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"A River Merchant’s Wife" Essay, Research Paper Transcription of Ernest Fenollosa’s Notebook (Pound’s Source) Chokanka regular 5 Chokan=name of town / place

"A River Merchant’s Wife" Essay, Research Paper

Transcription of Ernest Fenollosa’s Notebook (Pound’s Source)

Chokanka

regular 5

Chokan=name of town / place

ko=uta=narrative

song

long-Mt. side

Sho hatsu

sho

fuku

gaku

mistress hair

first

cover

brow

Chionese lay’s I or my beginning

My hair was at first covering my brows

(Chinese method of wearing hair)

Setsu kwa

mon

zen

geki

break flowers

gate

front

play

Breaking flower branches I was frolicking in front of our gate.

ro

ki

chiku

ba

rai

Second person ride on bamboo

horse

come

masculine

you, young man

lit. young man

When you came riding on bamboo stilts

Gio sho

ro

sei

bai

going round seat play with

blue

plums (fruit)

And going about my seat, you played with the blue plums.

Do kio

cho

kan

ri

Same dwell

cho

kan

village

Together we dwelt in the same Chokan village.

rio sho

mu

ken

sai

double small

not

dislike

suspcion

"the two"

And we two little ones had neither mutual dislike or suspicion.

(no

evil thots or bashfulness)

ju shi

i

kun

fu

Fourteen

became

lord’s wife

your

At fourteen I became your wife–

Shu gan

mi

jo

kai

bashful face

not yet

ever open

Bashful I never opened my face (I never laughed)

Tei to

ko

am

peki

lowering head face

black

wall

but lowering my head I always faced toward a dark wall ashamed to

see anybody–she sat in dark corners

Sen kan

fu

itsu

kai

thousand call

not

once

looked back

And though a thousand times called, not once did I look around…….

ju go

shi

tem

hi

15

first

time open

eyebrows

At fifteen I first opened my brows

i.e.

I first knew what married life meant now she opens her eyebrows.

i.e.. smooths out the wrinkles between her brows. She now began

to understand love, and to be happy.

Gan do

jin

yo

bai

desire same

dust

together with ashes

and

And so I desired to live and die with you even after death, I wish to be with

you even as dust, and even as ashes–partially together.

Jo son

ho

chu

shin

eternally preserve embrace

pillar

faith

I always had in me the faith of holding to pillars

Ki

jo

bo

fu

dai

why should climb look out

husband terrace

And why should I think of climbing the husband looking out terrace.

Ju roku

kun

en

ko

16

you

far

go

At 16, however, you had to go far away.

fearful riverside

both

yen & yo are adj. expressing form of

water

passign over hidden rocks

Ku_____ to yen

yo

tai

|

name

yenyo-rock

of locality

eddy?

(towards Shoku passing through the difficult place of Yentotai at Kuto.)

Go getsu

a

ka

shoku

5

month

not

must

touch

In May not to be touched.

The ship must be careful of them in May.

En sei

ten

jo

ai

monkeys voices heaven

above sorrowfulo

Monkeys cry sorrowful above heaven.

Mon zen

chi

ko

seki

gate front

late

go

footstep

reluctant

Your footsteps, made by your reluctant departure, in front of our gate

itsu itsu

sei

rioku

tai

one one

grow

green

mosses

one by one have been grown up into green moss.

Tai shin

fu

no

so

mosses deep

not

can

wipe away

These mosses have grown so deep that it is difficult to wipe them away.

Raku yo

shu

fu

so

Fallen leaves

autumn wind

early

And the fallen leaves indicate autumn wind which (to my thought only)

appears to come earlier than usual.

male

female

Hachi hatsu

ko

cho

ko

8th

month

butterflies

yellow

It being already August, the butterflies are yellow.

So hi

sei

yen

so

pairs fly

western

garden grass

And yellow as they are, they fly in pairs on the western garden grass.

Kan

shi

sho

sho

shin

affected (by) this

hurt

(female)

mind

normal

my

pained

Affected by this, (absence) my heart pains.

Za shu

ko

gan

ro

gradually lament

crimson

face

decay–older

become

old.

The longer the sbsence lasts, the deeper I mourn, my early fine pink face,

will pass to oldness, to my great regret.

So ban

ka

sam

pa

sooner (or) later descend

three______whirls

|

name

of spot on Yangtse Kiang, where

waters

whirl

If you be coming down as far as the Three Narrows sooner or later.

Yo

sho

sh?

ho

ka

beforehand with letter

report

family-home

Please let me know by writing

Sho gei

fu

do

yen

mutually meeting not

say

far

coming

to meet

For I will go out to meet, not saying that the way be far,

carring

Choku chi

cho

fu

sa

directly arrive

long______wind____sand

|

a

port on the Yangste

And will directly come to Chofusha.

(the port just this sime of Sampa)

from the Pound Center, Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and

Manuscript Library, Yale University.

W. J. B. Fletcher (1919)

THAT PARTING AT CH’ANG KAN

When first o’er maiden brows my hair I tied,

In sport I plucked the blooms before the door.

You riding came on hobbyhorse astride,

And wreathed my bed with greengage branches o’er.

At Ch’ang-kan village long together dwelt

We children twain, and knew no petty strife.

At fourteen years lo! I became thy wife.

Yet ah! the modest shyness that I felt!

My shamefaced head I in a corner hung;

Nor to long calling answered word of mine.

At fifteen years my heart’s gate open sprung,

And I were glad to mix my dust with thine.

My troth to thee till death I keep for aye:

My eyes still gaze adoring on my lord.

When I was but sixteen you went away.

In Ch?-t’ang Gorge how Yen-y?’s billows roared!

For five long months with you I cannot meet.

The gibbon’s wail re?choes to the sky!

Before the door, where stood your parting feet,

The prints with verdant moss are covered high.

Deep is that moss! it will not brush away.

In early autumn’s gale the leaflets fall.

September now!—the butterflies so gay

Disport on grasses by our garden wall.

The sight my heart disturbs with longing woe.

I sit and wail, my red cheeks growing old.

Early and late I to the gorges go,

Waiting for news that of thy coming told.

How short will seem the way, if we but meet !

Across the sand the wind flies straight to greet.

Amy Lowell (1921)

CH’ANG KAN

BY LI T’AI-PO

When the hair of your Unworthy One first began to cover

her forehead,

She picked flowers and played in front of the door.

Then you, my Lover, came riding a bamboo horse.

We ran round and round the bed, and tossed about the

sweetmeats of green plums.

We both lived in the village of Ch’ang Kan.

We were both very young, and knew neither jealousy nor

suspicion.

At fourteen, I became the wife of my Lord.

I could not yet lay aside my face of shame;

I hung my head, facing the dark wall;

You might call me a thousand times, not once would I turn

round.

At fifteen, I stopped frowning.

I wanted to be with you, as dust with its ashes.

I often thought that you were the faithful man who clung to the

bridge-post,

That I should never be obliged to ascend to the Looking-for-

Husband Ledge.

When I was sixteen, my Lord went far away,

To the Ch’? T’ang Chasm and the Whirling Water Rock

of the Y? River

Which, during the Fifth Month, must not be collided with;

Where the wailing of the gibbons seems to come from the sky.

Your departing footprints are still before the door where I

bade you good-bye,

In each has sprung up green moss.

The moss is thick, it cannot be swept away.

The leaves are falling, it is early for the Autumn wind to

blow.

It is the Eighth Month, the butterflies are yellow,

Two are flying among the plants in the West garden;

Seeing them, my heart is bitter with grief, they wound the

heart of the Unworthy One.

The bloom of my face has faded, sitting with my sorrow.

From early morning until late in the evening, you descend

the Three Serpent River.

Prepare me first with a letter, bringing me the news of when

you will reach home.

I will not go far on the road to meet you,

I will go straight until I reach the Long Wind Sands.

From Fir-Flower Tablets

Shigeyoshi Obata (1922)

TWO LETTERS FROM CHANG-KAN–I

(A river-merchant’s wife writes)

I would play, plucking flowers by the gate;

My hair scarcely covered my forehead, then.

You would come, riding on your bamboo horse,

And loiter about the bench with green plums for toys.

So we both dwelt in Chang-kan town,

We were two children, suspecting nothing.

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.

At fifteen I was able to compose my eyebrows,

And beg you to love me till we were dust and ashes.

You always kept the faith of Wei-sheng,

Who waited under the bridge, unafraid of death,

I never knew I was to climb the Hill of Wang-fu

And watch for you these many days.

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.

Did you hear the monkeys wailing

Up on the skyey height of the crags?

Do you know your foot-marks by our gate are old,

And each and every one is filled up with green moss?

The mosses are too deep for me to sweep away;

And already in the autumn wind the leaves are falling.

The yellow butterflies of October

Flutter in pairs over the grass of the west garden.

My heart aches at seeing them. . . .

I sit sorrowing alone, and alas!

The vermilion of my face is fading.

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.

Witter Bynner (1929)

A SONG OF CH’ ANG-KAN

(Written to Music)

My hair had hardly covered my forehead.

I was picking flowers, playing by my door,

When you, my lover, on a bamboo horse,

Came trotting in circles and throwing green plums.

We lived near together on a lane in Ch’ang-kan,

Both of us young and happy-hearted.

. . .At fourteen I became your wife,

So bashful that I dared not smile,

And I lowered my head toward a dark corner

And would not turn to your thousand calls;

But at fifteen I straightened my brows and laughed,

Learning that no dust could ever seal our love,

That even unto death I would await you by my post

And would never lose heart in the tower of silent watching.

. . .Then when I was sixteen, you left on a long journey

Through the Gorges of Ch’?-t’ang, of rock and whirling water.

And then came the Fifth-month, more than I could bear,

And I tried to hear the monkeys in your lofty far-off sky.

Your footprints by our door, where I had watched you go,

Were hidden, every one of them, under green moss,

Hidden under moss too deep to sweep away.

And the first autumn wind added fallen leaves.

And now, in the Eighth-month, yellowing butterflies

Hover, two by two, in our west-garden grasses. . . .

And, because of all this, my heart is breaking

And I fear for my bright cheeks, lest they fade.

Oh, at last, when you return through the three Pa districts,

Send me a message home ahead!

And I will come and meet you and will never mind the distance,

All the way to Chang-f?ng Sha.

From The Jade Mountain: A Chinese Anthology (New York: Knopf).

Wai-Lim Yip (1976)

1. My hair barely covered my forehead.

2. I played in front of the gate, plucking flowers.

3. You came riding on a bamboo-horse.

4. And around the bed we played with green plums.

5. We were then living in Ch’ang-kan.

6. Two small people, no hate nor suspicion.

7. At fourteen, I became your wife.

8. I seldom laughed, being bashful.

9. I lowered my head toward the dark wall.

10. Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back.

11. At fifteen, I began to perk up.

12. We wished to stay together like dust and ash.

13. If you have the faith of Wei-sheng.

14. Why do I have to climb up the waiting tower?

15. At sixteen, you went on a long journey.

16. By the Yen-j? rocks at Ch’?-t’ang

17. The unpassable rapids in the fifth month

18. When monkeys cried against the sky.

19. Before the door your footprints

20. Are all moss-grown

21. Moss too deep to sweep away.

22. Falling leaves: autumn winds are early.

23. In the eighth month, butterflies come

24. In pairs over the grass in the West Garden.

25. These smite my heart.

26. I sit down worrying and youth passes away.

27. When eventually you would come down from the Three Gorges.

28. Please let me know ahead of time.

29. I will meet you, no matter how far,

30. Even all the way to Long Wind Sand.

From Wai-lim Yip, Chinese Poetry: Major Modes and Genres. (Berkeley: U of

California P, 1976. Copyright ? 1976 by U of California P.

The Song of Ch’ang-Kan (Y?eh-Fu)

1. concubine

hair

first

cover

forehead

(i.e., my, humble term used by women when speaking of themselves)

2. pluck

flower/s

door

front

play

3. you

ride

bamboo

horse

come

4. circling

bed

play

green

plums

circle

5. together

live

Ch’ang

Kan

village

prefecture

6. two

small

no

hate

suspicion

7. fourteen

be

your

wife

8. she

face

has-never

open

9. lower

head

face

dark

wall

10. thousand

call/s

not

one

turn

once

look-back

11. fifteen

then

unknit

brows

begin

12. wish

together

dust

and

ashes

13. often

keep-in-mind

embrace pillar

reliability

trustworthiness

14. how

ascend

Watch

Husband

Terrace

15. sixteen

you

a-long-way

go

16. Ch’?

T’ang

Yen

Y?

pile-of-rocks

(in

the midst

of

river)

17. fifth

month

cannot

offend

touch

18. ape

sound

heaven

above

sorrowful

19. door

front

late

departure

foot-step/s

20. each-one

grow

green

moss

21. moss

deep

cannot

sweep

22. falling

leaf

autumn

wind/s

early

23. eighth

month

butterflies

come

24. pair

fly

west

garden

grass

25. moved-by this

hust

my

heart

26. sit

grieve

red

face

old

27. soon

late

down

three

Pa’s

(i.e.,

Three Gorges)

28. in-advance (part.)

letter

inform

home

29. (each other) welcome

not

say

far

30. all-the-way-to –

Long

Wind

Sand

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