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Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Robert Kibler <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 16 Apr 2000 08:52:00 -0500
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Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
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I haven't read patterns in 10 years, and have neither poem in front of me now, but I do believe that both poems externalize their emotions (objective correlative) and focus on observations and images to hold those emotions. Both poems also have female narrators who are greatly conditioned by a social sense of decorum and right behavior, and in many ways, it is their slight break from decorum or place, given extreme emotional circumstances, that creates the drama. Neither woman actually breaks down, but instead keeps her dignity. They are made admirable in their restraint because we see behind the social conditioning to know the degree of their agony (there is a long tradition in both East and West of admiring restraint more than release of emotions). They are, in short, aristocratic but humanized. We readers are thus also honored or dignified by seeing the true, unaccommodated human beings, alive beneath the restraints of social form. Humanity is proven to be the same everywhere, while good breeding keeps some from succumbing to excessive breakdown and display. We see and know that it is good.
Robert E Kibler, PhD
English and Humanities
Valley City State University
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 "Pay no attention to names. Investigate 
into the reasons things are as they are."
    Chu Hsi, The Great Synthesis, 3:27b
>>> Beth Warren <[log in to unmask]> 04/15 9:41 PM >>>
I'm a new member.  I enjoy poetry and am actually a student and have to
do a paper comparing some of the poems I've read...I want to compare
Pound's "River Merchant's Wife", Pound's "The Gardens", and Amy Lowell's
"Patterns".   Actually, I wrote an analysis of the River Merchant's Wife
but my teacher has set ideas...and you have to match the image/ideas she
has in her head or else it isn't good enough.  I was just wondering if
anyone had some 'food for thought' on how the poems are similar or
dissimilar, at least w/ the two Ezra Pound poems.  I'm not out to
plagiarize, but I am chronically ill and taught at home, so I don't have
the benefit of hearing other peoples ideas.   So I'd welcome any
thoughts!  Thanks