands", –

Subjectively. In the stuffed-satin drawing-room

I await The Lady Valentine’s commands,

Knowing my coat has never been

Of precisely the fashion

To stimulate, in her,

A durable passion;

Doubtful, somewhat, of the value

Of well-gowned approbation

Of literary effort,

But never of The Lady Valentine’s vocation:

Poetry, her border of ideas,

The edge, uncertain, but a means of blending

With other strata

Where the lower and higher have ending;

A hook to catch the Lady Jane’s attention,

A modulation toward the theatre,

Also, in the case of revolution,

A possible friend and comforter.

* * *

Conduct, on the other hand, the soul

"Which the highest cultures have nourished"

To Fleet St. where

Dr. Johnson flourished;

Beside this thoroughfare

The sale of half-hose has

Long since superseded the cultivation

Of Pierian roses.



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