Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Ezra Pound !

Ezra Weston Loomis Pound
Today is the birthday of an American expatriate poet, critic and a major figure of the early modernist movement Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (30 October 1885 – 1 November 1972). His contribution to poetry began with his promotion of Imagism, a movement that derived its technique from classical Chinese and Japanese poetry, stressing clarity, precision and economy of language. His best-known works include Ripostes (1912), Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (1920), and his unfinished 120-section epic, The Cantos (1917–1969). While in custody in Italy he had begun work on sections of The Cantos that became known as The Pisan Cantos (1948), for which he was awarded the Bollingen Prize in 1949 by the Library of Congress. The award triggered enormous controversy, mostly because of his antisemitism and the charge of treason, and in part because it raised literary questions about whether a supposedly "mad" poet who held such contentious views could produce work of any value. He was released from St. Elizabeths in 1958, thanks to a protracted campaign by his fellow writers, and returned to live in Italy until his death. His political views ensure that his work remains controversial; in 1933 Time magazine called him "a cat that walks by himself, tenaciously unhousebroken and very unsafe for children." Hemingway nevertheless wrote: "The best of Pound's writing – and it is in the Cantos – will last as long as there is any literature." Presenting some poems : Being Poet
Alba
As cool as the pale wet leaves
      Tof lily-of-the-valley
She lay beside me in the dawn.
A Song Of The Degrees
I.
Rest me with Chinese colours,
For I think the glass is evil.
II.
The wind moves above the wheat-
With a silver crashing,
A thin war of metal.
I have known the golden disc,
I have seen it melting above me.
I have known the stone-bright place,
The hall of clear colours.
III.
O glass subtly evil, O confusion of colours !
O light bound and bent in, soul of the captive,
Why am I warned? Why am I sent away?
Why is your glitter full of curious mistrust?
O glass subtle and cunning, O powdery gold!
O filaments of amber, two-faced iridescence!
Greek
Be in me as the eternal moods
of the bleak wind, and not
As transient things are—
gaiety of flowers.
Have me in the strong loneliness
of sunless cliffs
And of gray waters.
Let the gods speak softly of us
In days hereafter,
the shadowy flowers of Orcus
Remember thee.
A Pact
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 be commerce between us.
A Girl
The tree has entered my hands,
The sap has ascended my arms,
The tree has grown in my breast -
Downward,
The branches grow out of me, like arms.
Tree you are,
Moss you are,
You are violets with wind above them.
A child - so high - you are,
And all this is folly to the world.
Albatre
This lady in the white bath-robe which she calls a
peignoir,
Is, for the time being, the mistress of my friend,
And the delicate white feet of her little white dog
Are not more delicate than she is,
Nor would Gautier himself have despised their contrasts
in whiteness
As she sits in the great chair
Between the two indolent candles.
A Virginal
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 aether;
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.
‘Phasellus Ille’
1 his papier-mâché, which you see, my friends,
Saith 'twas the worthiest of editors.
Its mind was made up in 'the seventies',
Nor hath it ever since changed that concoction.
It works to represent that school of thought
Which brought the hair-cloth chair to such perfection,
Nor will the horrid threats of Bernard Shaw
Shake up the stagnant pool of its convictions;
Nay, should the deathless voice of all the world
Speak once again for its sole stimulation,
Twould not move it one jot from left to right.
Come Beauty barefoot from the Cyclades,
She'd find a model for St. Anthony
In this thing's sure decorum and behaviour.
A Ballad Of The Mulberry Road
The sun rises in south east corner of things
To look on the tall house of the Shin
For they have a daughter named Rafu,
(pretty girl)
She made the name for herself: 'Gauze Veil,'
For she feeds mulberries to silkworms.
She gets them by the south wall of the town.
With green strings she makes the warp of her basket,
She makes the shoulder-straps of her basket
from the boughs of Katsura,
And she piles her hair up on the left side of her headpiece.
Her earrings are made of pearl,
Her underskirt is of green pattern-silk,
Her overskirt is the same silk dyed in purple,
And when men going by look on Rafu
They set down their burdens,
They stand and twirl their moustaches.