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236  The City of Choan  {golden} {tomb} [登 金 陵 鳳 凰 臺] To Kin rio ho o tai Climb up Nan Kin1 phenix terrace. [The City of Choan]12 ____________________ {male} {female}13 [1] [鳳 凰 臺 上 鳳 凰 遊] Ho O tai jo ho o yu phenix terrace above phenix play Above the ho terrace the hoo used to play [The phoenix are at play on their terrace.] [2] [鳳 去 臺 空 江 自 流] Ko{Ho} Kio dai Ku Ko ji riu phenix away terrace vacant river of itself flow Kiang14 The hos have fled, the terrace bare, the river flows away//by itself alone//(seen from above) [The phoenix are gone, the river flows on alone.]15 The City of Choan 237 [3] [吳 宮 花 草 埋 幽 徑] g{G}o Kiu K{w}a so mai yu Kei dynastic palace16 flowering{s} grass bury sombre path Go Where the Go palace stood, flowers + grass bury up the sombre path [Flowers and grass Cover over the dark path where lay the dynastic house of the Go.] [4] [晉 代 衣 冠 成 古 丘] Shin dai i K{w}an sei Ku{o} Kiu dynastic dynasty17 garment caps become old hill Shin Where the Shin dynasty courtiers have lived (clothes + caps)18 the/foundations of those houses have become old hills. [104r] [The bright cloths and bright caps of Shin Are now the base of old hills.] {triangular mt.} [5] [三 山 半 落 青 天 外] San zan han raku sei ten g{w}ai 3 mts. half fall blue heaven outside {name} The Triangle Mt. is half disappearing beyond the blue sky [The Three Mountains fall through the far heaven,]20 [6] [二 水 中 分 白 鷺 洲] Ni sui chu bun haku ro shu 221 water middle divide white heron island name And the white heron island divides the waters into two. [The isle of White Heron splits the two streams apart.] ⎫ ⎪ ⎪ ⎬ ⎪ ⎪ ⎭ ⎫ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎬ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎭ 238 Cribs for Cathay & Other Poems [7] [總 為 浮 雲 能 蔽 日] So i fu wun no hei jitsu altogether because floating clouds well22 cover sun everywhere of23 Al Because {everywhere} the floating clouds can altogether {fully} cover up/the sun, [Now the high clouds cover the sun] {long} {peace}24 [8] [長 安 不 見 使 人 愁] Cho an fu Ken shi jin shu City Capital not see let man sorry25 So Choan is invisible and makes men sad. [And I can not see Choan afar And I am sad.] ⎫ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎬ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎭ The City of Choan 239 Notes THE CITY OF CHOAN (101–4236:102v–104v, MF 3390; Pound’s #50; TSSC 7:21b-22a; LTBQJ 2:986; 登金陵鳳凰臺 [Ascending the Phoenix Terrace of Jinling]), by Li Bo. With Mori & Ariga, July 10, 1900. Heptasyllabic regulated verse (qiyan lüshi 七言律詩). For an explanation of this verse form, see “Taking Leave of a Friend” and another example in “Leave-Taking Near Shoku.” In accordance with the form, the second and third couplets (lines 3–4 and 5–6) are parallel; the first couplet is loosely parallel (see note 15). This poem appears in TSX. 1. Nan/Kin: Nanjing 南京, here called by its ancient name Jinling [Kinrio] 金陵 (gold + tomb). 2. Saiko: Cui Hao 崔顥 (c. 704–754), a contemporary of Li Bo’s, is remembered as one of the best poets of the High Tang. 3. Kokakuro: Huanghe lou 黃鶴樓 (Yellow Crane Tower), also the title of Cui Hao’s poem. It is widely considered one of the finest regulated poems of the Tang dynasty. 4. “I will never compose/a poem on Kokakuro”: In an early lesson, Hirata Tokuboku 平田 禿 木 (1873–1943) told Fenollosa the same story about Cui Hao (“Saiko”), which Pound found notable: “Among the many who passed in 11th year, there/was one named Saiko—his poem ‘Kokakuro’—/written when he visited Kokakuro building—The first half/is in style of Koshi [古詩, old style verse], the latter half in style of Risshi [律詩, regulated verse]./When Rihaku visited Kokakuro, he could not sing out/even one line; so his friends asked him why. He said/‘All that I wish to sing was already sung by Saiko’” (MF 3380). The name “Saiko” is emphatically underlined in Pound’s red pencil. Li Bo did, however, write a poem at Yellow Crane Tower (if not about it) which became “Separation on the River Kiang,” and another called “Gazing at Yellow Crane Tower” (望黃鶴樓). 5. R’s surpasses it/because it has also philosophical reflection: Li Bo’s poem is closely modeled on Cui Hao’s. Both poems begin with a bird-named structure where no birds are to be found; and both end with something that “makes a person [i.e., me] sad” (使人愁), using the same three words. The additional element of “philosophical reflection” that Mori mentions is the notion that Li Bo’s sadness...


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