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Hugh Selwyn Mauberley

Hugh Selwyn Mauberley

by Ezra Pound

Sagging Roof

Symbol Analysis

In the tenth poem of "Mauberley" (lines 170-181), Pound describes the living conditions of the poor "stylist." Now we might think the word stylist refers to some superficial person who prefers style over substance. But Pound's actually talking about an artist who appreciates true style or true beauty in an age that doesn't care anymore.

This poor stylist has to live beneath a sagging roof (maybe metaphorically, maybe literally) because the modern world won't shell out any money for beauty. This person lives away from all the posers of the world, with their "sophistications and contentions." And symbolically speaking, this dude can nourish your soul with the "succulent cooking" of his artwork. But in the end, his house has a sagging roof and a creaky door, and he's totally poor just because he decided to dedicate himself to making good art. Serves him right for sticking up for what he believes in.

  • Lines 170-181: The poor stylist has to live in a house with a sagging roof, which could be either metaphorical or literal, in the sense that he has to live in poverty because the world won't pay money for true art.
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