Παρασκευή, 28 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

laughter out of dead bellies



 I received a comment on a previous post in which i use a quotation from Ezra Pound. It asked: "did that (having been a fascist) make him a bad poet?"

My answer is unequivocally "No". 

He was one of the greatest of his time. Although he was not a pacifist,  the greatness of his pen, at times, escapes his ideology. 

two instances:

      "These Fought in Any Case"


These fought in any case,
and some believing
pro domo, in any case .....

Died some, pro patria,
walked eye-deep in hell
believing in old men's lies, then unbelieving
came home, home to a lie,
home to many deceits,
home to old lies and new infamy;
usury age-old and age-thick
and liars in public places.

Daring as never before, wastage as never before.
Young blood and high blood,
fair cheeks, and fine bodies;

fortitude as never before

frankness as never before,
disillusions as never told in the old days,
hysterias, trench confessions,
laughter out of dead bellies.

 ________



Lament of the Frontier Guard


By the North Gate, the wind blows full of sand,

Lonely from the beginning of time until now!

Trees fall, the grass goes yellow with autumn.

I climb the towers and towers

to watch out the barbarous land:

Desolate castle, the sky, the wide desert.

There is no wall left to this village.

Bones white with a thousand frosts,

High heaps, covered with trees and grass;

Who brought this to pass?

Who has brought the flaming imperial anger?

Who has brought the army with drums and with kettle-drums?

Barbarous kings.

A gracious spring, turned to blood-ravenous autumn,

A turmoil of wars-men, spread over the middle kingdom,

Three hundred and sixty thousand,

And sorrow, sorrow like rain.

Sorrow to go, and sorrow, sorrow returning,

Desolate, desolate fields,

And no children of warfare upon them,

No longer the men for offence and defence.

Ah, how shall you know the dreary sorrow at the North Gate,

With Rihoku's name forgotten,

And we guardsmen fed to the tigers.







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