Ezra Pound Poem

Canto XLIX: For the Seven Lakes

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For the seven lakes, and by no man these verses:
    Rain; empty river; a voyage,
    Fire from frozen cloud, heavy rain in the twilight
    Under the cabin roof was one lantern.
    The reeds are heavy; bent;
    and the bamboos speak as if weeping.

    Autumn moon; hills rise about lakes
    against sunset
    Evening is like a curtain of cloud,
    a blurr above ripples; and through it
    sharp long spikes of the cinnamon,
    a cold tune amid reeds.
    Behind hill the monk’s bell
    borne on the wind.
    Sail passed here in April; may return in October
    Boat fades in silver; slowly;
    Sun blaze alone on the river.

    Where wine flag catches the sunset
    Sparse chimneys smoke in the cross light

    Comes then snow scur on the river
    And a world is covered with jade
    Small boat floats like a lanthorn,
    The flowing water closts as with cold. And at San Yin
    they are a people of leisure.

    Wild geese swoop to the sand-bar,
    Clouds gather about the hole of the window
    Broad water; geese line out with the autumn
    Rooks clatter over the fishermen’s lanthorns,

    A light moves on the north sky line;
    where the young boys prod stones for shrimp.
    In seventeen hundred came Tsing to these hill lakes.
    A light moves on the South sky line.

    State by creating riches shd. thereby get into debt?
    This is infamy; this is Geryon.
    This canal goes still to TenShi
    Though the old king built it for pleasure

    K E I M E N R A N K E I
    K I U M A N M A N K E I
    T A N FUKU T A N K A I

    Sun up; work
    sundown; to rest
    dig well and drink of the water
    dig field; eat of the grain
    Imperial power is? and to us what is it?

    The fourth; the dimension of stillness.
    And the power over wild beasts.

Cantus Planus
Canto XIII


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