Friday, September 26, 2014

The Return

by Ezra Pound
See, they return; ah, see the tentative
Movements, and the slow feet,
The trouble in the pace and the uncertain
See, they return, one, and by one,
With fear, as half-awakened;
As if the snow should hesitate
And murmur in the wind,
and half turn back;
These were the "Wing'd-with-Awe,"
Gods of the winged shoe!
With them the silver hounds,
sniffing the trace of air!
Haie! Haie!
These were the swift to harry;
These the keen-scented;
These were the souls of blood.
Slow on the leash,
pallid the leash-men!
An image of Lethe,
and the fields
Full of faint light
but golden,
Gray cliffs,
and beneath them
A sea
Harsher than granite,
unstill, never ceasing;
High forms
with the movement of gods,
Perilous aspect;
And one said:
"This is Actaeon."
Actaeon of golden greaves!
Over fair meadows,
Over the cool face of that field,
Unstill, ever moving,
Host of an ancient people,
The silent cortege.
BIO:  Born in Hailey, Idaho on 30 October 1885, Ezra Pound taught at Wabash College for two years, until he became the London editor of "The Little Review." He was immensely interested in travel and poetry, especially Chinese and Japanese poetry. These Eastern influences are clearly discernible in his own poetry, which is known for its clarity, precision, and economy of language. In 1924 he moved to Italy, where he became involved in Mussolini's fascist movement. When he returned to the U.S. in 1945, he was arrested for treason.  Acquitted in 1946, he was declared mentally ill and committed to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Washington, D.C., where he remained until 1958.  Ho profoundly influenced the writing and careers of such noted poets as W.B. Yeats, Robert Frost, William Carlos William, and T.S. Eliot.

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