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Short poem

Ezra Loomis Pound (1885-1972)

Further Instructions

              1Come, my songs, let us express our baser passions.
              2Let us express our envy for the man with a steady job and no worry about the future.
              3You are very idle, my songs,
              4I fear you will come to a bad end.
              5You stand about the streets, You loiter at the corners and bus-stops,
              6You do next to nothing at all.

              7You do not even express our inner nobilitys,
              8You will come to a very bad end.

              9And I? I have gone half-cracked.
            10I have talked to you so much that I almost see you about me,
            11Insolent little beasts! Shameless! Devoid of clothing!

            12But you, newest song of the lot,
            13You are not old enough to have done much mischief.
            14I will get you a green coat out of China
            15With dragons worked upon it.
            16I will get you the scarlet silk trousers
            17From the statue of the infant Christ at Santa Maria Novella;
            18Lest they say we are lacking in taste,
            19Or that there is no caste in this family.


2] of: "for" in 1916, which also splits the line after "job". (Punctuation variants are not noted below.)

5] 1916 splits the line after "streets,".

7] nobilitys: "nobilities" in 1916.

9] 1916 splits the line after "I?".

10] 1916 splits the line after "much that".

17] at: "in" in Personae (New York, 1926).

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: "Poems," Poetry: A Magazine of Verse 3.2 (Nov. 1913): . Ezra Pound, Lustra (London: Elkin Mathews, 1916) 25. PS 3531 O82L8 1916 Robarts Library.
First publication date: 1913
Publication date note: See Gallup C109
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 4:2002/4/15

Form: Free Verse

Other poems by Ezra Loomis Pound