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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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Cathay by Ezra Pound. Cathay by Ezra Pound. 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.
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Cathay (poetry collection) – Wikipedia
Lists with This Book. 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 This small work of dzra is one reason—among many—that T. Their anthology Des Imagistes  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, inthe 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.
Poun did both, and in the process permanently enriched the language. 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: 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 pouns identities; they had to find a way to cast aside the shackles of established Victorian literary traditions and create something of their own.
James Joyce and Virginia Woolf did all sorts of creative things with narrative and language, but what did Pound do? He cheated, of course. So he used the journals of his former friend and translator and edited the notes into poetry. 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. He brought the orient into the western cannon, the REAL orient. Caghay 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 Cathag for his lack of cxthay in regards to the east: There are fourteen poems altogether.
They catha 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: Here is a good example: Taking Leave of a Friend “Blue mountains to the north of the walls, White river winding about them; Here we must ezrs separation And go out through a thousand miles of dead grass.
Mind like a ppund wide cloud, Sunset like the parting of old acquaintances Who bow over their clasped hands at a distance. Our horses neigh to each others as we are departing. Read from it what you will, though I take much from it. Look at the colours and the adjectives. Look at how the cqthay is really created within the poem.
And look at the bareness of what it presents to the reader. So with this I consider my first stage of dissertation number two prep complete. I have my chapters vaguely outlined, I just need to read cathxy whole host of literary criticism and develop my arguments. Lots of reading ahead, and more Pound ahead. View all 3 comments. Ezra Pound Ezra Pound — 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 — which included more or less literal translations of poems by the great T’ Ezra Pound Ezra Pound — had his fingers in many pies, some of which were hot enough to burn him badly.
However, he did dzra the papers of the great cultural explorer Ernest Fenollosa — which included more or less literal translations of poems by the great T’ang dynasty poet Li Po Li Bai and others. 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 pohnd languages on earth, because Pound’s translations provided the initial impetus to the now extensive tradition of English language translations of Chinese poetry.
Eliot wrote, “Chinese poetry, as we know it today, is something invented by Ezra Pound. 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.
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-shoots And saying: When shall we get back to our country? Here we are because we have the Ken-nin pohnd 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. Our defence is not yet made sure, no one can let his friend return.
We grub the old fern-stalks. Will we be let to go back in October?
Opund 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? Horses, his horses even, are tired. 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?
pond Remarkably, the answer 2, years later is: Here are versions by different translators cahay a poem by Li Po.
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 curtain And watch the moon through the clear autumn.
Jade-Staircase Grievance Night long on the jade staircase, white dew appears, soaks through gauze stockings. She lets down crystalline blinds, gazes out through jewel lacework at the autumn moon. Grievance at the Jade Stairs The jade steps are whitening with dew.
My gauze stockings are soaked. I let down the crystal blind and watch the glass clear autumn moon. The full text of Cathay can be found here: 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. Aug 15, Maru Kun rated it it was amazing Shelves: If anything, comparing these other translations with Pound’s is proof of Ezra Pound’s talent!
Mar 14, Sincerae rated it really liked it Shelves: It was a long time ago. Ezra Pound was an innovator in modern poetry and a very controversial figure in the arts and also politically. Cathay is the English version of the name Catai, which is another name for China.