BE. Witter Bynner

13. ‘Tempest in a China Teapot’. Review of Florence Ayscough and Amy Lowell: Correspondence of a Friendship (BI16). Saturday Review of Literature, 30 March 1946, pp. 42, 44.


Though Bynner’s subject is Chinese poetry in general, Ayscough and Lowell’s translations in particular, he also would have had in mind Pound’s conception of the ideogram (see especially BK32) in writing that ‘the stretching out of the [kanji] into its ideographic parts . . . [distorts] its proportionate place in the poem for the sake of an interruptive quaintness’. He wonders if a Western reader is aided in understanding an East-Asian poet’s ‘thoughts of home’ if the ‘home’ is ‘translated according to the ideograph, [which represents] a pig under a roof’. Reprinted in 19.




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