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Ezra Pound Poems

A collection of select Ezra Pound famous poems that were written by Ezra Pound or written about the poet by other famous poets. PoetrySoup is a comprehensive educational resource of the greatest poems and poets on history.

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by Pound, Ezra
 I make a pact with you, Walt Whitman-- 
I have detested you long enough. 
I come to you as a grown child 
Who has had a pig-headed father; 
I am old enough now to make friends. 
It was you that broke the new wood, 
Now is a time for carving. 
We have one sap and one root-- 
Let there...Read More



by Pound, Ezra
 No, no! Go from me. I have left her lately. 
I will not spoil my sheath with lesser brightness, 
For my surrounding air hath a new lightness; 
Slight are her arms, yet they have bound me straitly 
And left me cloaked as with a gauze of æther; 
As with sweet leaves; as with subtle clearness. 
Oh, I have picked...Read More

by Pound, Ezra
 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,...Read More

by Pound, Ezra
 And the days are not full enough
And the nights are not full enough
And life slips by like a field mouse
Not shaking the grass...Read More

by Pound, Ezra
 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...Read More



by Pound, Ezra
 Kung walked
 by the dynastic temple
and into the cedar grove,
 and then out by the lower river,
And with him Khieu Tchi
 and Tian the low speaking
And "we are unknown," said Kung,
"You will take up charioteering?
 "Then you will become known,
"Or perhaps I should take up charioterring, or archery?
"Or the practice of public speaking?"
And Tseu-lou said, "I would put the...Read More

by Pound, Ezra
 Wal, Thanksgivin' do be comin' round.
With the price of turkeys on the bound,
And coal, by gum! Thet were just found,
Is surely gettin' cheaper.

The winds will soon begin to howl,
And winter, in its yearly growl,
Across the medders begin to prowl,
And Jack Frost gettin' deeper.

By shucks! It seems to me,
That you I orter be
Thankful, that our Ted could see
A way to...Read More

by Pound, Ezra
 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...Read More

by Pound, Ezra
 "Vocat aestus in umbram" 
Nemesianus Es. IV. 

E. P. Ode pour l'élection de son sépulchre 

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...Read More

by Pound, Ezra
 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...Read More

by Pound, Ezra
 Luini in porcelain! 
The grand piano 
Utters a profane 
Protest with her clear soprano. 

The sleek head emerges 
From the gold-yellow frock 
As Anadyomene in the opening 
Pages of Reinach. 

Honey-red, closing the face-oval, 
A basket-work of braids which seem as if they were 
Spun in King Minos' hall 
From metal, or intractable amber; 

The face-oval beneath the glaze,...Read More

by Pound, Ezra
 O generation of the thoroughly smug
 and thoroughly uncomfortable,
I have seen fishermen picnicking in the sun,
I have seen them with untidy families,
I have seen their smiles full of teeth
 and heard ungainly laughter.
And I am happier than you are,
And they were happier than I am;
And the fish swim in the lake
 and do not even own clothing....Read More

by Pound, Ezra
 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!...Read More

by Pound, Ezra
 When I behold how black, immortal ink
Drips from my deathless pen - ah, well-away!
Why should we stop at all for what I think?
There is enough in what I chance to say.

It is enough that we once came together;
What is the use of setting it to rime?
When it is autumn do we get spring weather,
Or gather may of harsh northwindish...Read More

by Pound, Ezra
 Here we are, picking the first fern-shoots 
And saying: When shall we get back to our country? 
Here we are because we have the Ken-nin for our foemen, 
We have no comfort because of these Mongols. 
We grub the soft fern-shoots, 
When anyone says "Return," the others are full of sorrow. 
Sorrowful minds, sorrow is strong, we are hungry...Read More

by Pound, Ezra
 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....Read More

by Pound, Ezra
 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....Read More

by Pound, Ezra
 (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...Read More

by Pound, Ezra
 The petals fall in the fountain, 
the orange-coloured rose-leaves, 
Their ochre clings to the stone....Read More

by Pound, Ezra
 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...Read More