As a bathtub lined with white porcelain,
When the hot water gives out or goes tepid,
So is the slow cooling of our chivalrous passion,
O my much praised but-not-altogether-satisfactory lady.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Ezra Pound's poem The Bath-Tub


  1. Jay says:

    I think the keyword in this poem is “chivalrous”….unlocking that, and you can figure out what he was talking about. Potentially, anyway. The poem-dude is saving the lady. Maybe she was really pretty, but once things were naked and horizontal, she got a lil cardboardlike and the fun fizzled. Maybe they married for all the wrong reasons. Maybe they didn’t show each other their truest selves, and he’s blaming the lady. Who’s to say, for sure. Perhaps Dr.Noisewater has more insight.

  2. Margaux Munier says:

    this poem was a medium of criticism of traditional romantic poems, that would describe a rose or a “snow-white” skin. instead, pound uses a bath tub, an element every reader can relate to and visualize itself inside it. beautiful poem!!

  3. Roger Engley says:

    The poem shows the temporary state of love as the warmth of a bath fades so does the love of a lady. Be it famliarity or time itself with death fades as the warm bath.

  4. Subrata Ray says:

    Ezra Pound is one of the greatest image-makers in English poetry . The depth and intensity of the pivotal image remains in the bath-tub .The hot water , the cold water , and the tub , suggest the warmth of passion , decay of passion , and the medium of enjoying the those two . The image of the lady relates to the temptation of life .

  5. weenis says:

    when i read this poem i want to puke in a bathtub and jump in and scub myself down. with puke.



  6. tanisha says:

    its a good poem i wish i could take a bath to but we have no water soo i love ur poem later!!!!

  7. jdog1040 says:

    One thing about reading Pound… He always gets right to the point. No fluffy beating around the bush, no trying to entangle the reader in words that sound intriguing with very little weight. This man is strong.

    • Jay says:

      I just finished reading “The Fault Of It” and I must say….that was not the case, with that one. I left thinking “WHAT?!?!?!?!?!??! WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!” And…if you have to do that with a poem, it’s a problem, to me.

  8. kelsey says:

    hmmm…i came to the board hoping to find an insight on this poem, and all i found was….kenneth. someone smart needs to post!

  9. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

    when i read this poem it made me want to go into my bedroom and takea big poopie. I LOVE IT

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