The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter
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The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter, Ezra Pound
Please write a paragraph comparing and contrasting Pound's version (in the link below) to the original.http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/246778
The original translation of Li Po's stanza is below. Please compare and/or contrast the two stanzas. But at fifteen I straightened my brows and laughed, / Learning that no dust could ever seal our love, / That even unto death I would await you by my post / And would never lose heart in the tower of silent watching.
Now that you have read the original, do you think Ezra Pound is stealing the cultural work of a Chinese poet, or is he making the piece his own? Please explain.
Is this line literal or figurative? Please explain.
How is love represented in the wife's descriptions of nature?
Please say whether you think the following statement is true or false and explain your answer.The speaker uses the past for comfort. By remembering the times she spent with her husband, she forgets his present absence.
What is the significance of the speaker of the poem referring to her new husband as "My Lord"?
Pound's famous credo, "Make it new," was put into action when he cooked up this poem. The poem is an innovative "translation" of "A Poem of Changgan" by Li Po, a Chinese poet of the Tang Dynasty. Pound blended the notes of the dead scholar of East Asian literature and history, Ernest Fenollosa, conversations with Fenollosa's wife, and "visual translations" of Chinese characters to formulate this poem. Pound would study the character as if it were a drawing, and "translate" from there—even though Chinese characters often don't correspond to what they represent. The result was this controversial poem, published in the early 1900s. The ORIGINAL poem appears in the annotation below this one.
"The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter," one of the poems in Pound's book "Cathay," is the words of a fictional woman in eighth-century China, writing to her husband while he's away on a six-month business trip. Throughout this piece, the wife recalls memories of how their love progressed and how she longs for her husband's return.
Please read the original poem by Li Po in the link below. You will need to reference this poem as you read this one. (This annotation contains a link)