A Pact

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.
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1] Herbert Bergman, "Ezra Pound and Walt Whitman," American Literature 27 (1955-56): 56-61, transcribes an unpublished article by Pound, "What I Feel About Walt Whitman" (Feb. 1, 1909), which includes the following comments: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. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
See Gallup C76
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.