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Ezra Pound

(1885-1972)

 

THE GAME OF CHESS

Dogmatic Statement Concerning the Game of Chess:
Theme for a Series of Pictures

Red knights, brown bishops, bright queens,
Striking the board, falling in strong "L"s of colour.
Reaching and striking in angles,
                           holding lines in one colour.
This board is alive with light;
                           these pieces are living in form,
Their moves break and reform the pattern:
                            luminous green from the rooks,
Clashing with "X"s of queens,
                            looped with the knight-leaps.

"Y" pawns, cleaving, embanking!
Whirl! Centripetal! Mate! King down in the vortex,
Clash, leaping of bands, straight strips of hard colour,
Blocked lights working in. Escapes. Renewal of contest.

                                                            (1915)


Last Revised on Thursday, September 9, 1999