Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
Lustra
By Ezra Pound
 
I
O HELPLESS few in my country,
O remnant enslaved!
 
Artists broken against her,
A-stray, lost in the villages,
Mistrusted, spoken-against,        5
 
Lovers of beauty, starved,
Thwarted with systems,
Helpless against the control;
 
You who can not wear yourselves out
By persisting to successes,        10
You who can only speak,
Who can not steel yourselves into reiteration;
 
You of the finer sense,
Broken against false knowledge,
You who can know at first hand,        15
Hated, shut in, mistrusted:
 
Take thought.
I have weathered the storm,
I have beaten out my exile.
 
II
The little Millwins attend the Russian Ballet.
        20
The mauve and greenish souls of the little Millwins
Were seen lying along the upper seats
Like so many unused boas.
 
The turbulent and undisciplined host of art students—
The rigorous deputation from “Slade”—        25
Was before them.
With arms exalted, with fore-arms
Crossed in great futuristic X’s, the art students
Exulted, they beheld the splendors of Cleopatra.
 
And the little Millwins beheld these things;        30
With their large and anaemic eyes they looked out upon this configuration.
 
Let us therefore mention the fact,
For it seems to us worthy of record.
 
III  Further Instructions

Come, my songs, let us express our baser passions.
Let us express our envy for the man with a steady job and no worry about the future.        35
 
You are very idle, my songs,
I fear you will come to a bad end.
You stand about the streets. You loiter at the corners and bus-stops,
You do next to nothing at all.
You do not even express our inner nobility,        40
You will come to a very bad end.
 
And I? I have gone half cracked.
I have talked to you so much
    that I almost see you about me,
Insolent little beasts! Shameless! Devoid of clothing!        45
 
But you, newest song of the lot,
You are not old enough to have done much mischief.
I will get you a green coat out of China
With dragons worked upon it.
I will get you the scarlet silk trousers        50
From the statue of the infant Christ at Santa Maria Novella;
 
Lest they say we are lacking in taste,
Or that there is no caste in this family.
 
 
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