Sunday, November 02, 2014

Robert Sheppard: My Work in News from Afar: Ezra Pound and Some Contemporary British Poetries ed. Richard Parker

Richard Parker's News from Afar: Ezra Pound and Some Contemporary British Poetries is out!

“‘…the full shock of what a fascist s.o.b. Pound is caught up with me’—thus Charles Olson after one of his several encounters with Ezra Pound at St Elizabeths Hospital. Olson’s “shock” has continued to reverberate in the work of many British poets as they have sought to weigh the dazzling innovative force of Pound’s poetry against the rash brutality of his politics. This has been a difficult and contradictory legacy, but one which, as this fascinating collection of texts so amply demonstrates, has also proved a spur to some of Britain’s best experimental writers in ways that we are only now beginning to appreciate.” —Peter Nicholls

 More details and purchase details here.

Contributors include Harry Gilonis, Robert Hampson, Gavin Selerie, Keston Sutherland, Amy Evans, Mark Scroggins, Laura Kilbride, Juha Virtanen, David Vishnar, Tim Atkins.

I decided to respond to the Richard's request for a contribution to this book by having a go at versions and un-versions of Chinese poems by Li-Shang Yin that make use of the anonymous translations and the visual configuration of the Chinese characters, lineation and punctuation in the parallel text Three Hundred Poems of the T’ang Dynasty, possibly published in Hong Kong, which I bought in a charity shop. Further background and translations by A.C. Graham were consulted in eds. Cyril Birch and Dennis Keene, Anthology of Chinese Literature, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1967. I wanted to testify to the continuing, but dispersed, presence of Poundian poetics in the broad understanding of contemporary ‘translation’ and spatial (rather than temporal) prosodies. Here is one of the poems from my contribution, 'The Li-Shang Yin Suite':
no name

Phoenix    tail    motif    hangs    on    scented    drapes
Around    your    greenblue    canopy    stitched    into    night.
Sly    peep    round    slice    of    moon    fan  
Shy    voice    shushed    my    thunderous    retreat.    Now
Quiet    your    room    where    the    candle    droops.
How    far    can    your    pomegranate    blossom    scatter ?
I    tether    my    horse    to    river    willow
&   await    your    word    on    the    wind.