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309  Ancient Wisdom, Rather Cosmic  6th Lecture—March 18th 9th—fu—7th of series1 {huite}4 [1] [莊 周 夢 蝴 蝶] So Shu mŭ Kŏ cho name dream butterfly the philosopher Soji Soshu5 Soshu dreamed of a butterfly/{being a butterfly}. [So-Shu dreamed, And having dreamed that he was a bird, a bee, and a butterfly, He was uncertain why he should try to feel like anything else, Hence his contentment.] [2] [蝴 蝶 爲 莊 周] Kŏ cho ĭ so shu butterfly become name Soshu The butterfly became Soshu.6 ⎫ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎬ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎭ ⎫ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎬ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎭ ⎫ ⎪ ⎪ ⎬ ⎪ ⎪ ⎭ ⎫ ⎪ ⎪ ⎬ ⎪ ⎪ ⎭ 310 Cribs for Cathay & Other Poems [3] [一 體 更 變 易] Itsu tai Ko ben yeki one body mutually change pass into Thus even a single body can change into another/and back again7 [4] [萬 事 良 悠 悠] Ban ji rio yu yu myriad things well distant distant truly makoto8 here = the infinite depth of reason So are the myriad things infinitely deep and/incomprehensible.9 [49] [5] [乃 知 蓬 萊 水] Nai chi ho rai sui Thus Know Ho- rai11 water Thus I know that the Horai waters [6] [復 作 清 淺 流] Fuku saku sei sen rui Again become pure shallow current Again become a clear shallow stream12 Ancient Wisdom, Rather Cosmic 311 [7] [青 門 種 瓜 人] Sei mon shŭ ka jin Blue gate {(seed)} melon man name of street in Choan14 plant The melon planting man of Sei mon street {East} {hill} [8] [昔 日 東 陵 侯] Kiu Seki15 jitsu To rio Ko in past da days Torio16 marquis past name Was in past days the marquis of Torio17 [50] [9] [富 貴 故 如 此] Fu Ki Ko jo shi wealth nobility originally20 like this Wealth and nobility hav are at bottom {after all} such things as these [10] [營 營 何 所 求] Yei yei Ka shŏ Kiu Busy busy what that which sought {(worry)} {(worry)} is (seek) sign of passive {(Then)} In seeking for what is it that men worry worry so?21 ⎫ ⎪ ⎪ ⎬ ⎪ ⎪ ⎭ ⎫ ⎪ ⎪ ⎬ ⎪ ⎪ ⎭ 312 Cribs for Cathay & Other Poems [From the Book of Zhuangzi, trans. Giles: “Once upon a time, I, Chuang Tzŭ, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents andpurposesabutterfly.Iwasconsciousonlyoffollowingmyfanciesasabutterfly,andwasunconscious of my individuality as a man. Suddenly, I awaked, and there I lay, myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.” (Giles, A History of Chinese Literature, 63)]22 [昔者莊周夢為胡蝶,栩栩然胡蝶也,自喻適志與! 不知周也。俄然覺,則蘧蘧然周也。 不知周之夢為胡蝶與,胡蝶之夢為周與。(ZZJS 1:112)] Notes ANCIENT WISDOM, RATHER COSMIC (100–4235:47v–50r, MF 3389; Pound’s #10; TSSC 1:8b; Lustra, 66); 古風五十九首其九 [Fifty-Nine Ancient Airs, the Ninth]), by Li Bo. Pentasyllabic old-style verse (五言古詩). For more on this series of gufeng 古風 (Ancient Airs), see “Poem by the Bridge at Ten-Shin.” With Mori & Ariga, March 18, 1900. This adaptation first appeared in Blast 2 (July 1915, 22) three months after the release of Cathay, but it is included in the “Cathay” section of Lustra. The original story from the Book of Zhuangzi 莊子 is translated in Giles’s A History of Chinese Literature (quoted after line 10), where Pound would have read it before receiving Fenollosa’s notebooks, but the Japanese “So-Shu” could only have come from Fenollosa. There is, moreover, a draft translation in typescript with autograph corrections which is numbered “110” corresponding to Pound’s numbering in Fenollosa’s notebook. (The typescript has a line crossed through it, probably indicating only that it had been printed, as is also the case for “Gnomic Verses,” which appeared with it in Blast 2.) Pound used only the general idea of the first line of Li Bo’s poem for his very free version, which more closely resembles his earlier adaptations directly from Giles, such as “After Ch’u Yuan.” The notion of “contentment,” however, resembles Mori’s commentary (“a butterfly and enjoying its nature”) more than anything in Giles, who is unapologetically disdainful of Daoism. Pound rejects the carefully patterned structure that Li Bo has created out of the familiar story, and instead turns it into a pithy, haiku-like epigram of the sort that had come to represent the Japanese- or Chinese-style poem in modernist circles. It hardly needs to be said that the results are two very different poems, but when admiring the powerful economy of Pound’s radical adaptation, we should not underestimate the craft and beauty of Li Bo’s poem, which Fenollosa’s cribs make it possible for the English reader to begin to appreciate (and even to translate, Dear Reader, in another DIY opportunity). The typesetting of Pound’s title in Blast 2 emphasizes its satirically urbane tone: “ANCIENT WISDOM, rather cosmic.” 1. 9th —fu—7th of series: feng [fu...


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