I STOOD still and was a tree amid the wood,
Knowing the truth of things unseen before;
Of Daphne and the laurel bow
And that god-feasting couple old
That grew elm-oak amid the wold.
'Twis not until the gods had been
Kindly entreated, and been brought within
Unto the hearth of their heart's home
That they might do this wonder thing;
Nathless I have been a tree amid the wood
And many a new thing understood
That was rank folly to my head before.
Have you ever been what you are not?
Peter, I have often felt that the word "understand" means to "stand under" the tree of knowledge. That tree may be allegorical, the forest might be mankind and the tree might be one in a multitude. Knowledge is not singular in my opinion, it is only one tree in a forest of understanding.
There are many ways to see the world, our viewpoint at a moment in time may differ from our true essence, but I doubt whether we are ever apart from the essence of our being.
I took in every word you had to say on understanding here. I must say that it is the instances when someone takes that time to make such thoughtful comments that attracted me to and keeps me coming back to this forum. So many souls with something worthwhile to share, poems and thoughts.
what a tree understands is duration
I understand the reference to Daphne, who (in myth) was transformed into a laurel tree.
I don't know who the "god-feasting couple old / That grew elm-oak amid the wold" were.
Baucis and Philomen, an old couple whom Zeus rewarded for their kindness by changing them into intertwining trees upon their death (Ovid, Metamorphoies, I, VII), cited in Christine Froula, A Guide to Ezra Pound's Selected Poems, p. 22.
Or Baucis and Philomon "were metamorphosed into trees after unwittingly entertaining the gods." K.K. Routhven, A Guide to Ezra Pound's Personae (1926), p.242. a very different interpretation of the same use of the same myth.
Here is an odd post with some words changed:
I'm guessing EP used ancient language because of the ancient references?
Nathless, 'twas, wold and the like, I mean.
When I was a child, I was a dog named Jet.
That was his strategy thoughout his "Personae"
preetty ruff, huh?
I can think of the tree as the concept of a god and the wood a universe. I love Les's handling of it!
I'd like to think of an Oak
leaving the back yard
into yeallow and red Autumn.