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Ezra Pound - Sestina: Altaforte

LOQUITUR: En Bertans de Born.  Dante Alighieri put this man in hell
for that he was a stirrer up of strife.  Eccovi! Judge ye! Have I dug
him up again?  The scene is at his castle, Altaforte.  "Papiols" is his
jongleur.  "The Leopard," the device of Richard Coeur de Lion.

I

Damn it all! all this our South stinks peace.
You whoreson dog, Papiols, come!  Let's to music!
I have no life save when the swords clash.
But ah! when I see the standards gold, vair, purple, opposing
And the broad fields beneath them turn crimson,
Then howl I my heart nigh mad with rejoicing.

II

In hot summer I have great rejoicing
When the tempests kill the earth's foul peace,
And the lightning from black heav'n flash crimson,
And the fierce thunders roar me their music
And the winds shriek through the clouds mad, opposing,
And through all the riven skies God's swords clash.

III

Hell grant soon we hear again the swords clash!
And the shrill neighs of destriers in battle rejoicing,
Spiked breast to spiked breat opposing!
Better one hour's stour than a year's peace
With fat boards, bawds, wine and frail music!
Bah! there's no wine like the blood's crimson!

IV

And I love to see the sun rise blood-crimson.
And I watch his spears through the dark clash
And it fills all my heart with rejoicing
And pries wide my mouth with fast music
When I see him so scorn and defy peace,
His long might 'gainst all darkness opposing.

V

The man who fears war and squats opposing
My words for stour, hath no blood of crimson
But is fit only to rot in womanish peace
Far from where worth's won and the swords clash
For the death of such sluts I go rejoicing;
Yea, I fill all the air with my music.

VI

Papiols, Papiols, to the music!
There's no sound like to swords swords opposing,
No cry like the battle's rejoicing
When our elbows and swords drip the crimson
And our charges 'gainst "The Leopard's" rush clash.
May God damn for ever all who cry "Peace!"

VII

And let the music of the swords make them crimson!
Hell grant soon we hear again the swords clash!
Hell blot black for always the thought "Peace!"

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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 18247 times | Comments and analysis of Sestina: Altaforte by Ezra Pound Comments (51)

Sestina: Altaforte - Comments and Information

Poet: Ezra Pound
Poem: Sestina: Altaforte
Poem of the Day: Mar 1 2006

Comment 51 of 51, added on April 11th, 2014 at 8:56 PM.
I might be betinag a

I might be betinag a dead horse, but thank you for posting this!

Pink from Dominican Republic
Comment 50 of 51, added on April 11th, 2014 at 6:08 PM.
,when you told meyou

,when you told meyou didn’t love meand thought you naldrrealvyheeand wanted a divorceafter ten yearsand 2.6 children(because I wassix months pregnantwith boy number 3)the worst,very worstmomentin my life occurred.For about thirty seconds,that seemed a lot longer,my broken heartactuallyconsideredallowing my carto cross the center linejust in time to smash intothe oncoming traffic.And when our son kicked,in opposition, I imagined,I realized it justwouldn’t be fair.And then my naturaloptimismsprang to lifeand said “Things will get better. Some day. I promise.” And they did.Diana Terrill Clark

Lanz from Trinidad and Tobago, Republic
Comment 49 of 51, added on April 1st, 2014 at 11:43 AM.
rtKMKSOfmXddHvtTZ

ywNWvR This is one awesome blog.Much thanks again. Great.

seo for cheap from Mauritania

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