Jeanne Heuving: On "Portrait d'une Femme"

In Pound's "Portrait d'une Femme," the partial and secondary nature of this "femme" made of parts is openly declared:

Your mind and you are our Sargasso Sea, 

London has swept about you this score years 

And bright ships left you this or that in fee: 

Ideas, old gossip, oddments of all things, 

Strange spars of knowledge and dimmed wares of price. 

Great minds have sought you—lacking someone else. 

You have been second always. 

The poem concludes: 

                                                 and yet 

For all this sea-hoard of deciduous things, 

Strange woods half sodden, and new brighter stuff: 

In the slow float of differing light and deep, 

No! there is nothing! In the whole and all, 

Nothing that's quite your own. 

        Yet this is you. (Personae 61) 

Pound may not be projecting his bodily parts onto his beloved, but his femme is certainly a projection of partial and somewhat worthless knowledges.

From "Gender in Marianne Moore's Art: Can'ts and Refusals." SAGETRIEB 6.3


Title Jeanne Heuving: On "Portrait d'une Femme" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author Jeanne Heuving Criticism Target Ezra Pound
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 05 Oct 2015
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication No Data
Printer Friendly PDF Version
Contexts No Data Tags No Data

Rate this Content

No Data
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Total votes: 0
Use the above slider to rate this item. You can only submit one rating per item, and your rating will be factored in to the item's popularity on our listings.

Share via Social Media