Friday, November 18, 2016

LAMENT OF THE FRONTIER GUARD by EZRA POUND

By the North Gate, the wind blows full of sand,
Lonely from the beginning of time until now!
Trees fall, the grass goes yellow with autumn.
I climb the towers and towers
       to watch out the barbarous land:
Desolate castle, the sky, the wide desert.
There is no wall left to this village.
Bones white with a thousand frosts,
High heaps, covered with trees and grass;
Who brought this to pass?
Who has brought the flaming imperial anger?
Who has brought the army with drums and with kettle-drums?
Barbarous kings.
A gracious spring, turned to blood-ravenous autumn,
A turmoil of wars-men, spread over the middle kingdom,
Three hundred and sixty thousand,
And sorrow, sorrow like rain.
Sorrow to go, and sorrow, sorrow returning,
Desolate, desolate fields,
And no children of warfare upon them,
       No longer the men for offence and defence.
Ah, how shall you know the dreary sorrow at the North Gate,
With Rihoku's name forgotten,
And we guardsmen fed to the tigers.
By Rihaku      

18 NOV:  The centenary of the end of The Battle of the Somme is being marked in a village in northern France. A daily service has been held in Thiepval since July to mark the anniversary of every day of the battle. It was one of the bloodiest of World War One, in which one million men were killed. Find out more: bbc.in/sommeend

In this "Lament of the frontier guard", by Ezra Pound, we see the topic of it, the war, but not only this, it also talks about the horrible and hair-raising consequences of the war, either of them because all have the same ending. We can see how the poem is turning into a lament, the horrible despair that devastates the war fields, the pain impregnated on the grass, the signs of the loser’s history, the oblivion where we forget all of the soldiers that fought for a country. This poem is a chant to the horror, to the unnecessary afliction of the war, a chant of sorrow and resignation. The poet shows us the true face of the war, the bitter reality of it. The consequences of a terrible act, of an attempt to defend those things that are not our things. Thanks to the terrifying images that the poem gives us, we can imagine the horrible damages caused by the stupid necessity of conquering, of making us better in the presence of the other’s eyes.