Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Salvador Dali, "Unsatisfied" (1928)
As a bathtub lined with white porcelain,
When the hot water gives out or goes tepid,
So is the slow cooling of our chivalrous passion,
O my much praised but-not-altogether-satisfactory lady.
- Ezra Pound, "The Bath Tub"
A mock-heroic simile. In a covering note to Harriet Monroe, Pound wrote (Chicago MSS, Dec. 3, 1912):
The "Bath Tub" is intended to diagnose the sensation of two people who never having loved each other save in the Tennysonian manner have come upon a well-meaning satiety... No "spiritual gravity" or "quodlibet." 2 bodies reduced to chemical components...

It is the job of this art of ours to hale a man naked into the presence of his God (or whatever equivalent)...
An earlier title for this poem was "Courtesy" (Chicago MSS).

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