tallchick

Pound of Flesh

19 posts in this topic

Ezra Pound's Nazi-era antisemitism, broadcast by the Mussolini Italian government to Allied troops (sort of the Tokyo Rose of the European war) was notorious and made him a war criminal (and postwar prisoner of war). He is the epitome of a bad man.

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Originally posted by porcupine-ologist:

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In my opinion, Ezra pound is outside the circle. Every time I tried to put Ezra Pound inside this circle, this series of "Ifs", that didn't make sense.

^^yeah, I think I was trying to make some sort of connection with the "staying in bed all day" and how Ezra Pound is a visitor to your bed but it didn't exactly fit.

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He may represent something: the concept of culpability.

Imagine you are someone who have commited a fault. You don't feel guilty, you're not sorry. If you're not sorry, you can't be forgiven, can't be forgotten, you must live forever, you can't be reborn, can't be a baby, can't learn how to crawl, you must stay in bed all day. You do nothing. So you start to think about what you have done.

Ezra pound comes next to you and sits upon your bed. He was an anti-semite. All his life, he has supported the fascism. But it was a mistake, he knows it was a mistake and he feels terribly guilty. He represents the culpability.

I think before I was focusing too much on the idea of forgiving but now I really like the idea of Ezra Pound representing culpability.

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So he sits upon your bed and asks if you can spare a pound of flesh. You have to pay for your faults, he wants you to feel guilty. But you don't care, you are sarcastic. You give one pound, you give two pounds. You think that if you give two pounds, this feeling will disapear, Ezra Pound will leave you alone.

But you're wrong, Ezra Pound (your culpability) is stronger and he comes again because you're not sorry, the circle is not broken.

But you don't care, you give one pound, you give two pounds and "you’ll end up being left to the bare bone."

Finally, haunted by remorse, you begin to dream of death..

^^Oh, this makes so much sense to me! I like this interpretation a lot. Big Grin I don't really have anything to challenge or interesting to add. Maybe someone else does? Smiler

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Oh, I didn't know much about Ezra Pound, thanks for the information, I had thought maybe at the end of his life he realized he was wrong and was ashamed of supporting Mussolini. So I think my analysis before doesn't really fit. What do you think of Ezra Pound representing culpability? I like kaoir's interpretation.

Also, I was thinking about how a pound of flesh makes me think of a dead body and so the line "What's a pound of flesh?" is sarcastic because when Ezra Pound was alive that was his attitude towards all the human lives lost in the holocaust, like it was no loss...I don't know though if I make sense. Just throwing a thought out there. What do you think?

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As with so many of regina's songs, they mean different things to different people. I like what you say, and kaior's as well. And while Ezra Pound was who he was, "Ezra Pound" need not be the same person. I don't think Regina was writing a wikipedia entry.

I, too, absolutely love this song

quote:
Originally posted by porcupine-ologist:

Oh, I didn't know much about Ezra Pound, thanks for the information, I had thought maybe at the end of his life he realized he was wrong and was ashamed of supporting Mussolini. So I think my analysis before doesn't really fit. What do you think of Ezra Pound representing culpability? I like kaoir's interpretation.

Also, I was thinking about how a pound of flesh makes me think of a dead body and so the line "What's a pound of flesh?" is sarcastic because when Ezra Pound was alive that was his attitude towards all the human lives lost in the holocaust, like it was no loss...I don't know though if I make sense. Just throwing a thought out there. What do you think?

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quote:
As with so many of regina's songs, they mean different things to different people. I like what you say, and kaior's as well. And while Ezra Pound was who he was, "Ezra Pound" need not be the same person. I don't think Regina was writing a wikipedia entry.

I, too, absolutely love this song

hehe, thanks for saying that, it makes me feel better. Smiler It's just I've been feeling wary about posting in the lyrics section lately. (Sometimes i feel like my ideas only make sense in my own head...Roll Eyes )

But, anyway, yes i adore this song. It's a masterpiece to me, just everything about it. I think I'll go listen to it now without thinking so hard and just enjoy it. Big Grin

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quote:
Originally posted by good > perfect:

and the phrase "pound of flesh" is a literary reference to Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. Shylock (a jew) wants a "pound of flesh" as payment from Antonio if he doesn't pay him back in time.

could this song really be about antisemitism?

The entire play Merchant of Venice was antisemitic; Antonio, a Christian, often ridiculed and belittled Shylock for being a Jew. When Shylock finally gets a chance to enact his revenge by seeking his due "pound of flesh" from Antonio, he goes to court to make it official, only to be denied of his vengeance and also all of his possessions. Everybody hates him, including his own daughter. You see a lot of Jewish stereotypes enforced, too.

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One thing that's always puzzled me about this song... when she does that funny accent on the "If I've, uh, read his own" line, is she mimicking his voice? Or could it just be Regina being Regina?

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