?The Lake Isle? By Ezra Pound Essay, Research Paper
“The Lake Isle” Response Paper
There comes a point in everybody’s life when a thought of a getaway from the lives we live crosses our mind. For some it’s just an image that pops up and quickly disappears with its unrealistic theme and others can’t get it out of their mind, dwelling about it their whole life. Although, most people do think of an escape, they don’t particularly know what they want. In his poem “The Lake Isle”, Ezra Pound puts down on paper the simple things he longs for in life, revealing us the picture of the milieu he wants to escape to.
The poem begins with Ezra Pound invoking the gods to give him a little tobacco shop, which indeed represents the place if his desire. Just like an artist, he is painting us a picture of a perfect getaway from his daily life, only he is doing it with words. He mentions that in this shop he wants little boxes to be piled up neatly, which I think indicates to Pound’s craving for order in life. He also states that he wants these boxes to be bright, implying that may be there isn’t much glow in his livelihood, and he is tired of living in a dull and spiritless society. Moreover, the use of the word “bright” twice puts a bit stronger emphasis on that particular issue in his life. In overall, Ezra Pound is not asking for baskets filled with gold, nor is he looking for luxury. He is not after an extraordinary life style. He has a longing for the simple and unsophisticated things. This could be inferred from the lines where he points out that he is not looking for fancy women to make serious conversations with. He just wants the ladies of the evening to drop by, to say hello to and crack a joke with.
I find it significant and also very clever that in his poem Pound decided to include the Greek gods. Since in Greek mythology, gods were known for demanding something in return, the ending of this poem seems to be a direct result of its beginning. As the author rethinks it over, he realizes that it could be too much he is asking for. Nevertheless, he does not mind settling for less. The verb change from “Give” in line two to “Lend” in line thirteen clearly states that he is ready to compromise and would do anything to live his dream, even if it would only be for a day. Deciding to go easy on his request Ezra Pound backs away, now begging the gods to lend him his wish. Could the world weighted heavily for Pound in order for him to want to get away so badly? He must not have been happy with what was going on in his life in general, and certainly got tired of writing.
Doing a little research on the time and atmosphere Ezra Pound was living in, I found that the title was a common theme for a getaway place. A famous Irish poet William Butler Yeats, to whom Pound was a contemporary to had also written a related poem with a very similar title of “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”. Although the content of the poem was not the same the meaning behind it was identical. He was another one who defined the place he could find peace within.