On the Flyleaf of Pound's Cantos

On the Flyleaf of Pound's Cantos

There are the Alps. What is there to say about them?
They don't make sense. Fatal glaciers, crags cranks climb,
jumbled boulder and weed, pasture and boulder, scree,
et l'on entend, maybe, le refrain joyeux et leger.
Who knows what the ice will have scraped on the rock it is smoothing?

There they are, you will have to go a long way round
if you want to avoid them.
It takes some getting used to. There are the Alps,
fools! Sit down and wait for them to crumble!

from The Complete Poems (Bloodaxe, 2000), reprinted by permission of Bloodaxe Books. Recording used by permission of the BBC.

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