Ezra Pound had to be the most depressed person who ever got famous. Talk about a downer, wow. However, since today’s Daily Downer is the perfect opportunity to present this super depressing poem by Ezra Pound — and Garry’s picture of geese on the river makes a perfect backdrop — I couldn’t resist.

OH WOE IS ME, Ezra Pound.


23 thoughts on “OH WOE IS ME – EZRA POUND

  1. I didn’t know this poem, so thank you for posting it. I think it’s really meant as a broadside on Housman’s ‘Shropshire Lad’ which could be seen as very very doleful. Ezra is being very wicked actually, and not a little mean. I don’t think Housman really deserves this. But hey, in context, it’s funny too. And Garry does indeed take v. good photos.


      • A Shropshire Lad is a cycle of 56 or so ballad type verses – the main themes: ‘the land of lost content’ and lost youth. There’s a free version on Gutenberg Press. It was begun after Housman’s younger brother, a professional soldier, was killed in the Boer War. But it came into its own during WW1 when many a young man took a copy with him to the Western Front. There’s also, according to some, a homo-erotic gloss to the whole work. Housman, a respectable classical scholar, tended to fall in love with heterosexual men, and so was always bound to have his love rejected, which I think especially happened around the time he was composing the cycle. One of the poems makes an appearance in the Out of Africa film, the famous eulogy scene on the Ngong Hills. Another of the poems – On Wenlock Edge – also inspired song cycles by Vaughan Williams and George Butterworth, which I’ve written about somewhere on my blog. As I said, though, I can see where Ezra Pound was coming from with his lampoon.


  2. Sylvia Plath is, IMO, more depressing. At least this one is kind of funny. Then there is this masterpiece of imagism:

    In a Station of the Metro

    The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
    Petals on a wet, black bough.


  3. Et cetera, etc, &c… No one writes et cetera anymore, even spell check thinks it’s wrong. Of course, no one uses &c anymore either. Just etc.. But they all mean the same thing. Weird how things change.


    • Language is alive. But current trends are really annoying the crap out of me. Crypto-speak, the art of using as few words (and the simplest words) possible to convey any meaning at all. Grunting and text-speak. Lord save us.


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