Three spirits came to me
And drew me apart
To where the olive boughs
Lay stripped upon the ground:
Pale carnage beneath bright mist.
Ezra Pound's short form poetry is always a delight, because of its clarity of image and expression. I've covered Pound before, and I have a great admiration for this style of poetry, often referred to as the Imagist style. Rather than moralizing or telling a story, Imagist poetry creates a snapshot. It's like examining an intriguing photograph, taking it in, and letting it speak for itself. In that sense, this poem by Pound is somewhat unique, in that it is hazier than it is clear.
Despite a lack of, let's say, geography, in this poem, its images are clear. Stripped olive boughs on the ground, bright mist. It's a supernatural feeling image, bolstered by the first two lines. "Three spirits came to me/ and drew me apart." Like Pound's narrator, we are transported to another realm. What spirits are these? Why have olive boughs been stripped and tossed to the ground? What does any of this have to do with April?
And yet for all this, somehow it still conjures a clear image. The "pale carnage" of discarded plant matter, the bright mist of a spring morning. I could be mis-reading it totally, but I'm more drawn in than put out by it. What do you think, reader?