Thursday, July 15, 2010

Weathering Pound

Poem of the Day:
Ezra Pound's "A Virginal"
Selected Poems of Ezra Pound

The weather has been strange here in Boston. For the past few days it has been unbearably humid and rainy. This morning it looked as if the skies would be grey forever, they had never been blue, it was all a hoax. And then, at midday, it was beautiful as if all was forgiven and no one felt slighted by the morning gloom.

Pound's piece reflects upon a tumultuous relationship with a female. In the first line we see glints of this tumult. He writes, "No, no! Go from me. I have left her lately" (line 1), creating tension in the speaker's discrepant commands; is she the one leaving, or has he left her?

Regardless, their relationship was one of insurmountable love. He describes his life with her, writing, "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" (lines 3-5). The unnamed 'she' is heavenly, exuding "lightness" and a fabric of ether.

Because of her angelic qualities the speaker refuses to take another, and "spoil [his] sheath with lesser brightness" (line 2). But, beyond the nearly ravenous detail of the speaker's love for this woman, there remains an unresolved tension between love and pain. Returning to the second line of the poem, we see that Pound uses the word "sheath" to describe the place in which his new lover would reside, replacing his old. Hence, his lover is a sword to him. She certainly protects, covering him in a "gauze of ether," but she is also harmful, her arms binding him "straitly."

The weather in Boston is Pound's lady. She has been charming, beautiful beyond question, until this week. She has been villainous with her storms. Yet today, when after days of rain she became luminous once again, all was forgotten. Instead of screaming "Go from me" as Pound begins to do, us Bostonians have welcomed her back -- Lady Weather, that is -- remembering her ability to be "[s]oft as spring wind that’s come from birchen bowers"(line 10).

A Poem A Day Audrey


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home