Paperback ✓ Cathay Epub æ

Cathay (1915) This scarce antiquarian book is a selection from Kessinger Publishing s Legacy Reprint Series Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment to protecting, preserving, and promoting the world s literature Kessinger Publishing is the place to find hundreds of thousands of rare and hard to find books with something of interest for everyone Ezra Pound a evirilerinden ba lam olmakla beraber bunun g zel bir deneyim oldu u kesin zellikle the river merchant s wife a letter iiri..Uzakdo u ki kitapta in den rnekler g r yoruz iirinin s sten uzakl se ilmi iirler taraf ndan da g steriliyor lk Tamer in evirisi ve ngilizce T rk e metinlerin birarada verilmesi de ayr bir g zellik.. Who would have guessed that one of the transformative books of modern English poetry would be a slim volume consisting of fourteen poems from ancient China, translated by a man with little knowledge of the Chinese language, who relied upon the disorganized notes of a deceased professor who specialized in Japanese Yet such is Cathay 1915 This small work of genius is one reason among many that T.S Eliot declared Ezra Pound to beresponsible for the twentieth century revolution in poetry Who would have guessed that one of the transformative books of modern English poetry would be a slim volume consisting of fourteen poems from ancient China, translated by a man with little knowledge of the Chinese language, who relied upon the disorganized notes of a deceased professor who specialized in Japanese Yet such is Cathay 1915 This small work of genius is one reason among many that T.S Eliot declared Ezra Pound to beresponsible for the twentieth century revolution in poetry than is any other individual Ezra Pound and the other poets of Imagism a movement he himself created in 1912 , were resolved to write only about the concrete, to use few words, to describe and not explain, and to seek a verbal music subtler than the Victorian metronome Their anthology Des Imagistes 1914 shows the brave but tentative movements they made in this direction Pound admired the clarity and immediacy of ancient Greek lyrics, and imitated them with considerable success Yet the rhythms of his own verse had not yet shaken off his youthful bumptiousness or the insistent metrics of Browning, and Imagism itself still lacked good ground in which to grow When, in 1913, the widow Mary McNeill Scott Fenolossa shared with him her husband Ernest s notes on Chinese and Japanese literature, the twenty eight year old Pound recognized in the spare, image centered poems of Rihaku Japanese for Li Po an ancient yet vital tradition that would not only help him write better poetry but would also strengthen the Imagist impulse, giving it nourishment and roots It did both, and in the process permanently enriched the language.Although Cathay is a glimpse into an exotic culture, its opening strikes a contemporary note Published on April 6th of 1915, six months after trench warfare commenced on the Western Front, it begins with the war weary Song of the Bowmen of Shu We grub the first fern shoots,When anyone says Return, we are full of sorrow.Sorrowful minds, sorrow is strong, we are hungry and thirsty.Our defence is not made sure, no one can let his friend return.We grub the old fern stalks.Of the fifteen poems included here, all share an elegiaic melancholy and a music both deft and strange, and five of them are masterpieces of English poetry The Beautiful Toilet, The River Merchant s Wife a Letter, The Jewel Stairs Grievance, The Exile s Letter, and The Seafarer the only non Chinese poem here, a translation from Old English, it was probably included to let the British know that at one time their own language had been capable of this sort of thing too This is a delightful book, and an important one, for it not only helped transform English free verse into the flexible instrument of today, but also exalted the poet translator over the scholar translator and influenced for good and ill the West s ideas of The Orient All that, in a pamphlet of twenty eight pages Ezra Pound cheated At the turning of the twentieth century everything had been done in literature or, at least, it seemed that way at the time The writers that emerged in the early decades had to find a way to assert their own identities they had to find a way to cast aside the shackles of established Victorian literary traditions and create something of their own So how exactly do writers make it new as Pound famously said James Joyce and Virginia Woolf did all sorts of creative things w Ezra Pound cheated At the turning of the twentieth century everything had been done in literature or, at least, it seemed that way at the time The writers that emerged in the early decades had to find a way to assert their own identities they had to find a way to cast aside the shackles of established Victorian literary traditions and create something of their own So how exactly do writers make it new as Pound famously said James Joyce and Virginia Woolf did all sorts of creative things with narrative and language, but what did Pound do He cheated, of course Pound s new poetry, if we can call it Pound s, were translations from traditional Chinese verse Granted, translation is an extremely difficult process especially when you don t actually know the language like Pound didn t So he used the journals of his former friend and translator and edited the notes into poetry Pound was open about it he knew it wasn t his own work exclusively, but it did make him famous and propel his literary career Although he didn t undertake the translations, he placed the words as per the imagist mode he helped to develop There was no rhythm or rhyme, just simple true to life images on each line I sound critical of Pound here, but I am not For what Pound s little pamphlet of poems did was transform the literature of the age He brought the orient into the western cannon, the REAL orient This wasn t some western novelist s backwards depiction of it or a romantic poet s exotic sexualised fantasy, some semi racist work born of cultural prejudices this was the REAL thing This was a glimpse of China, and for western readers it was the first time they would have seen a fair portrayal of such a thing in literature A new literary age had emerged with the focus on portraying real life accurately, and Pound had set the tone for poetry Even Edward Said, the renowned scholar and cultural critic who wrote Orientalism, praised Pound for his lack of ignorance in regards to the east a ridiculously strong compliment from such a man.There are fourteen poems altogether They seem simple on the surface the diction is basic and the content dispassionate Pound was a huge believer that the poet should be detached from the poem, the poem itself should be the art a piece of writing free form any of the author s opinions or prejudices Here is a good example Taking Leave of a FriendBlue mountains to the north of the walls,White river winding about them Here we must make separationAnd go out through a thousand miles of dead grass.Mind like a floating wide cloud,Sunset like the parting of old acquaintancesWho bow over their clasped hands at a distance.Our horses neigh to each othersas we are departing Simple isn t it Read from it what you will, though I take much from it Look at the colours and the adjectives Look at how the distance is really created within the poem And look at the bareness of what it presents to the reader It s poetry that doesn t give you everything you need to find it So with this I consider my first stage of dissertation number two prep complete I know what I m writing on I have my chapters vaguely outlined, I just need to read a whole host of literary criticism and develop my arguments Lots of reading ahead, andPound ahead Ezra Pound 1913 Ezra Pound 1885 1972 had his fingers in many pies, some of which were hot enough to burn him badly One of these pies was the translation of poetry into English Over his lifetime he published translations from at least 10 different languages, though of some of these, like Chinese, he had only a very weak grasp However, he did have the papers of the great cultural explorer Ernest Fenollosa 1853 1908 which includedor less literal translations of poems by the great T Ezra Pound 1913 Ezra Pound 1885 1972 had his fingers in many pies, some of which were hot enough to burn him badly One of these pies was the translation of poetry into English Over his lifetime he published translations from at least 10 different languages, though of some of these, like Chinese, he had only a very weak grasp However, he did have the papers of the great cultural explorer Ernest Fenollosa 1853 1908 which includedor less literal translations of poems by the great T ang dynasty poet Li Po Li Bai and others On the basis of these notes Pound wrote the translations published in his Cathay 1915 Needless to say, sinologists object to these translations , but they are without a doubt fine English poems His translations are also of great significance for readers like myself who are ignorant of the Chinese language and know well that they will never have the time and energy required to learn one of the most difficult languages on earth, because Pound s translations provided the initial impetus to the now extensive tradition of English language translations of Chinese poetry As T.S Eliot wrote, Chinese poetry, as we know it today, is something invented by Ezra Pound Of course, this is no longer true because great poet scholars like Arthur Waley started producing real translations from the Chinese It is for these reasons I want to draw your attention to these poems To give you a taste of their poetic quality I will quote a few and to give you a sense of how they are approximate, I will quote some versions by other translators of the shorter poem The first poem is by Qu Yuan 343 278 BCE , identified by his Japanese name, Kutsugen, in this book It is a lament by a soldier for whom the campaign has gone on much too long Song of the Bowmen of Shu Here we are, picking the first fern shootsAnd saying When shall we get back to our country Here we are because we have the Ken nin for our foemen,We have no comfort because of these Mongols.We grub the soft fern shoots,When anyone says Return , the others are full of sorrow.Sorrowful minds, sorrow is strong, we are hungry and thirsty.Our defence is not yet made sure, no one can let his friend return.We grub the old fern stalks.We say Will we be let to go back in October There is no ease in royal affairs, we have no comfort.Our sorrow is bitter, but we would not return to our country.What flower has come into blossom Whose chariot The General s.Horses, his horses even, are tired They were strong.We have no rest, three battles a month.By heaven, his horses are tired.The generals are on them, the soldiers are by them.The horses are well trained, the generals have ivory arrows and quivers ornamented with fish skin.The enemy is swift, we must be careful.When we set out, the willows were drooping with spring,We come back in the snow,We go slowly, we are hungry and thirsty,Our mind is full of sorrow, who will know of our grief Remarkably, the answer 2,300 years later is I will And you Here are versions by different translators of a poem by Li Po By Pound The Jewel Stairs Grievance The jewelled steps are already quite white with dew,It is so late that the dew soaks my gauze stockings,And I let down the crystal curtainAnd watch the moon through the clear autumn By David Hinton Jade Staircase Grievance Night long on the jade staircase, whitedew appears, soaks through gauze stockings.She lets down crystalline blinds, gazes outthrough jewel lacework at the autumn moon By Tony Barnstone Grievance at the Jade Stairs The jade steps are whitening with dew.My gauze stockings are soaked It s so late.I let down the crystal blindand watch the glass clear autumn moon The full text of Cathay can be found here full text is also included in Pound sNew Selected Poems and Translations New Directions which I recommend strongly to anyone new to Pound Rihaku is the Japanese name for Li Po Fenollosa lived in Japan and learned about Chinese language and literature from Japanese masters This is why most of the proper names in Pound s translations are Japanese instead of Chinese As a matter of fact, Pound was instrumental in getting Waley s first translations into print

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