Paraphrase of Ezra Pound's "Portrait d'une Femme."

Essay by VeronicaOUniversity, Bachelor'sA, May 2004

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Portrait d'une Femme by Ezra Pound is a blank verse. I believe that it is a poem that illustrates the emptiness and drabness of the life of a cultured woman that seems to be surrounded by all beautiful objects. In the first couple of lines, he states: "Your mind and you are our Sargasso Sea, / London has swept about you this score years / And bright ships left you this or that in fee." He is comparing this woman to a Sargasso Sea, which is a relatively static area of the North Atlantic stretching between the West Indies and the Azores, where the currents deposit masses of seaweed. To me these lines are saying that she is old, a has been: "Ideas, old gossip, oddments of all things / Strange spars of knowledge and dimmed wares of price / Great minds have sought you--lacking someone else."

"You have been second always.

Tragical? / No. You preferred it to the usual thing / One dull man, dulling and uxorious / One average mind--with one thought less, each year." To me this is saying that she has been lonely for a very ling time, she will accept any man. "Oh, you are patient, I have seen you sit / Hours, where something might have floated up / And now you pay one. Yes, you richly pay."

"You are a person of some interest, one comes to you / And takes strange gain away / Trophies fished up; some curious suggestion / Fact that leads nowhere; and a tale for two / Pregnant with mandrakes, or with something else / That might prove useful and yet never proves." Maybe this is saying that she is a good person and is trying really hard to have someone love her but there...