Jeremy Turner

Portfolio: The Flame, the Autumn, and the Green Rose of Love

Examining the visual richness of this poem by Ezra Pound

When I was sixteen I bought a book of poems by Ezra Pound. While most of them are full of classical references and are too erudite for me, I found several short poems that sent arrows into my adolescent heart. I quote "The Altar" in full: just four lines:

Let us build here an exquisite friendship,
The flame, the autumn, and the green rose of love
Fought out their strife here, 'tis a place of wonder;
Where these have been, meet 'tis, the ground is holy.

I first made a painting of this poem in the school art studio but it is long since lost. Recently, following my exegesis of the Elemental Force of Nature, I turned again to this poem to explore its rich visual suggestions in these six drawings.