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Best Famous Ezra Pound Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Ezra Pound poems. This is a select list of the best famous Ezra Pound poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Ezra Pound poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Ezra Pound poems.

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Written by Ezra Pound |


 These tales of old disguisings, are they not
Strange myths of souls that found themselves among
Unwonted folk that spake an hostile tongue,
Some soul from all the rest who'd not forgot
The star-span acres of a former lot
Where boundless mid the clouds his course he swung,
Or carnate with his elder brothers sung
Ere ballad-makers lisped of Camelot?

Old singers half-forgetful of their tunes,
Old painters color-blind come back once more,
Old poets skill-less in the wind-heart runes,
Old wizards lacking in their wonder-lore:

All they that with strange sadness in their eyes
Ponder in silence o'er earth's queynt devyse?

Written by Ezra Pound |

Before Sleep

 I was in love with anatomy
the symmetry of my body
poised for flight,
the heights it would take
over parents, lovers, a keen
riding over truth and detail.
I thought growing up would be this rising from everything old and earthly, not these faltering steps out the door every day, then back again.

Written by Ezra Pound |

Ballad for Gloom

 For God, our God is a gallant foe 
That playeth behind the veil.
I have loved my God as a child at heart That seeketh deep bosoms for rest, I have loved my God as a maid to man— But lo, this thing is best: To love your God as a gallant foe that plays behind the veil; To meet your God as the night winds meet beyond Arcturus' pale.
I have played with God for a woman, I have staked with my God for truth, I have lost to my God as a man, clear-eyed— His dice be not of ruth.
For I am made as a naked blade, But hear ye this thing in sooth: Who loseth to God as man to man Shall win at the turn of the game.
I have drawn my blade where the lightnings meet But the ending is the same: Who loseth to God as the sword blades lose Shall win at the end of the game.
For God, our God is a gallant foe that playeth behind the veil.
Whom God deigns not to overthrow hath need of triple mail.

More great poems below...

Written by Ezra Pound |

Tame Cat

 It rests me to be among beautiful women
Why should one always lie about such matters?
I repeat:
It rests me to converse with beautiful women
Even though we talk nothing but nonsense,

The purring of the invisible antennae
Is both stimulating and delightful.

Written by Ezra Pound |


 No man hath dared to write this thing as yet, 
And yet I know, how that the souls of all men great 
At times pass athrough us, 
And we are melted into them, and are not 
Save reflexions of their souls.
Thus am I Dante for a space and am One Francois Villon, ballad-lord and thief, Or am such holy ones I may not write Lest blasphemy be writ against my name; This for an instant and the flame is gone.
'Tis as in midmost us there glows a sphere Translucent, molten gold, that is the "I" And into this some form projects itself: Christus, or John, or eke the Florentine; And as the clear space is not if a form's Imposed thereon, So cease we from all being for the time, And these, the Masters of the Soul, live on.

Written by Ezra Pound |

Ancient Music

 Winter is icummen in, 
Lhude sing Goddamm.
Raineth drop and staineth slop, And how the wind doth ramm! Sing: Goddamm.
Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us, An ague hath my ham.
Freezeth river, turneth liver, Damn you, sing: Goddamm.
Goddamm, Goddamm, 'tis why I am, Goddamm, So 'gainst the winter's balm.
Sing goddamm, damm, sing Goddamm.
Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM.
A parody of the Anglo-Saxon poem, Cuckoo Song

Written by Ezra Pound |

Villanelle: The Psychological Hour

 I had over prepared the event,
that much was ominous.
With middle-ageing care I had laid out just the right books.
I had almost turned down the pages.
Beauty is so rare a thing.
So few drink of my fountain.
So much barren regret, So many hours wasted! And now I watch, from the window, the rain, the wandering busses.
"Their little cosmos is shaken" - the air is alive with that fact.
In their parts of the city they are played on by diverse forces.
How do I know? Oh, I know well enough.
For them there is something afoot.
As for me; I had over-prepared the event - Beauty is so rare a thing.
So few drink of my fountain.
Two friends: a breath of the forest.
Friends? Are people less friends because one has just, at last, found them? Twice they promised to come.
"Between the night and the morning?" Beauty would drink of my mind.
Youth would awhile forget my youth is gone from me.
(Speak up! You have danced so stiffly? Someone admired your works, And said so frankly.
"Did you talk like a fool, The first night? The second evening?" "But they promised again: 'To-morrow at tea-time'.
") Now the third day is here - no word from either; No word from her nor him, Only another man's note: "Dear Pound, I am leaving England.

Written by Ezra Pound |

Sestina: Altaforte

 LOQUITUR: En Bertans de Born.
Dante Alighieri put this man in hell for that he was a stirrer up of strife.
Eccovi! Judge ye! Have I dug him up again? The scene is at his castle, Altaforte.
"Papiols" is his jongleur.
"The Leopard," the device of Richard Coeur de Lion.
I 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.
II In hot summer I have great rejoicing When the tempests kill the earth's foul peace, And the lightning 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.
III Hell grant soon we hear again the swords clash! And the shrill neighs of destriers in battle rejoicing, Spiked breast to spiked breat 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! IV 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 long might 'gainst all darkness opposing.
V 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.
VI 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!" VII 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!"

Written by Ezra Pound |

The River-Merchants Wife: A Letter

 After Li Po

While my hair was still cut straight 
 across my forehead
I played at the front gate, pulling
You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse, You walked about my seat, playing with blue plums.
And we went on living in the village of Chokan: Two small people, without dislike or suspicion.
At fourteen I married My Lord you.
I never laughed, being bashful.
Lowering my head, I looked at the wall.
Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back.
At fifteen I stopped scowling, I desired my dust to be mingled with yours Forever and forever and forever.
Why should I climb the lookout? At sixteen you departed, You went into far Ku-to-en, by the river of swirling eddies, And you have been gone five months.
The monkeys make sorrowful noise overhead.
You dragged your feet when you went out, By the gate now, the moss is grown, the different mosses, Too deep to clear them away! The leaves fall early this autumn, in wind.
The paired butterflies are already yellow with August Over the grass in the West garden; They hurt me.
I grow older.
If you are coming down through the narrows of the river Kiang, Please let me know beforehand, And I will come out to meet you As far as Cho-fu-sa.

Written by Allen Ginsberg |

War Profit Litany

 To Ezra Pound

These are the names of the companies that have made
 money from this war
nineteenhundredsixtyeight Annodomini fourthousand
 eighty Hebraic
These are the Corporations who have profited by merchan-
 dising skinburning phosphorous or shells fragmented
 to thousands of fleshpiercing needles
and here listed money millions gained by each combine for
and here are gains numbered, index'd swelling a decade, set
 in order,
here named the Fathers in office in these industries, tele-
 phones directing finance,
names of directors, makers of fates, and the names of the 
 stockholders of these destined Aggregates,
and here are the names of their ambassadors to the Capital,
 representatives to legislature, those who sit drinking
 in hotel lobbies to persuade,
and separate listed, those who drop Amphetamine with
 military, gossip, argue, and persuade
suggesting policy naming language proposing strategy, this
 done for fee as ambassadors to Pentagon, consul-
 tants to military, paid by their industry:
and these are the names of the generals & captains mili-
 tary, who know thus work for war goods manufactur-
and above these, listed, the names of the banks, combines,
 investment trusts that control these industries:
and these are the names of the newspapers owned by these
and these are the names of the airstations owned by these
and these are the numbers of thousands of citizens em-
 ployed by these businesses named;
and the beginning of this accounting is 1958 and the end
 1968, that static be contained in orderly mind,
 coherent and definite,
and the first form of this litany begun first day December
 1967 furthers this poem of these States.
December 1, 1967

Written by Ezra Pound |

Statement of Being

 I am a grave poetic hen
That lays poetic eggs
And to enhance my temperament
A little quiet begs.
We make the yolk philosophy, True beauty the albumen.
And then gum on a shell of form To make the screed sound human.

Written by Gary Snyder |

Axe Handles

 One afternoon the last week in April
Showing Kai how to throw a hatchet
One-half turn and it sticks in a stump.
He recalls the hatchet-head Without a handle, in the shop And go gets it, and wants it for his own.
A broken-off axe handle behind the door Is long enough for a hatchet, We cut it to length and take it With the hatchet head And working hatchet, to the wood block.
There I begin to shape the old handle With the hatchet, and the phrase First learned from Ezra Pound Rings in my ears! "When making an axe handle the pattern is not far off.
" And I say this to Kai "Look: We'll shape the handle By checking the handle Of the axe we cut with—" And he sees.
And I hear it again: It's in Lu Ji's We Fu, fourth century A.
"Essay on Literature" - in the Preface: "In making the handle Of an axe By cutting wood with an axe The model is indeed near at hand.
" My teacher Shih-hsiang Chen Translated that and taught it years ago And I see: Pound was an axe, Chen was an axe, I am an axe And my son a handle, soon To be shaping again, model And tool, craft of culture, How we go on.

Written by Ezra Pound |


 When I carefully consider the curious habits of dogs
I am compelled to conclude
That man is the superior animal.
When I consider the curious habits of man I confess, my friend, I am puzzled.

Written by Ezra Pound |

The Encounter

 All the while they were talking the new morality
Her eyes explored me.
And when I rose to go Her fingers were like the tissue Of a Japanese paper napkin.

Written by Ezra Pound |

The Needle

 Come, or the stellar tide will slip away.
Eastward avoid the hour of its decline, Now! for the needle trembles in my soul! Here we have had our vantage, the good hour.
Here we have had our day, your day and mine.
Come now, before this power That bears us up, shall turn against the pole.
Mock not the flood of stars, the thing's to be.
O Love, come now, this land turns evil slowly.
The waves bore in, soon they bear away.
The treasure is ours, make we fast land with it.
Move we and take the tide, with its next favour, Abide Under some neutral force Until this course turneth aside.