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Short poem

Ezra Loomis Pound (1885-1972)

The Garden

En robe de parade.


              1Like a skein of loose silk blown against a wall
              2She walks by the railing of a path in Kensington Gardens,
              3And she is dying piece-meal
              4                of a sort of emotional anemia.

              5And round about there is a rabble
              6Of the filthy, sturdy, unkillable infants of the very poor.
              7They shall inherit the earth.

              8In her is the end of breeding.
              9Her boredom is exquisite and excessive.

            10She would like some one to speak to her,
            11And is almost afraid that I
            12                will commit that indiscretion.


1] The verse preface to Au Jardin de l'Infante (1893) by Albert Samain (1858-1900) opens, "Mon âme est une infante en robe de parade."
skein: loosely coiled length.

2] Kensingston Gardens: 275 acres of fashionable park in the West End, including flowers, the Palace Gardens, the Albert Memorial, and statues of Queen Victoria, William III, and Peter Pan.

4] anemia: "anæmia" in 1916.

7] Matthew 5.5: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (from Jesus' sermon on the mount).

10] This line does not begin a verse paragraph in 1916.

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, "Contemporania," Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 2.1 (April 1913): 2. Ezra Pound, Lustra (London: Elkin Mathews, 1916) 12. PS 3531 O82L8 1916 Robarts Library. 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), I (1902-1914): 133. PS 3531 O82A6 1991 Robarts Library.
First publication date: 1913
Publication date note: See Gallup C76
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 4:2002/4/15

Form: Free Verse

Other poems by Ezra Loomis Pound