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from Cathay (1915)
T'ao Yuanming (365-427
English verse by Ezra Pound (1885-1972)

The Rhyme Maker
picture of T'ao Yuanming 365 to 427
T'ao Yuanming

Theme:   Friends
Bad Times

Special Rhyme List:  Audios/Videos

Other English translations:
Flood (Waley)

Tao Yuanming is also known as Tao Qian and as T'ao Ch'ien.

Tao Yuanming is from the Six Dynasties period (c. 220 – 589), the period just prior to the Tang Dynasty, the “Golden Age” of Chinese literature.  He is the most highly regarded poet prior to the Tang era, a fact that Tang poet Li Bai uses in his wine poems , Two Poems Written As Parting Gifts.

Cathay (old English term for China) was the poet Ezra Pound’s first publication.  Based on the notes of Ernest Fenollosa given to Pound 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 to translate Chinese poetry from the rich Tang era.

The Cathay poems have had 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.

Another wine poem from Pound's Cathay is
The River Song by Li  Bai.
- S. H. Bass  

more Tao Yuanming at
In the quiet of the morning (Waley)
Substance, Shadow, and Spirit (Waley)

Stop Button Clutter!

To-Em-mei's "The Unmoving Cloud"
T'ao Yuanming (365-427), Chinese poet
English verse by Ezra Pound (1885-1972), American poet

"Wet springtime," says To-em-mei, "Wet spring in the garden."

The clouds have gathered, and gathered,                     Right click New Tab for audio
and the rain falls and falls,
The eight ply of the heavens
are all folded into one darkness,
And the wide, flat road stretches out.
I stop in my room toward the East, quiet, quiet,
I pat my new cask of wine.
My friends are estranged, or far distant,
I bow my head and stand still.

Rain, rain, and the clouds have gathered,
The eight ply of the heavens are darkness,
The flat land is turned into river.
"Wine, wine, here is wine!"
I drink by my eastern window.
I think of talking and man,
And no boat, no carriage, approaches.

The trees in my east-looking garden
are bursting out with new twigs,
They try to stir new affection,
And men say the sun and moon keep on moving
because they can't find a soft seat.
The birds flutter to rest in my tree,
and I think I have heard them saying,
"It is not that there are no other men
But we like this fellow the best,
But however we long to speak
He can not know of our sorrow."

from Cathay (1915)

The Internet Archive
Free E-Book:  Ezra Pound's Cathay

Free LibriVox Audio Book:  Ezra Pound's Cathay

BOTTLED POETRY: Verses from the Vine
vinted and bottled by Stephen H. Bass

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