Donor challenge: Your generous donation will be matched 2-to-1 right now. Your $5 becomes $15! Dear Internet Archive Supporter,. I ask only. by Andrew Karas. In , Ezra Pound published a slim volume of poems which he called Cathay and which contained, according to its title page, “translations. Cathay has ratings and 24 reviews. Bill said: Who would have guessed that one of the transformative books of modern English poetry would be a slim v.

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Cathay is a collection of classical Chinese poetry translated into English by modernist poet Ezra Pound based on Ernest Fenollosa ‘s notes that came into Pound’s possession in At first Pound used the notes to translate Noh plays and then to translate Chinese poetry to English, despite a complete lack of knowledge of the Chinese language.

The volume’s 15 poems are seen less as strict translations and more as new pieces in their own right; and, in his bold translations of works from a language he was unfamiliar with, Pound set the stage for a modernist translations. In Pound was living in London working as secretary to W. Interested in Asian art and literature, the two poets often visited the Asian exhibits at the British Museum. Pound had previously become acquainted with Laurence Binyona curator of Asian art at the museum and author of Flight of the Dragons: Binyon and Pound shared a view of Asian art, seeing in it a respect for tradition coupled with innovative ideas, which appealed to Pound’s sense of modernity and his motto about art, to “make it new”.


The Modernist Revision of a Foreign Culture in Ezra Pound’s Cathay

She wzra read his poems, had a favorable opinion of him, and invited the young poet to organize and edit her husband’s notes.

The papers were sent to Pound in London and upon examining them his first task was to rewrite Fenollosa’s basic translations of Noh plays, often in the form of poetry.

Pound worked on the poems in Cathay during the period he made a move from imagism to vorticism. The opening poem, “Song of the Bowmen of Shu”, shows the dominant themes of separation and loneliness, especially the loneliness of the soldier.

This is evident also catgay “Lament of the Frontier Guard”, and is perhaps suggestive of Pound’s great distress at the loss life during Catay War One. For example in “The Jewel Stairs Grievance” a woman waits impatiently; yet her impatience is never directly mentioned and is instead subtly suggested and conveyed through the poem’s images.

Neither Pound nor Fenollosa spoke or read Chinese proficiently, and Pound was working from the posthumous notes of an American who had studied Chinese under a Japanese teacher.

Nevertheless, according to Michael Alexanderthere are competent judges of Chinese and English poetry who see Pound’s work as the best translations of Chinese to English poetry ever made, though scholars have complained that it contains many mistakes. Chinese critic Wai-lim Yip wrote: The volume was published during a period when Pound felt despondent about his work, and he added a defense on the last page: Eliot remarked on the nature of the poems, their cathsy, with Pound’s college friend Williams saying of them “If these were original verses, then Pound was the greatest poet of the day.


Full text of “Cathay”

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Poetic Achievement of Ezra Pound.

University of California Press. Nadel editorin Ezra Pound in Context.

Cathay (1915)

The Ezra Pound Encyclopedia. The Life of Ezra Pound.

The Cambridge Companion to Ezra Pound. Pound grandfather Olga Rudge William Wadsworth. Retrieved from ” https: American poetry collections books Works by Ezra Pound.

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