La Revue des Ressources
Home > Dossiers > Bibliothèque sonore > Moeurs Contemporaines (5:50)

Moeurs Contemporaines (5:50) 

Thursday 21 February 2008, by Ezra Pound (1885-1972)

The Caedmon Recordings
Recorded in Washington, D.C., June 12, 13, 26, 1958

Ezra pound
Moeurs Contemporaine (1918)
Enregistrement de 1958

Moeurs Contemporaine (1918)

Mr. Styrax *


MR. HECATOMB STYRAX, the owner of a large estate

and of large muscles,

A "blue" and a climber of mountains, has married

at the age of 28,

He being at that age a virgin,

The term "virgo" being made male in mediaeval latinity;

His ineptitudes

Having driven his wife from one religious excess to


She has abandoned the vicar

For he was lacking in vehemence;

She is now the high-priestess

Of a modern and ethical cult,

And even now, Mr. Styrax

Does not believe in aesthetics. -


His brother has taken to gipsies,

But the son-in-law of Mr. H. Styrax

Objects to perfumed cigarettes.

In the parlance of Niccolo Machiavelli:

"Thus things proceed in their circle";

And thus the empire is maintained. -

II -

Clara -

AT sixteen she was a potential celebrity

With a distaste for caresses.

She now writes to me from a convent;

Her life is obscure and troubled;

Her second husband will not divorce her;

Her mind is, as ever, uncultivated,

And no issue presents itself.

She does not desire her children,

Or any more children.

Her ambition is vague and indefinite,

She will neither stay in, nor come out. -


Soiree -

UPON learning that the mother wrote verses,

And that the father wrote verses,

And that the youngest son was in a publisher’s


And that the friend of the second daughter was

undergoing a novel,

The young American pilgrim


"This is a darn’d clever bunch!" -

IV -

Sketch 48 b. 11 -

AT the age of 27

Its home mail is still opened by its maternal


And its office mail may be opened by

its parent of the opposite gender.

It is an officer,

and a gentleman,

and an architect. -

V -

"Nodier raconte..."


AT a friend of my wife’s there is a photograph,

A faded, pale brownish photograph,

Of the times when the sleeves were large,

Silk, stiff and large above the lacertus,

That is, the upper arm,

And decollete....

It is a lady,

She sits at a harp,

Playing, -

And by her left foot, in a basket,

Is an infant, aged about 14 months,

The infant beams at the parent,

The parent re-beams at its offspring.

The basket is lined with satin,

There is a satin-like bow on the harp. -


And in the home of the novelist

There is a satin-like bow on an harp.

You enter and pass hall after hall,

Conservatory follows conservatory,

Lilies lift their white symbolical cups,

Whence their symbolical pollen has been excerpted,

Near them I noticed an harp

And the blue satin ribbon,

And the copy of "Hatha Yoga"


Ezra pound
Moeurs Contemporaine (1918)
Enregistrement de 1958
© la revue des ressources : Sauf mention particulière | SPIP | Contact | Site Map | Follow site activity RSS 2.0 | La Revue des Ressources sur facebook & twitter