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Short poem

Ezra Loomis Pound (1885-1972)

Ancient Music

              1Winter is icumen in,
              2Lhude sing Goddamm,
              3Raineth drop and staineth slop,
              4And how the wind doth ramm!
              5            Sing: Goddamm.
              6Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
              7An ague hath my ham.
              8        Damm you; Sing: Goddamm.
              9Goddamm, Goddamm, 'tis why I am, Goddamm,
            10        So 'gainst the winter's balm.
            11Sing goddamm, damm, sing goddamm,
            12Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM.


1] "Note.--This is not folk music, but Dr. Ker writes that the tune is found under the latin words of a very ancient canon." (Pound's note.) Pound is parodying the Middle English lyric "Sumer is icumen in," and his reference to W. P. Ker (1855-1923) and to the source Ker discovered, shows an admiration for classical forms.

2] Lhude: a pun of "loud" and "lewd."

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Ezra Pound, "Poems," Blast 2 (London, July 1915): 20. See also Ezra Pound's Poetry and Prose: Contributions to Periodicals, prefaced and arranged by Lea Baechler, A. Walton Litz, and James Longenbach (New York and London: Garland, 1991), II (1915-1917): 95. PS 3531 O82A6 1991 Robarts Library.
First publication date: 1915
Publication date note: See Gallup C194
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 4:2002/4/15

Rhyme: aa[bb]aa[cc]aaaaaa

Other poems by Ezra Loomis Pound