A nation maddened with labour;
Interminable collision of energies—
Iron beating upon iron,
Smoke whirling upwards,
In vain the shrill, far cry
Of kittiwakes that fly
Where the sea waves leap green.
The meadows Apriline—
Noise, iron, smoke;
Iron, Iron, Iron.
To my ear and understanding this is improved by the omission of lines 1, 11, 16, 21 and 22. Accumulations of nouns and adjectives are characteristic of imagists, inelegancies of syntax give much of their work the air of a translation, as though the difficulty of following a foreign idiom had overstrained the resources of the writer.
Why should you try to crush me?
Am I so Christ-like?
You beat against me
Immense waves, filthy with refuse.
I am the last upright of a smashed breakwater,
But you shall not crush me
Though you bury me in foaming slime
And hiss your hatred about me.
You break over me, cover me;
I shudder at the contact;
Yet I pierce through you
And stand up, torn, dripping, shaken,
But whole and fierce.