What is the theme of "The Plunge" by Ezra Pound?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The theme of Ezra Pound's poem "The Plunge" seems to be one of escape. The speaker begins by saying, "I would bathe myself in strangeness." This opens us up to the speaker's desire to be immersed in a world outside of their own. The speaker then goes on to speak of the "New friends, new faces, Places" that they yearn to see and experience. All of this evokes a sense of yearning from the speaker. The speaker dreams and "burns" to escape their current position and immerse themselves in a new life.

The second stanza of the poem seems to bring in a character that the speaker is in love with and wishes to bring along into their new life. The speaker states, "You, I would have flow over me like water." Again the speaker wishes to be immersed in something, but this time it is the speaker's familiar love interest. The speaker goes on to clarify that their love must come with them "far out of this . . . Out and alone, among some Alien people!"

The title of the poem, "The Plunge," seems to reference the speaker's desire to take the plunge into a new life with their paramour. In order to do so, the speaker feels they must escape their current situation and move away from "all walls, streets, and stones" into a brighter world of "grass, and low hills, and fields, and sun."

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial