Ezra Pound Writing Styles in The River Merchant's Wife: A Letter

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This translation, "The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter," is structured into 5 stanzas: the first of 6 lines, and the second, third, and fourth of 4 lines each. Each of the first four stanzas is image-centered, focusing an emotional point in the history of the relationship between the river-merchant's wife and her husband. The final stanza of 10 lines and a dropped half-line begins with the presentation of a similar central image that collects an enhancing detail in each line until line 25 shifts into direct emotional statement. The last four lines mix this direct letter-writing style with the final image closing the physical and emotional distance between the river-merchant and his wife.

It was Pound's belief that the pictorial quality of the Chinese ideogram, in its "closeness to the thing itself," had the capacity for raising the mundane to the poetic. Likewise, Pound's ear for the music of conversational speech raised natural speech rhythms...

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This section contains 395 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The River Merchant's Wife: A Letter Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
The River Merchant's Wife: A Letter from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.