An Immorality by Ezra Pound, Summary, Interpretations, and Analysis

Please wait 0 seconds...
Scroll Down and click on Go to Link for destination
Congrats! Link is Generated
An Immorality Poem Text

Sing we for love and idleness,
Naught else is worth the having.

Though I have been in many a land,
There is naught else in living.

And I would rather have my sweet,
Though rose-leaves die of grieving,

Than do high deeds in Hungary
To pass all men's believing.

Reference to Hungary

This poem is interpreted in multiple ways. Since there is sarcastic/serious reference to high deeds in Hungary and the poem was published in 1912, in his collection of 25 poems named "Riposites". Let's see what was happening in Hungary around 1912.

  • 1526: Ottoman Empire divided hungary into three parts: the Habsburgs, the Turks, and the Principality of Transylvania.
  • 1848-49: War of Independence: Hungarians revolted against the Austrian emperor.
  • 1867: Habsburgs supressed the revolution with help of the Russian Czar.
  • 1912: Serious tension with Jews living there.

Summary of the Poem: An Immorality

The poem reads, there is nothing more important in life than love and idleness. Narrator has been to many different places but all the experience culminates in this single lesson that in fact nothing is worthwhile except being with the "sweet", that is to say, beloved, even though leaves of rose eventually are separated from the rose and they grieve. Narrator claims he would prefer this over doing high deeds in Hungary and to pass all men's beliefs.

Some Interpretations

  • Poem's title "An Immorality" suggests number of things since it contradicts the message of the whole poem. Some of the possible interpretations can be:
    1. There are two speakers, one calls the whole message of the poem "an immorality" and another gives the message present in the poem. Kind of a debate.
    2. The title is used as a sarcasm to refer to popular belief at the time.
    3. The embedded contradiction is meant to stimulate thinking and questioning.
    4. Ezra Pound is the first speaker because he supported Hitler and Mussolini.
    5. Or Ezra Pound is the second narrator who is against wars fought for capitalist interests.
      • The poem can be interpreted as an anti-war work.
      • It can also be read as treatise on love and peace over war.

Attend our free course on Modern Poetry Syllabus

Important Note: You can share your interpretation and join the conversation below!

1 comment

  1. You can share your interpretation and post queries here!
Cookie Consent
We serve cookies on this site to analyze traffic, remember your preferences, and optimize your experience.
It seems there is something wrong with your internet connection. Please connect to the internet and start browsing again.
AdBlock Detected!
We have detected that you are using adblocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website, we request you to whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.
Site is Blocked
Sorry! This site is not available in your country.