At fourteen I became your wife, And so bashful that I could never bare my face, But hung my head, and turned to the dark wall; You would call me a thousand times, But I could not look back even once. You went into far Ku-to-Yen, by the river of swirling eddies. While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead I played about the front gate, pulling flowers. The paired butterflies are already yellow with August. They're innocent in that they don't go about hating on people. You went into far Ku-to-yen, by the river of swirling eddies. No part of this poem may be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the publisher. Inspired by the work of 8th-century Chinese poet Li Bo, Ezra Pound’s poem is written in the voice of a young woman who writes her husband a letter recalling their initial meeting and marriage. Infoplease is a reference and learning site, combining the contents of an encyclopedia, a dictionary, an atlas and several almanacs loaded with facts. Learn more about the mythic conflict between the Argives and the Trojans. By the gate now, the moss is grown, the different mosses. "The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter" is based on the first of Li Po's "Two Letters from Chang-Kan." Copyright © 1956, 1957 by Ezra Pound. All rights reserved. It … While my hair was still cut straight across my foreheadI played about the front gate, pulling flowers. I played about the front gate, pulling flowers. Here it's important to note that Pound didn't write "The River Merchant's Wife" but rather translated it from the original Chinese, written by Li Po. Download The River-Merchant's Wife Study Guide. By the gate now, the moss is grown, the different mosses. By Ezra Pound. I was sixteen when you went on a long journey, Traveling beyond the Keu-Tang Gorge, Where the giant rocks heap up the swift river, And the rapids are not passable in May. Here it's important to note that Pound didn't write "The River Merchant's Wife" but rather translated it from the original Chinese, written by Li Po. You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse, You walked about my seat, playing with blue plums. Some day when you return down the river, If you will write me a letter beforehand, I will come to meet you -- the way is not long -- I will come as far as the Long Wind Beach instantly. Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back. And we went on living in the village of Chōkan: Two small people, without dislike or suspicion. You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse, You walked about my seat, playing with blue plums. © Academy of American Poets, 75 Maiden Lane, Suite 901, New York, NY 10038, While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead. ... Chinese Original Read the text here. The River Merchant’s Wife: A Letter Lyrics. You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse, You walked about my The monkeys make sorrowful noise overhead. While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead. The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter. Additional details about her childhood include the memory of a specific event when she was pulling flowers out by the front gate where she lived. And we went on living in the village of Chokan: Two small people, without dislike or suspicion. Ezra Pound is generally considered the poet most responsible for defining and promoting a modernist aesthetic in poetry. Sign up. Top Ten Closest U.S. Presidential Elections, This List of Favorite Islands will Make You Remember Why You Loved Poptropica So Much, The Top Ten: States with the Most Electoral Votes. If you are coming down through the narrows of the river Kiang, Translated from Li Po, the Chinese poet (701-62). You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse,You walked about my seat, playing with blue plums. Not sure about the geography of the middle east? If you are coming down through the narrows of the river Kiang. Sign up. © 2020 Shmoop University Inc | All Rights Reserved | Privacy | Legal. Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you I sit sorrowing alone, and alas! Two Letters from Chang-Kan -- I (A river-merchant's wife writes)" in The Works of Li-Po, trans. At fifteen I stopped scowling,I desired my dust to be mingled with yoursForever and forever and forever.Why should I climb the look out? Start a Jam and invite your friends and classmates to join! A secondversion appears as "105. Brush up on your geography and finally learn what countries are in Eastern Europe with our maps. Li Po's natural images and Eastern sensibility would've appealed to Pound as one of the founding members of Imagism, a movement in poetry dedicated to clarity, rhythm, and precision in diction. Do you know your foot-marks by our gate are old, And each and every one is filled up with green moss? And we went on living in the village of Chokan: Two small people, without dislike or suspicion. While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead I played about the front gate, pulling flowers. A secondversion appears as "105. The vermilion of my face is fading. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. Did you hear the monkeys wailing Up on the skyey height of the crags? The River-Merchant's Wife: a Letter Pound, Ezra (1885 - 1972) Learn about one of the world's oldest and most popular religions. They're "pull[ed]" from the ground, which sounds like they may have been reluctant to go. The speaker recalls when this boy (who we guess now to be her husband and the addressee of the letter) came by on stilts. It's free and takes five seconds. They aren't plucked, or picked even. FEN Learning is part of Sandbox Networks, a digital learning company that operates education services and products for the 21st century. You dragged your feet when you went out.By the gate now, the moss is grown, the different mosses,Too deep to clear them away!The leaves fall early this autumn, in wind.The paired butterflies are already yellow with AugustOver the grass in the West garden;They hurt me. At fourteen I married My Lord you. They "went on living," which suggests that time passed as they pursued their separate lives in a village. The mosses are too deep for me to sweep away; And already in the autumn wind the leaves are falling. One could be, in the literal sense, a chair in which the girl sat. And we went on living in the village of Chokan:Two small people, without dislike or suspicion. Our editors update and regularly refine this enormous body of information to bring you reliable information. JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. (Geography note: Here the village is called Chokan, but this is a version of the Japanese name for the town of. You walked about my seat, playing with blue plums. At fourteen I married My Lord you.I never laughed, being bashful.Lowering my head, I looked at the wall.Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back. Inspired by the work of 8th-century Chinese poet Li Bo, Ezra Pound’s poem is written in the voice of a young woman who writes her husband a letter recalling their initial meeting and marriage. Upon publication several of the poems in this collection were controversial. But by making the wife say that the way is not long, Li Po brings out the girlishness of the speaker" (, While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead. Don't have an account yet? I desired my dust to be mingled with yours. I desired my dust to be mingled with yours. "The River Merchant's Wife: A Letter" by Ezra Pound "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead I played about the front gate, pulling flowers. The River Merchants Wife: A Letter. It first appeared in Pound's 1915 collection Cathay. Used with permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation. The town names are the result of Pound looking at Japanese translations of the original Chinese poem.) The paired butterflies are already yellow with August. The most famous and successful of Pound's renderings in Cathay is The River Merchant's Wife: A Letter, which begins: While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead I … This, however, conveys more than it would at first appear. Notice how the flowers seem reluctant to being picked. The River Merchant’s Wife: A Letter Lyrics While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead I played about the front gate, pulling flowers. You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse, You walked about my seat, playing with blue plums. At fifteen I was able to compose my eyebrows, And beg you to love me till we were dust and ashes. You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse, You walked about my seat, playing with blue plums. Read the text, a pole used for walking high above the ground, bring or combine together or with something else, You went into far Ku-to-Yen, by the river of, You went into far Ku-to-Yen, by the river of swirling, experiencing or marked by or expressing sadness, Created on April 9, 2013 It was first published in Pound’s Cathay, a 1915 collection of his works.