- Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale
- From Blossoms
- Wild Geese
- The Peace of Wild Things
- My Gift to You
- Departing Spring
- The Skylark
- What a Strange Thing!
- Although The Wind …
- The Old Pond
- Spring Is Like A Perhaps Hand
- Hast thou 2 loaves of bread …
- Youth and Age
- A Postcard From the Volcano
- The Kraken
- He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
- There Is a Solitude of Space
- Because I Could Not Stop for Death
- Mad Song
- Answer July
- Success Is Counted Sweetest
- Hope Is the Thing with Feathers
Hast thou 2 loaves of bread
Sell one + with the dole
Buy straightaway some hyacinths
To feed thy soul.
Ezra Pound (1885 –1972) was one of the most influential but also most difficult poets of the 20th century.
If you think this doesn’t look like like your typical Ezra Pound poem, you’re right. It’s not. Or not really. It seems that Pound reworked an old poem by James Terry White, called “Not By Bread Alone” (1907).
If thou of fortune be bereft,James Terry White
And in thy store there be but left
Two loaves—sell one, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.
You can read the whole story here. Which version do you like best? I’m partial to Pound’s version myself.
To read more poems, click here.