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Analysis

Esoteric Obscurorama

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. His poems are usually filled to the brim with foreign languages (especially really old ones, like medieval French and Classical Greek), allusions to an impressively wide range of literature and philosophy, and descriptions of random archaeological artifacts and other objects of curiosity. It's not easy to get through a line of Poundian poetry without looking something up, which can be both exciting and exhausting. "Portrait d'une Femme" is pretty toned down in this regard, perhaps because it's one of Pound's earlier poems, but we can still see his signature obscurity in a number of lines.

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