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Portrait d'une Femme

Portrait d'une Femme

by Ezra Pound

Portrait d'une Femme Analysis

Symbolism, Imagery, Wordplay

Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...

Form and Meter

Pound is often called one of the first promoters of free verse (or, as they say in French, vers libre). His "In a Station of the Metro" recalls the haiku form but takes a big step in the free verse...

Speaker

The speaker doesn't reveal a lot about himself in this poem. The first time he mentions himself, he uses the first-person plural, "our" (1), which places him in a group, rather than setting him off...

Setting

The poem takes us to the Sargasso Sea in its first line but then switches to London in its second. This jump between an oceanic to an urban setting occurs throughout "Portrait d'une Femme." We seem...

Sound Check

"Portrait d'une Femme" is filled with miscellaneous objects and experiences that the speaker associates with the woman, a "sea-hoard of deciduous things" (25). This phrase perfectly exemplifies the...

What's Up With the Title?

The first thing we notice about the title is that it's not in English. Ah, those months of sitting through Madame Brunot's French class have finally paid off: "Portrait d'une Femme" is French for "...

Calling Card

Look, Ezra Pound is a really smart guy, and he's read a lot of stuff – probably a lot more than any of us will ever read. He's a walking Wikipedia, and he isn't too shy about pointing this out. H...

Tough-o-Meter

Believe it or not, this is not one of Pound's most difficult poems. It lacks the wide range of foreign vocabulary and obscure allusions that characterize his later poems, such as Hugh Selwyn Mauber...

Trivia

Pound had a penchant for dressing flamboyantly. In college, at the University of Pennsylvania, he wore a green Moroccan robe. In London he wore a Stetson cowboy hat. Literary scholars have claimed...

Steaminess Rating

In a poem about a woman written by a macho guy like Pound, we'd expect a few sexual innuendos or steamy descriptions. Instead we get, basically, a bunch of "facts that go nowhere": mandrakes, amber...

Allusions

Henry James, The Portrait of a LadyRobert Browning, "My Last Duchess" Florence Farr T.S. Eliot, "Portrait of a Lady"William Carlos Williams, "Portrait of a Lady"
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