Ezra Pound – The River-Merchant’s Wife

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.
And we went on living in the village of Chokan:
Two small people, without dislike or suspicion.
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.
At fifteen I stopped scowling,
I desired my dust to be mingled with yours
Forever and forever and forever.
Why should I climb the look out?

At sixteen you departed,
You went into far Ku-to-en, by the river of swirling eddies,
And you have been gone five months.
The monkeys make sorrowful noise overhead.

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 August
Over the grass in the West garden;
They hurt me. I grow older.
If you are coming down through the narrows of the river Kiang,
Please let me know beforehand,
And I will come out to meet you
      As far as Cho-fu-Sa.

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Ezra Pound

Ezra Pound image

October 30, 1885 – November 1, 1972

American expatriate poet, musician, and critic.

Ezra was born in Hailey, Idaho, United States. He studied for two years at the University of Pennsylvania and later received his M.A. in Romance philology from Hamilton College in 1905.

Afterward, Ezra taught at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, for less than a year, and left as the result of a minor scandal. In 1908 he traveled to Europe, settling in London after spending several months in Venice.

I very time later Ezra go to Italy. Although he continued working on The Cantos, he seemed to view them as an artistic failure. Pound died in Venice in 1972 two days after his 87th birthday.

The Cantos is a poems together form a farewell to Pound’s London career.

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