Saturday, February 19, 2011

Classic Poetry - (A Virginal - by Ezra Pound)

A Virginal

O, 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 up magic in her nearness
To sheathe me half in half the things that sheathe her.
No, no! Go from me. I have still the flavour,
Soft as spring wind that's come from birchen bowers.
Green come the shoots, aye April in the branches,
As winter's wound with her sleight hand she staunches,
Hath of the trees a likeness of the savour:
As white their bark, so white this lady's hours.

~ Ezra Pound

Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (30 October 1885 – 1 November 1972)

Here is a man full of controversy and inspiration. Ezra Pound’s poem A Virginal has been criticized hailed and read a million times over. What are your thoughts on this poem? What are your thoughts on Ezra Pound himself? Do you have any poems or anything else written by him you prefer? Please feel free to share your thoughts on either the poem or Ezra Pound in the comment section below.

Poets United posts a classic poem once weekly. We want to do this to introduce classic poets and their poems to our members. It is also a way to display different styles, genres and approaches to poetry. Our intent is to further expand the world of poetry while educating ourselves.

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  1. a great poet, genius, an idealist --- so much the idealist that he left his humanity behind him - forgot for a moment that the lesser were, if not by talent then at least by nature, equal. we as poets suffer Pound's affliction; we drift in and out of the world we wish for -- despise our fellow human beings because they can't quite reach the pinnacle; lose ourselves in ourselves and if not careful actually believe ourselves; then we need others, those lesser, to unlock the gate of the asylum.

  2. My favourite Ezra Pound poem was given to me by a close friend about 20 years ago. Four lines I memorized then and there which have never left me:

    And the days are not longer enough,
    And the nights are not long enough,
    And life slips by like a field mouse
    Not shaking the grass.

    Whatever you do today, make sure you shake the grass.

  3. Is the poem a love poem to /about a lady whom no one can challenge or emulate?


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