Bloody, bloody Ezra Pound
I never got my head around
his magnum opus: The Cantos
I’ve tried so hard but goodness knows
he didn’t intend it to be easy
for me or his mate Mussolini.
Perhaps obscurantism was his policy
or perhaps it was not the meaning but the sound.
Whatever it was I went to ground
thinking: “Is this poetry or prose?”
Mascagni would never have him write librettos
not for all the tea in Chinee.
I carried his Cantos everywhere with me
and read them aloud to anybody
who happened to be around.
Who may have liked the sound
and would have, maybe, tapped their toes
to some missed arpeggios.
Perhaps if I had a (Roman) nose
for this formidable prosody
it would be so much clearer to me.
I could tell my friends that I have found
more meaning than the pints I had downed
before the barman called a close.
I’ve read the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets and I propose
the these cantos are harder than any of those
scribes who spend their lives de-meaning poetry
so it is devoid of mystery
(though it still is likely to confound
the loftiest don of an Oxbridge mound).
I’m sure they were written to astound –
filled with tales of forgotten heroes
(Americans, Chinese and some Latinos).
And The Cantos made way for ‘A’ by Zukofsky
(a much better poet as far as I can see).
Now there nothing more for me to expound.
Except to tell you that my hound,
whose taste improves much as he grows,
has now eaten up my sole copy.