Ezra Pound Essay

1279 Words Jun 25th, 2011 6 Pages
Nathan Hubschman
Nathan Hubschman

Ezra Pound Response: “The Tree” by Ezra Pound is about how Pound identifies with the tree-like state in which the nymph, Daphne, of Greek myth finds herself in order to escape Apollo. Pound begins the poem explaining how he was a “tree amid the wood” meaning a changed being amid a familiar yet under-perceived environment. He likens this form to the myth of Apollo who chases Daphne until she asks the god, Peneus, to change her into a tree. Even though she is transformed into a “laurel”, which happens to be the Greek word for Daphne, Apollo is still able to recognize her by the inner-beauty of the tree before him. He then claims the tree as his own, just as he would if Daphne was still in her nymph
…show more content…
Nonetheless, he still viewed Whitman as an “artistic barbarian” as stated in Pound’s essay “What I Feel About Walt Whitman.” His feelings toward Whitman were ambivalent and he would frequently comment both negatively and positively about him. “I come to you as a grown child who has had a pig-headed father; I am old enough now to make new friends.” These two lines in the poem explain how Pound has now matured and is ready to set aside differences with his “pig-headed father”, Whitman. It also implies that Pound feels mature enough as a poet in his own right to compose free of the guidance of the great poets who preceded him. He then says, “It was you that broke the new wood, Now is a time for carving.” “New wood” is a metaphor for free-verse poetry, which Whitman brought to popularity and the carving is Pound’s take on cleaning up and remaking free-verse as a whole. The last two lines give the reader an understanding on how Ezra Pound believes Whitman and himself to be so similar that they have “one sap and one root” and that he wants there to be “commerce between them” or sharing of ideas. The title “A Pact” reveals that Pound is ready for changes in his life that will better him. His use of the words “pig-headed father” characterizes Whitman’s crudity, but also tells that because of his own stubbornness, Pound cannot accept some of their differences. “A Pact” contains no rhyme

Related Documents