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The River Merchant's Wife: A Letter Summary
Ezra Pound

Everything you need to understand or teach The River Merchant's Wife by Ezra Pound.

  • The River Merchant's Wife: A Letter Summary & Study Guide

The River Merchant's Wife: A Letter Summary

Introduction

" The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter" was published in 1915 in Ezra Pound's third collection of poetry, Cathay: Translations, which contains versions of Chinese poems composed from the sixteen notebooks of Ernest Fenollosa, a scholar of Chinese literature. Pound called the poems in English which resulted from the Fenollosa manuscripts "translations," but as such they are held in contempt by most scholars of Chinese language and literature. However, they have been acclaimed as "poetry" for their clarity and elegance. They are variously referred to as "translations," "interpretations," "paraphrases," and "adaptations."

Pound's study of the Fenollosa manuscripts led to his preoccupation with the Chinese ideogram (a written symbol for an idea or object) as a medium for poetry. In fact, he realized that Chinese poets had long been aware of the image as the fundamental principle for poetic composition that he himself was beginning to formulate. Pound further maintained that the poetic...

(read more from the Study Guide)

Study Pack

The The River Merchant's Wife: A Letter Study Pack contains about 29 pages of study material in 7 products, including:

The River Merchant's Wife Study Guide

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