The tree has entered my hands,
The sap has ascended my arms,
The tree has grown in my breast-
Downward,
The branches grow out of me, like arms.

Tree you are,
Moss you are,
You are violets with wind above them.
A child – so high – you are,
And all this is folly to the world.

Analysis, meaning and summary of the poem by

42 Comments

  1. bev says:

    After reading this ” so called poem ” no wonder he was declared mentally unsound.

  2. mildred says:

    i think the writter is sad but i dont understand it all

  3. Sheryl Skoglund says:

    The poet is speaking of the tree in the Garden of Eden, the tree of Life. How life wins.You are violets with wind above them.
    A child – so high – you are, Such opposites,”You are violets with the wind above them”, but ” A child-so high-you are,”. The poem speaks of goddess, of queen, and of a girl.

  4. jhoe says:

    im looking 4wad t see the meaning f this poem i thnk i love 8 hhhehehe i hope smeday i wl understand the meaning o this poem if you kno just visit my email add im w8ting…

  5. Hannah Loftis says:

    It was a good poem. It reminds me of growing up and feeling/living life.

  6. Franscisco Gallardo says:

    I want to thaks Elena from Spain. I have just read the myth Of Dafne and Apolo. At a first sigth the poem seems to be simple, but it isnt.

  7. Elena says:

    This poem is based on the mith of Apollo and Daphne. Pound is telling in this poem the part in which Daphne is turning into a laurel tree to scape from Apollo. The first part is told by Daphne in first person, telling her process of transformation. The second part is told by Apollo who is seeing the process. If you want to understand better this poem, you should read the myth of Daphne and Apollo.

  8. Jorge says:

    i think this poem is about any girl, and the author uses the tree as a way of expressing its comunion with the girl, and the world failing to the understand the love which ties him to the girl, thinks its all folly or somethig like that, besides, its only my interpretation, and good poems are good because they have so many cool interpretations, diversity generates cultural richness

  9. ngaio says:

    I totally fail to see how this poem is about a girl…
    isnt it more like a tree???

  10. sam says:

    this sounds really perverted like sex or masturbation….i like it

  11. Reesa says:

    Methinks the girl in question is Ezra’s daughter. When she enters his hands, she has been delivered to him (birthed). She becomes a part of him. “So high you are” implies that Ezra reveres the girl. The folly is about how he thinks no one in the world could understand the relationship betweeen him and his girl.
    No, ezra is not a woman’s name. Do you know any women named Ezra? Just because it ends with an ‘a’ does not mean it’s necessarily a woman.

  12. kelly says:

    i like this poem, but i’m not quite sure why, it speaks to my heart but i’m not sure what it’s saying

  13. Ericka says:

    I really don’t think this poem is meant to parallel traditional mythology. Pound typically shied away from this; often he utilized later models, such as Dante’s Inferno.

  14. Ash says:

    This reminds me of this on time in a cabin…this Tree came on to me and i had gooey Sap all over my body but my face most of all.

  15. tasha says:

    thispoem is bad >;-P

  16. TomCarroll says:

    hhhhhmmmm i guess i take the poem at face value. A girl feels so deeply. she is what she experiences the tree, the flower, the whatever and the world cannot understand

  17. Jameroquai says:

    amazing poem…speaks to my senses

  18. lauren says:

    I think that his poems are smart and if you can make money off two sentences then koo koo!!!! I wish I could do it………..jealous people!!!!

  19. Mishcie says:

    Isn’t Ezra a womans Name???

  20. amy Correia says:

    “all this is folly to the world”
    that is the center of the poem to me and what i want to understand.
    Pound describes his feelings about the subject of his poem, the little girl, by comparing her to a tree. He takes her in his hands literally (that is how i read it) and it suggests to me that he is taking care of her. But the image of the sap ascending his arms becomes more ominous. Then the idea of the tree (child) penetrating him, becomes stranger and more ominous still such that branches grow from his arms. Is he saying that he feels so responsible for her or is so moved by her that she has become a part of him? By the end of the poem
    she is everything: the tree. the moss. the violets with wind blowing above them. These are beautiful images but the last line, again, turns foreboding: “and all this is folly to the world”. The power and beauty of a girl is what makes the world fall and sin. Pound’s point of view could be viewed as ambiguous. He loves and hates the little girl.

  21. Gladys Lopez says:

    i don’t get it

  22. mohamad says:

    a touching moving poem ( i also had been thinking that pound was a woman)

  23. agi says:

    it is not just ‘folly’ as Pound said but a mirracle of life that a child can be like a tree that grows out of a parent body. First, it is just a sap but soon it takes all the strentgh from it and overgrows the parential tree… Well, sometimes the child can suck all the ‘juice’ out of its parent. But here Pound seems to enjoy it.

  24. Brother Geo says:

    It seems to me as if Mr. Pound is describing the pounding of Mr. Pounds pud, which he so convientently terms a “tree.” Ha! You wish! Pound, old boy! More like a twig, I would imagine. To each his own, I suppose.

  25. Tom Rea says:

    Yes, right, see Paul Bard’s comment #11; the girl is being pursued and changing into a tree to elude her persuer. This poem may make the most sense if you read the first stanza as the words of the girl as she is changing, the second as the words of the guy who loves her but can’t quite catch up.
    The fun thing about Pound is how he has so much other literature in his mind as he writes. He’s great on his own but gets even better once you figure out what he’s referring to. In “Metamorphoses,” The Roman poet Ovid told the story of Daphne, daughter of a river god. She was beautiful but shunned all suitors. One day Apollo, the sun god, saw her when she was hunting in the woods. He followed her but she was a fast runner, and fled. He called and called but she wouldn’t stop, and for a long time he couldn’t catch her; nymphs like Daphne knew it was too risky to have a god for a lover. As she approached the river she felt his breath on her neck, called out to her father for help, and immediately she began changing into a laurel tree. Apollo watched the change with dismay and grief. Pound seems to add a hint of self-disgust in there too: “And all this is folly to the world.” Kind of like, what a waste. But still she’s beautiful, even as a plant. And all this in ten quick lines! For more on the Daphne story, see if your library has “Mythology,” by Edith Hamilton, & check out p. 155.

  26. YEPWI DANIEL says:

    only men with imagery think this awesome or else it could just be another “folly to the world”

  27. Anne says:

    Exactly.What we really wanna write in our poems can only exist in imagnary world n when we have finished writing a poem n come back to the real world, it seems like whatever we have written will look foolish to the people who will read it.But that carries a very moralic lesson.

  28. John says:

    Ok…fist of this poet is a guy Natalie, if you would look at the huge picture it gives you above the poems you might notice this fact. Thats all I got.

  29. ali says:

    i never read this poem, but i think itsd cool

  30. Leonardo says:

    If we aren´t prepared we cant understand this.Ezra’s poems are a mix of perfection and sure.

  31. Leonardo says:

    I´m just studying Ezra Pound.He is complicated at the same time he is interesting, clear and direct.

  32. Paul Bard says:

    This poem elaborates Ezra’s view on history and culture in the context of a young woman. The world of dry dead energyless civilisation is contrasted against the natural pagan world, symbolised by the girl.

    In ancient Rome there are many examples of women turning into plants and animals in their fiction, such as Ovid’s Metamorphoses. In this context of the ancient world this happens in the presence of a God desiring the woman.

    Here I beleive the desire is unsatisfied, and the woman eludes him by turning into a tree. Pound the poet is represented as a God in pursuit of the human girl. The tendency of Pound to egotistical overstatement is subtle here. But I understand that’s what got him committed in his treason case to an insane asylum.

  33. cowboy says:

    ezra pound poems are about truth

  34. jake says:

    This poem is very touching. It’s one of my favorites.

  35. Noam Elisha says:

    what kinda man has boobs?

  36. diamond says:

    i liked the poem its very touching

  37. pinkski says:

    this autor was high when she wrote this poem!!!!!!!

  38. Patrick Hung says:

    My interpretation is: When one loves a girl as much, her personality and person grows on you, envelopes you, and possesses you, much like moss’s effect on a tree. Another facet – the beauty of trees, comparable to the beauty of a girl. I don’t find the poem difficult to interpret – it leaves much room for creative interpretation.

  39. Qenco Kurdistan says:

    really it is very ambiguious.(Jê nayê têgihîştin bi hêsanî=Kurdish) İt is first time i read ezra’s poem.i had been thinking he was a woman :)).i will read his other poems hope to savor them

  40. Robbie says:

    When I first read this, I was blown away.
    I remember being on a bus driving through the country when I was sitting reading it as we passed some lone trees in a farm field.

  41. Feminism says:

    who compares a tree to a girl?

  42. blueski says:

    A child – so high – you are,
    I just not so much realize this sentence. 🙁

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