Reflections

A Magazine of Theological and Ethical Inquiry from Yale Divinity School

Ezra Pound’s Proposition

Author: 
Robert Hass

beauty is sexual, and sexuality
Is the fertility of the earth and the fertility
Of the earth is economics. Though he is no recommendation
For poets on the subject of finance,
I thought of him in the thick heat
Of the bangkok night. Not more than fourteen, she saunters up to

you

Outside the Shangri-La Hotel
And says, in plausible English,
“How about a party, big guy?”

Here is more or less how it works:
The World bank arranges the credit and the dam
Floods three hundred villages, and the villagers find their way
To the city where their daughters melt into the teeming streets,
And the dam’s great turbines, beautifully tooled

In Lund or Dresden or Detroit, financed
by Lazard frères in Paris or the Morgan Bank in New York,
Enabled by judicious gifts from Bechtel of San Drancisco
Or Halliburton of Houston to the local political elite,
Spun by the force of rushing water,
Have become hives of shimmering silver
And, down river, they throw that bluish throb of light
Across her cheekbones and her lovely skin. 

Issue Title: 
Money and Morals after the Crash
Issue Year: 
2010