Monday, July 6, 2009

Ezra Pound, anyone?

from Exile's Letter (Ezra Pound after Li T'ai Po)

And then, when separation was at its worst,
We met, and traveled into Sen-jô.
Through all the thirty-six folds of the turning and twisting waters,
Into a valley of the thousand bright flowers,
That was the first valley; And into ten thousand valleys full of voices and pine winds.


And what a reception: Red jade cups, food well set on a blue jeweled table,
And I was drunk, and had no thought of returning.
And you would walk out with me to the western corner of the castle,
To the dynastic temple, with water about it clear as blue jade,
With boats floating, and the sound of mouth-organs and drums,
With ripples like dragon-scales, going grass green on the water,
Pleasure lasting, with courtesans, going and coming without hindrance,
With the willow flakes falling like snow.


And the vermilioned girls getting drunk about sunset,
And the water, a hundred feet deep, reflecting green eyebrows
-- Eyebrows painted green are a fine sight in young moonlight,
Gracefully painted --
And the girls singing back at each other,
Dancing in transparent brocade,
And the wind lifting the song, and interrupting it,
Tossing it up under the clouds.

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