Anti-traditional Conception of Sex in Pound's Coitus Essay

Anti-traditional Conception of Sex in Pound's Coitus Essay

Length: 2527 words (7.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Anti-traditional Conception of Sex in Pound's "Coitus"

Critics have been fascinated and often baffled by Ezra Pound's shifting poetic style, which ranges from the profound simplicity of "In a Station of the Metro" to the complex intertextuality of the "Cantos." Pound's significance derives largely from his constant resolve to break traditional form and ideology, both literary and poetic. What is particularly unique about Pound, however, is that as he continually establishes precedence, he rarely abandons his thorough knowledge and appreciation of classical literature, drawing heavily from his literary and historical education in even his most groundbreaking works. "Coitus," one of Pound's early short works, exemplifies both his interest in the simple, efficient techniques of vorticism and his homage to the classics, interrelating them to create a statement that is unique and anti-traditional.



The gilded phaloi of the crocuses

are thrusting at the spring air.

Here is there naught of dead gods

But a procession of festival,


A procession, O Giulio Romano,

Fit for your spirit to dwell in.

Dione, your nights are upon us.

The dew is upon the leaf.

The night about us is restless.


Although classical allusions and imagist influences are an essential part of "Coitus," it is the disturbingly stark sexual force that dominates its tone. However bluntly carnal the poem seems, it does not at any point explicitly mention sex, except in the unmistakable directness of the title. Pound renders his tone through a montage of classical allusions and phallic imagery which resemble the vorticistic Japanese haiku; the beginning and ending two lines share similarities with Pound's...

... middle of paper ...

...ion, yoking allusive fragments of western culture with elements of modern life. By combining the ancient with the new, Pound produces disturbing and sexually centered anachronisms that capitalize on the previous history of literature but also revolutionary modern theories; psychological, sexual and literary. As a whole, "Coitus" is an atom of knowledge, capable of splitting and exploding into far reaches of historical and literary realms, yet instantly and intriguingly disturbing for its modern sexual tone.



The following poems are borrowed from page 109 of Personae: The Collected Shorter Poems of Ezra Pound, 1926.




The apparition of these faces in the crowd;

Petals on a wet, black bough.



As cool as the pale wet leaves

of lily-of-the-valley

She lay beside me in the dawn.


Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Ezra Pound : The Life Of Ezra Pound

- Ezra Pound’s upbringing is certainly the simplest thing about him. Born in Hailey, Idaho to Isabel and Homer Pound in 1885. He was educated in the rural area of Philadelphia beginning in 1889. Pound was raised in a relatively normal middle-class home and as an only child had extremely high expectations for himself. One of his unrealistic goals at the age of fifteen was “that by thirty he would know more about poetry than any man living”. He kept himself busy, taking on multiple challenges throughout his life....   [tags: Poetry, Ezra Pound, Modernism, Imagism]

Powerful Essays
914 words (2.6 pages)

Society's Conception of Sex Essay

- Society's Conception of Sex The connotation of the word sex is so vague that it can be manipulated to mean virtually anything, however the definition of the word within society has remained the same. Penetration is the defining factor of sex in its literal sense, however it can be altered to include a variety of acts. Anthropologist Margaret Mead, and President Clinton found loopholes in the connotation of sex, and used it to the benefit. The context in which Mead used the word was to encompass the various acts that accompany intercourse, such as oral sex, to prove that Samoan society is far more promiscuous than our own....   [tags: Exploratory Essays Research Papers]

Powerful Essays
739 words (2.1 pages)

Conception Of Conception And Pregnancy Essay

- Conception and Pregnancy To start this off, conception is the action of conceiving a child, and pregnancy is the period from conception to birth. They both share the same meaning: the process of getting pregnant. Conception happens when a sperm penetrates on one of the female’s eggs. Then, at around day 14 of a 28 day cycle, the egg leaves the ovary, and it is surrounded by a protective layer of cells. The fallopian tube is lined with cilia, which helps move the egg towards the womb. This is called ovulation....   [tags: Abortion, Pregnancy, Birth control]

Powerful Essays
1080 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on Ezra Pound's In a Station of the Metro

- Ezra Pound's In a Station of the Metro Before this week, I had never read any poetry by Ezra Pound. I noticed immediately that many of the poems are very short. "In a Station of the Metro," for example, is two lines. In the essay "Imagism," the second rule of imagistes is said to be "to use absolutely no word that did not contribute to the presentation." I think this rule helps explain why some of Pound's poems are so short. Obeying the second rule of imagistes will be harder the longer the poem is....   [tags: Ezra Pound Station of the Metro Essays]

Free Essays
603 words (1.7 pages)

Essay on Ezra Pound

- Ezra Pound was born in 1885 in Hailey, Idaho. He was considered one of the foremost American literary figures of the 20th century. Pound's style was unlike any other poet during this time period. He wrote about ancient and modern history with his personal reflections and experience. In Pound's poetry he tested many new forms of verses. Pound influenced young authors such as: James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, and Ernest Hemingway. When Pound was 15 years old he had already decided that he wanted to be a poet....   [tags: Ezra Pound]

Free Essays
308 words (0.9 pages)

Teenage Pregnancy: The Epidemic Essay

- Teenage pregnancy is an epidemic that has been highly debated and publicized during the past few decades. Although it has been statistically proven to be on the decline since the 1950s, it is still a major discussion and topic of concern especially for the health of the unborn child and the mother. The aspect of teenage pregnancy might have been approved and a regular occurrence in the 1950s, but now with the multitude of contraceptives and preventative methods it is heavily frowned upon. Throughout the 1950s, the United States was exiting and recovering from World War II and this recovery moment gradually initiated a baby boom....   [tags: sex education, unplanned conception]

Powerful Essays
1245 words (3.6 pages)

Same-Sex Relationships Should Not Be Allowed Essay

- Same sex relationships should not be allowed In recent reports there has been increasing interest in same-sex couples within Australian society. At both State and Commonwealth level there has been a removal of the majority of legal distinctions between homosexual couples and heterosexual couples. The changing face of relationships in contemporary society and continuing expansion in human rights laws have brought attempts to recognise and regulate relationships of a broader context than the traditional marriage....   [tags: traditional marriage, australia]

Powerful Essays
1000 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about Ezra Pound developing ideas

- Ezra Pound's Developing Ideas Often called "the poet's poet," because of his profound influence on 20th century writing in English, American poet and critic, Pound, believed that poetry was the highest of the arts. You never would have believed that a writer and optimist such as Ezra Pound would have been born in Hailey, Idaho in 1885. From the sound of his work you'd thing he was definitely one of those European Imagist. In 1908, after teaching college for two years, Pound traveled abroad to Spain, Italy, and London....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
1032 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Use of Opinions, Voices, and Actions in Maria Concepcion

- Use of Opinions, Voices, and Actions in Maria Concepcion "María Concepción did not weep when Juan left her; and when the baby was born, and died within four days, she did not weep" (Porter 144). Katherine Anne Porter's used various writing techniques to develop María Concepción as a round and dynamic character. These methods included the discussion of María's actions, her speech, and by telling what other characters think about María. As a round character María Concepción expressed contradictory attitudes, and diverse personality traits....   [tags: Maria Concepcion Essays]

Powerful Essays
755 words (2.2 pages)

Essay about Ezra Pound

- Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot on Modernism On Ezra Pound’s quote on modernism, he claims that "the modern age wants a literature that reflects an image of itself: "accelerated" and mass produced ("a mould in plaster/Made with no loss of time) as well as superficial." This means that today’s society wants a literature that resembles itself, fast paced and shallow. Society want literature that is direct and straightforward simply because people find it too "time consuming" to think for themselves....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
1354 words (3.9 pages)