The Rhyme Maker
Special Rhyme List:
Other English translations:
The Ship Of Spice-wood (Obata)
Li Bai is also known as Li Po, Li Bo,
Li Tai-po, and (rarely) as
Rihaku (Japanese name).
translation by Ezra Pound barely has a drop of wine in it, and
I almost did not include it at vintagewinepoems.com
(as is the case with the Obata translation of this poem).
the Lowell rendering (see “River Chant” link above), we find a stronger
wine presence. I offer the Obata and Pound versions to
the important role the translator of poetry plays in renderings from
one language to another. All three versions have their strong
(old English term for China) was the poet Ezra Pound’s first
publication. Based on the notes of Ernest Fenollosa given to
by his widow to complete, the resulting poems were loose
translations, the young Pound being the major creative force in the
17 poems published in 1915. These poems would inspire others
translate Classic Chinese poetry.
The Cathay poems have
a major impact on Western poetry, Ezra Pound demonstrating a
simplicity in wordage and focus that would define the Imagist
movement in poetry and usher-in the modern era.
poem from Pound's Cathay is To Em-Mei's "The Unmoving Cloud by T'ao
indentations in this poem indicate the continuation of the previous
which did not fit within the specified margins of this web
page. Compare with printable version.
Li Bai (701-762), Chinese poet
English verse by Ezra
boat is of shato-wood, and its gunwales are cut
with jeweled flutes and with pipes of gold
full the sides in rows, and our wine
rich for a thousand cups.
carry singing girls, drift with the drifting water,
yellow stork for a charger, and all our seamen
follow the white gulls or ride them.
with the sun and moon.
So's terraced palaceis now but a barren hill,
I draw pen on this barge
the five peaks to tremble,
I have joy in these words like the joy of blue
glory could last forever
the waters of Han would flow northward.)
I have moped in the Emperor's garden, awaiting an
looked at the dragon-pond, with its willow-colored
reflecting the sky's tinge,
heard the five-score nightingales aimlessly
eastern wind brings the green color into the
purple house and the crimson are full of Spring
of the pond the willow-tips are half-blue and
cords tangle in mist, against the brocade like
a hundred feet long hang down from carved
high over the willows, the fine birds sing to
-- " Kwan, Kuan," for the early wind, and the
feel of it.
wind bundles itself into a bluish cloud and
a thousand gates, over a thousand doors are the
the Emperor is at Ko.
clouds hang aloft, bright on the purple sky,
imperial guards come forth from the golden house
Emperor in his jeweled car goes out to inspect
goes out to Hori, to look at the wing-flapping
returns by way of Sei rock, to hear the new
the gardens at Jo-run are full of new
sound is mixed in this flute,
voice is in the twelve pipes here.
Free E-Book: Ezra Pound's Cathay
Free LibriVox Audio Book: Ezra Pound's Cathay
BOTTLED POETRY: Verses from the Vine
VINTAGE WINE POEMS NEW PRESSINGS
vinted and bottled by Stephen H. Bass