Taking Leave of a Friend trans. by Ezra Pound

Reading Robert Bly reminded me of Ezra Pound, whose literary influence reached the famous modernists–Hemingway, Frost, Williams, Yeats and  T. S. Eliot. Pound translated a lot, from German, French, Italian, Greek, and other languages. He tried to create a different kind of  poetry in English: pure images without rhythm, meter or rhyme. Chinese poetry, translated from the word symbols, presented clean, sharp scenes. His political and social views–which he seemed to recant at the end of his life–are dark clouds over his art.

Taking Leave of a Friend

Blue mountains to the north of the walls,
White river winding about them;
Here we must make separation
And go out through a thousand miles of dead grass.

Mind like a floating wide cloud,
Sunset like the parting of old acquaintances
Who bow over their clasped hands at a distance.
Our horses neigh to each other
as we are departing.

Li Po

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