Representative Poetry Online
  Poet Index   Poem Index   Random   Search  
  Introduction   Timeline   Calendar   Glossary   Criticism   Bibliography  
  RPO   Canadian Poetry   UTEL  
by Name
by Date
by Title
by First Line
by Last Line
Short poem

Ezra Loomis Pound (1885-1972)

A Pact

              1I make truce with you, Walt Whitman --
              2I have detested you long enough.
              3I come to you as a grown child
              4Who has had a pig-headed father;
              5I am old enough now to make friends.
              6It was you that broke the new wood,
              7Now is a time for carving.
              8We have one sap and one root --
              9Let there be commerce between us.


1] Herbert Bergman, "Ezra Pound and Walt Whitman," American Literature 27 (1955-56): 56-61, transcribes an unpublished article by Pound, "What I Feel About Walt Whitman" (Feb. 1, 1909), which includes the following comments:

He Is America. His crudity is an exceding great stench, but it is America .... He is disgusting. He is an excedingly nauseating pill, but he acomplishes his mission.
I honor him for he prophesied me while I can only recognize him as a forebear of whom I ought to be proud.
As for Whitman, I read him (in many parts) with acute pain, but when I write of certain things I find myself using his rythms.
Mentaly I am a Whitman who has learned to wear a colar and a dress shirt (although at times inimical to both) .... And, to be frank, Whitman is to my fatherland ... what Dante is to Italy ...

make truce with you: "make a pact with you" 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): 6. See also Ezra Pound, Lustra (London: Elkin Mathews, 1916) 17. PS 3531 O82L8 1916 Robarts Library. 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): 137. 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