BK. Ezra Pound

30. ‘Chinese Poetry’. To-day 3/14 (April 1918): 54-57; 3/15 (May 1918): 93-95.

Pound’s assertion at the beginning of part II that ‘Chinese poetry is full of fairies and fairy lore’ suggests a confusion of Chinese and Japanese sources to which Puette in particular calls attention, in arguing that the poetry of Japan is more central than that of China in Pound’s early work (see 139). Pound notes as well that this Chinese ‘lore’ is ‘quite Celtic’, but instead of a Chinese work cites a ‘tale in [the] Japanese play’ Nishikigi (8) in example. The ‘tale’ was ‘new’ to Pound himself, he writes, but ‘Mr. Yeats had come upon a similar story among the people of Aran’ (see especially BL15b). See Longenbach (183) for the best description of how this and similar Japanese ‘stories’ from the nô provided not only Yeats but also Pound with ideas about the universality of the ‘dreaming back’ of the dead, and evaluation of how this informs their work.





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