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Cathay: A Critical Edition


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Table of Contents

Foreword: The Archive of Cathay
Haun Saussy

Introduction: From the Decipherings
Christopher Bush

Editor's Introduction: Cracking the Crib
Timothy Billings

Cathay (1915)
Ezra Pound
Front Matter to Cathay
"Song of the Bowmen of Shu"
"The Beautiful Toilet"
"The River Song"
"The River Merchant's Wife: A Letter"
"The Jewel Stairs' Grievance"
"Poem by the Bridge at Ten-shin"
"Lament of the Frontier Guard"
"Exile's Letter"
"The Seafarer"
"Light rain is on the light dust"
"Separation on the River Kiang"
"Taking Leave of a Friend"
"Leave-Taking Near Shoku"
"The City of Choan"
"South-Folk in Cold Country"
Back matter to Cathay Lustra (1916): The Chinese Poems
Ezra Pound
Additions to Cathay
"Sennin Poem by Kakuhaku"
"A Ballad of the Mulberry Road"
"Old Idea of Choan by Rosoriu"
"To-Em-Mei's 'The Unmoving Cloud'"

Miscellaneous Poems

"After Chu Yuan"
"Liu Ch'e"
"Fan Piece for Her Imperial Lord"
"Ts'ai Chi'h"
"Ancient Wisdom Rather Cosmic"
"Epitaphs / Fu I"

The Little Review (1918): Two Translations

Ezra Pound
"Dawn on the Mountain"
"Wine"Cribs for Cathay & Other Poems
Ernest Fenollosa, et al.
Editorial Conventions
Front Matter to Cathay
"Song of the Bowmen of Shu" (Classic of Poetry 167)
"The Beautiful Toilet" (attrib. Mei Sheng )
"The River Song" (Li Bo )
"The River Merchant's Wife: A Letter" (Li Bo )
"The Jewel Stairs' Grievance" (Li Bo )
"Poem by the Bridge at Ten-shin" (Li Bo )
"Lament of the Frontier Guard" (Li Bo )
"Exile's Letter" (Li Bo )
"The Seafarer" (Anonymous)
"Light rain is on the light dust" (Wang Wei )
"Separation on the River Kiang" (Li Bo )
"Taking Leave of a Friend" (Li Bo )
"Leave-Taking Near Shoku" (Li Bo )
"The City of Choan" (Li Bo )
"South-Folk in Cold Country" (Li Bo )
Back matter to Cathay
"Sennin Poem by Kakuhaku" (Guo Pu )
"A Ballad of the Mulberry Road" (Anonymous)
"Old Idea of Choan by Rosoriu" (Lu Zhaolin )
"To-Em-Mei's 'The Unmoving Cloud'" (Tao Yuanming )
"After Chu Yuan" ( Qu Yuan)
"Liu Ch'e" (Liu Che )
"Fan Piece for Her Imperial Lord" (attrib. Ban Jieyu )
"Ts'ai Chi'h" (Pound)
"Ancient Wisdom Rather Cosmic" (Li Bo )
"Epitaphs / Fu I" (Fu Yi ) and "Li Po" (Pound)
"Dawn on the Mountain" (Wang Wei )
"Wine" (Li Bo )Chinese Poetry (1918)
Ezra Pound

About the Author

Ezra Pound (Author)
Ezra Pound (1884-1972) was a leading Modernist poet and the driving force behind Imagism and Vorticism.
Timothy Billings (Edited By)
Timothy Billings is Professor of English and American Literatures at Middlebury College. With Christopher Bush, he edited and translated Victor Segalen's Steles / (Wesleyan, 2007), which won the Aldo and Jean Scaglione Prize for Best Translation of a Literary Work. He has also edited and translated Matteo Ricci's On Friendship: One Hundred Maxims for a Chinese Prince (Columbia, 2009) and is the editor of Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost (Internet Shakespeare Editions, University of Victoria).
Haun Saussy (Foreword By)
Haun Saussy is University Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Chicago. He won the Rene Wellek Prize for Comparative Literature (for the second time) for his most recent book, Translation as Citation: Zhuangzi Inside Out (Oxford, 2018). His book The Ethnography of Rhythm: Orality and Its Technologies (Fordham, 2016) was awarded the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Comparative Literary Studies.
Christopher Bush (Introducer)
Christopher Bush is Associate Professor of French and Comparative Literary Studies at Northwestern University and the author of Ideographic Modernism: China, Writing, Media (Oxford, 2010).


"Timothy Billings has given us a stunning, masterful edition of a book that reinvented two worlds and made modern poetry possible." -- William Logan * The New Criterion *
"A miracle of poetic reincarnation, Ezra Pound's Cathay finally gets a comprehensive and thorough treatment in this critical edition. A marvel of scholarship that will be required reading for all students of poetry." -- Yunte Huang, author of Inseparable: The Original Siamese Twins and Their Rendezvous with American History
"A feat of archival scholarship and patient deciphering. Cathay emerges from this critical edition not as the work of a single man, but as a multiply authored enterprise, animated by the erudition of Japanese professors Mori Kainan and Ariga Nagao; the notes of Ernest Fenollosa; and the chutzpah of a young Ezra Pound. Pairing Pound's compositions with the cribs he used and the Chinese originals he couldn't read, Timothy Billings makes available, for the first time, the layer upon layer of mediation that went into this collective masterpiece, tracing a conversational arc that extends from the Bronze Age to the twentieth century." -- Wai Chee Dimock, Yale University
"This is an extraordinary book. Not just because of Pound's poetry, whose verbal force still resonates with us today, but because, as an edition, it puts us face to face with the possibility of an interpretation that knows everything it needs to know. This is a book for teaching, for learning, and finally, for reading for pleasure-the pleasure of the poems, yes, and the pleasure of seeing in the poems the complex linguistic and conceptual histories, and accidents, that made them what they are today." -- Eric Hayot, Pennsylvania State University

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