Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Chinese Poem translated by Ezra Pound

Ezra Loomis Pound (1885-1972)

The River-Merchant's Wife: a Letter

           1   While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead
              2   I played about the front gate, pulling flowers
              3   You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse,
              4   You walked about my seat, playing with blue plums
              5   And we went on living in the village of Chokan:
              6   Two small people, without dislike or suspicion.

              7   At fourteen I married My Lord you.
              8   I never laughed, being bashful.
              9    Lowering my head, I looked at the wall.
             10  Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back.

            11   At fifteen I stopped scowling,
            12   I desired my dust to be mingled with yours
            13   Forever and forever, and forever.
            14   Why should I climb the look out?

            15   At sixteen you departed,
            16   You went into far Ku-to-Yen, by the river of swirling eddies,
            17   And you have been gone five months.
            18   The monkeys make sorrowful noise overhead.

            19   You dragged your feet when you went out.
            20   By the gate now, the moss is grown, the different mosses,
            21   Too deep to clear them away!
            22   The leaves fall early this autumn, in wind.

            23   The paired butterflies are already yellow with August
            24   Over the grass in the West garden,
            25   They hurt me.
            26   I grow older,

            27   If you are coming down through the narrows of the river Kiang,
            28   Please let me know beforehand,
            29   And I will come out to meet you,
            30   As far as Cho-fu-Sa.

By Rihaku.

1 comment:

Robin jokes said...

The poem is very beautiful. Very great and blissful feelings. This poem has a great power to touch the inner heart of every human. evergreen poem. The poet has drawn 100% real feelings and sentiments of a woman who has been departed for a long time from her husband with whom she had married at her early teen, and living on only with the nostalgia, waiting for his return being very much love sick. The poem also shows the culture of Chinese and the innocentness and dedicateness for their husband of chinese women.
i am very much fascinated by this poem.
Thank you
Robin Jokes