Poem of the Week: “Ballad for Gloom”

Today, I am posting a poem solely for discussion purposes. I don’t want to influence you by expounding my theories about what Ezra Pound said and why; I only want to hear your thoughts (and I promise, I am not enlisting you to help me cheat on a school assignment. I just want to talk about this poem, OK?). Let’s go!

“Ballad for Gloom”

by Ezra Pound

For God, our God, is a gallant foe
That playeth behind the veil.

I have loved my God as a child at heart
That seeketh deep bosoms for rest,
I have loved my God as maid to man
But lo, this thing is best:

To love your God as a gallant foe
that plays behind the veil,
To meet your God as the night winds meet
beyond Arcturus’ pale.

I have played with God for a woman,
I have staked with my God for truth,
I have lost to my God as a man, clear eyed,
His dice be not of ruth.

For I am made as a naked blade
But hear ye this thing in sooth:

Who loseth to God as man to man
Shall win at the turn of the game.
I have drawn my blade where the lightnings meet
But the ending is the same:
Who loseth to God as the sword blades lose
Shall win at the end of the game.

For God, our God, is a gallant foe
that playeth behind the veil,
Whom God deigns not to overthrow
Hath need of triple mail.

Source.

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