Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ezra Pound -- Canto XIII

This is only the last part, lines 69-82. Kung is most commonly known in the U.S. as Confucius. Pound took much of this canto from his studies (and translation) of the Analects. He 'collaged' (my word for it) passages from the Analects here, and then according to my guide, the last three lines are his own. (So is the repetition.)

And Kung said "Wang ruled with moderation,
        In his day the State was well-kept,
And even I can remember
A day when historians left blanks in their writings,
I mean for things they didn't know
But that time seems to be passing."
A day when the historians left blanks in their writings,
But that time seems to be passing.
And Kung said, "Without character you will
        be unable to play on that instrument
Or to execute the music fit for the Odes.
The blossoms of the apricot
        blow from the east to the west,
and I have tried to keep them from falling."

Ezra Pound, Selected Cantos, New Directions Publishing.
William Cookson, A Guide to the Cantos of Ezra Pound, Revised & Expanded, Persea Books

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