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 Ezra Pound's poem A Girl

44 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. YEPWI DANIEL says:

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. ali says:

    i never read this poem, but i think itsd cool

  8. Leonardo says:

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

  9. Leonardo says:

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

  10. 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.

  11. cowboy says:

    ezra pound poems are about truth

  12. jake says:

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

  13. Noam Elisha says:

    what kinda man has boobs?

  14. diamond says:

    i liked the poem its very touching

  15. pinkski says:

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Feminism says:

    who compares a tree to a girl?

  20. blueski says:

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

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