Ballad of the Goodly Fere

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The Ballad of the Goodly Fere is a poem by Ezra Pound, first published in 1909. The narrator is Simon Zelotes, speaking after the Crucifixion about his memories of Jesus (the "goodly fere" — Old English for "companion" — of the title).

Pound wrote the poem as a direct response to what he considered inappropriately effeminate portrayals of Jesus, comparing Jesus — a "man o' men" — to "capon priest(s)";[1] he subsequently told T.P.'s Weekly that he had "been made very angry by a certain sort of cheap irreverence".[2]

Critical response[edit]

Charles Elkin Mathews expressed his concerns that readers would find Fere's humanization of Jesus offensive.[3]

Edward Marsh sought permission to reprint Fere, which Pound denied because he wished to reprint it himself.[2]

T. S. Eliot said that Fere showed Pound's "great knowledge of the ballad form".[4]

William Butler Yeats said that Fere "will last".[5]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ The Last Temptation Reconsidered by Carol Iannone, from First Things 60, February 1996
  2. ^ a b A Guide to Ezra Pound's Personae: 1926 by K. K. Ruthven, University of California Press, 1969]
  3. ^ Ezra Pound: poet. A Portrait of the Man & His Work. Volume 1: The young genius, 1885-1920, by Anthony David Moody, Oxford University Press, 2007
  4. ^ Ezra Pound: His Metric and Poetry" by T. S. Eliot, (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1917)
  5. ^ The Work of Ezra Pound by Carl Sandburg, originally published in Poetry, February 1916