15 nov. 2010

I have always had trouble with Pound's Confucian Odes. The awful dialect and doggerel-like effects that mar many of the poems. The mixture of the slangy and the sententious can produce effects that verge on the absurd. But the book has its moments:
I plucked your sleeve by the way, that you should pause.
Cast not an old friend off without cause.

That a hand's clasp in the high road could thee move:
Scorn not an old friend's love.

Sure, it's a little stilted and archaic, but to good effect. Only in very short poems does he steer clear of jarring effects. You're almost rooting for him not to blow it.

The New Directions edition I have has an unsigned introduction. It could be by Pound himself, although it refers to him in the third person. I've had this book since I was a teenager.

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