Skip to main content

On Visiting Ezra Pound’s Birthplace: Hailey, Idaho

by M. Shayne Bell

Pilgrims for a poet’s words
Go forthright singing-Anhes, Cembelins
We rode three hours west
Born of a ]ongleur’s tongue, freely to pass
Expecting signs and monuments,
In scaled invention or true artistry
But finding only photographs and clippings
I have seen what I have seen
Of mental wards and fascist broadcasts.
Oh, there is precedent, legal tradition
No word of poetry. What thou art swift to lose
I thought of prophets and their honor.

The graveyard held no Pounds.
0 thou unmindful!   How should I forget
The sexton thought all Pounds moved east.
The ten good miles from there to Maent’s castle
One old reporter knew the house : “Some people ask.”
If a rational soul should stir, perchance
We took three pictures; were not let inside.
May I inter beneath the hummock
Of some as yet uncatalogued sand;
I shall not have my epitaph in a high road.
No matter. What thou lovest well remains
Why had we asked for columns and for signs.