En robe de parade.
Samain

Like a skien of loose silk blown against a wall
She walks by the railing of a path in Kensington Gardens,
And she is dying piece-meal
of a sort of emotional anaemia.

And round about there is a rabble
Of the filthy, sturdy, unkillable infants of the very poor.
They shall inherit the earth.

In her is the end of breeding.
Her boredom is exquisite and excessive.
She would like some one to speak to her,
And is almost afraid that I
will commit that indiscretion.

Analysis, meaning and summary of the poem by

21 Comments

  1. Craig Campbell says:

    Im in 7th grade at a school in Ann Arbor Michigan. I love this poem. It is a really good poem. But I seriously do not know anything about it. Can anyone tell me what it is about

  2. Daniel Patrick McCurdy, Sr. says:

    I am a poet…a professional writer for forty-plus years. It is interesting to me how individuals, even enlightened, scholarly types can, with any semblance of confidence, profess to ‘know’ what the poet ‘means’ through the words, implications and symbology; even if, in fact, s/he has intended a symbolic facet to the poetic words and phrases employed. My poetry is written solely for ME. The famous American poet and novelist, Robert Penn Warren said, “For what is a poem but a hazardous attempt at self-understanding; it is the deepest part of autobiography.” THAT is the mien of the poets I’ve met and have been honored to know. To me, to be able to rummage around on the darker, more jagged edges of my being and pull a demon or angel painfully through my heart and mind, then have the expressive ability, Flaubert’s ‘le mot juste’ to grasp them tightly and push them onto paper IN BLACK AND WHITE is a sweet, relieving, self-administered cathartic process; a ‘very, very personal’ auto-therapy of renewal and reassessment. NO ONE knows what I ‘mean or intend,’ what I ‘imply or suggest,’ what I have ‘explicitly stated or have symbolically veiled.’ If I choose to share my poem with someone and they discover and derive within themselves their own meaning from it and are touched by my words, I am more than pleased and delighted. But I hasten to advise them NOT TO TELL ME ‘WHAT I MEANT.’ They simply do NOT know.

  3. Daniel Patrick McCurdy, Sr. says:

    I am a poet…a professional writer for forty-plus years. It is interesting to me how individuals, even enlightened, scholarly types can, with any semblance of confidence, profess to ‘know’ what the poet ‘means’ through the words, implications and symbology; even if, in fact, s/he has intended a symbolic facet to the poetic words and phrases employed. My poetry is written solely for ME. The famous American poet and novelist, Robert Penn Warren said, “For what is a poem but a hazardous attempt at self-understanding; it is the deepest part of autobiography.” THAT is the mien of the poets I’ve met and have been honored to know. To me, to be able to rummage around on the darker, more jagged edges of my being and pull a demon or angel painfully through my heart and mind, then have the expressive ability, Flaubert’s ‘le mot juste’ to grasp them tightly and push them onto paper IN BLACK AND WHITE is a sweet, relieving, self-administered cathartic process; a ‘very, very personal’ auto-therapy of renewal and reassessment. NO ONE knows what I ‘mean or intend,’ what I ‘imply or suggest,’ what I have ‘explicitly stated or have symbolically veiled.’ If I choose to share my poem with someone and they discover and derive within themselves their own meaning from it and are touched by my words, I am more than pleased and delighted. But I hasten to advise them NOT TO TELL ME ‘WHAT I MEANT.’ They simply do NOT know.

  4. Daniel Patrick McCurdy, Sr. says:

    I am a poet…a professional writer for forty-plus years. It is interesting to me how individuals, even enlightened, scholarly types can, with any semblance of confidence, profess to ‘know’ what the poet ‘means’ through the words, implications and symbology; even if, in fact, s/he has intended a symbolic facet to the poetic words and phrases employed. My poetry is written solely for ME. The famous American poet and novelist, Robert Penn Warren said, “For what is a poem but a hazardous attempt at self-understanding; it is the deepest part of autobiography.” THAT is the mien of the poets I’ve met and have been honored to know. To me, to be able to rummage around on the darker, more jagged edges of my being and pull a demon or angel painfully through my heart and mind, then have the expressive ability, Flaubert’s ‘le mot juste’ to grasp them tightly and push them onto paper IN BLACK AND WHITE is a sweet, relieving, self-administered cathartic process; a ‘very, very personal’ auto-therapy of renewal and reassessment. NO ONE knows what I ‘mean or intend,’ what I ‘imply or suggest,’ what I have ‘explicitly stated or have symbolically veiled.’ If I choose to share my poem with someone and they discover and derive within themselves their own meaning from it and are touched by my words, I am more than pleased and delighted. But I hasten to advise them NOT TO TELL ME ‘WHAT I MEANT.’ They simply do NOT know.

  5. Helen says:

    This poem refers to The British Empire. that is who “she” is. the skein loose silk is the union jack. This whole poem talks about britain post war.

  6. Rouhi says:

    Ezra Pound is a symbloic poet. He says that infants will inherit the earth oneday.
    The American society is not pure……

  7. Marc says:

    Matthew 5.5: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Jesus’ sermon on the mount).

    A very biting contrast between Pound’s “Of the filthy, sturdy, unkillable infants of the very poor”

  8. motalleb azari says:

    in my openion the main concern of poet is the idleness and meaninglesness of the next generation. in which all humane characteristics are questioned

  9. keith l. muir says:

    Pretty sickening stuff.For Goebbels,he was a “useful fool”-read William Joyce’s biography(Lord HawHaw).
    The children of the poor were far from “unkillable”,particularly if they were non Aryan.

  10. Laura Lee says:

    “ Like a skein of loose silk blown against a wall” the word “loose” tells us that the woman does not feel a sense of belonging. This also shows us she’s wealthy as ‘silk’ which is a expensive material is used to symbolise her. “Wall” gives me an impression of a stone or brick wall. This is used to symbolise the poor people.

    The poem makes me sympathize with the woman in the poem though the poet is mocking at her. The woman in the poem felt lonely, and yet because of her status she is unapproachable by the poor folks. She seems to want to talk to them but restrain herself because of her status. I feel it’s a good poem as in this modern society, many people are striving for wealth and this poem acts as a reminder that money and richness is not everything, it cannot buy us our own child or bring you out of loneliness, instead it can cause a diversion between you and others.

  11. Sally says:

    “En robe de parade” translates as “dressed for show.” This is from Albert Samain’s “Au Jardin de l’Infante.”

  12. steven says:

    so the unkillable children are the walking dead?

    hm. okay. although i wouldn’t say zombies are Sturdy,
    their inheritance of the earth is a possibility.
    unless we act now, that is. suggested reading for you all: The Zombie Survival Guide, by Max Brooks.

  13. Carly Cobb says:

    A perfect example of why you must understand every word used in a poem! Samain (or Samhain) was the Celtic harvest festival and the precusor to our modern Halloween. The Celts believed that on the eve of Samain, the door between the world of the living and the dead was opened and the dead walked among the living (they even left out sweets for them!)…see if that changes your analysis or opinion of this poem. (As for me, I’m reminded of all the intricacies of menopausal women, but then again, that’s just my opinion, and clearly everyone’s got one!)

  14. Barbara Hafner says:

    Trite and sophomoric!

  15. vandana wadhawan says:

    i think the poem talks of a modern individual,who in this world needs to talk ,needs a company….In this poem we see the focus shifting from external to the internal….telling how empty one feels within.

  16. Cheryl Saw says:

    it is obvious that the woman in this poem is very wealthy, but yet she does not feel satisfied with all her riches as she yearns for children of her own which,clearly, money can never buy. in the last stanza, it was stated ‘She would like some one to speak to her,And is almost afraid that I will commit that indiscretion.’ i inferred that she really wanted to speak with someone-anyone-despite their status but yet could not do so because of her wealth.

  17. Lawrence Turner says:

    This poor woman is ‘owned’ by a man, her father? her husband? and lives in a dream of life that is stultifying in it’s rigid adherence to ‘proper’ and ‘traditional’ manners of behavior. Her removal from nature by these social codes is causing her to die inside as see feels she must crush any emotion all of which comes from the animal side of man’s soul. Clearly as she is unable to live, as well she is unable to produce the quantity of children that poor folks can as she is required to play hostess and has been perched upon a pedestal as a living breathing goddess. Unfortunately by becoming that which she is ‘seen’ as, she becomes unapproachable, thus caught in a trap of not-life.

  18. Susan says:

    This woman, like many beautiful, intellectual women,
    is caught up in the mannerisms and roles of her
    daily life. Bored, like so many of us, she wanders
    in envy of those whose lives seem simpler, mundane,
    perhaps easier in the lack of angst brought by a
    higher IQ, a higher level of responsibility. Yet,
    despite her privilege, she is aware that her identity
    is slight and she wavers in the winds of reality. Pound,
    the essential male ‘I’ notices her, knows what she
    needs and catches her attention, inviting her to the
    ‘other side’ of herself. She, hesitant, knows too
    well the cost, wants to run, but wavers, considering. A lovely, poignant poem.

  19. Beverly Rutledge says:

    The woman in this poem was incredibly sad and lonely. I felt that she had longed for a child for a very long time. She was wealthy, but her money could not provide for her the one thing that she wanted and needed most. Having grown up in an affluent environment, she felt superior to the poor women, but at the same time she envied them. They had what she could not, a child of their own. She wanted to reach out and touch the children, if only for a moment, to satisfy her maternal longings, but she could not; for to do so, would be to cross forbidden boundaries. She was trapped in a lonely and empty existence, her only comfort being her wealth.

  20. rebecca says:

    this poem is about class structure – and how it is dying out. the woman in the poem is emotionally weary (anemia) but also physically as in ‘those’ days the very wealthy families holding title married among the family to keep the blood line “pure”: this of course can only be done for so long before it is physically impossible to reproduce due to lack of new genes. that is why “in her is the end of breeding”…there is so much more to this poem, but the woman, dressed up incredibly fancily for the park is wanting to show her wealth but at the same time wishing she were as strong and robust as the poor people (they all have a wider gene selection providing for healthier humans). She wants to be talked to by them, but at the same time doesnt want them to. Thats why it says, in the last three lines of the poem
    “She would like some one to speak to her,
    And is almost afraid that I
    will commit that indiscretion.”
    “I” being the speaker of the poem whom we can assume is one of the “filthy, sturdy, unkillable” “poor” people

  21. jen wolfe says:

    it speaks about emotional suicide…..Anyone out there
    gental enough to penetrate me softly? I need to be rebuilt or at the very least beat.

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