Thursday, January 14, 2010
The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter
by Ezra Pound
While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead
I played about the front gate, pulling flowers.
You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse,
You walked about my seat, playing with blue plums.
And we went on living in the village of Chokan:
Two small people, without dislike or suspicion.
At fourteen I married My Lord you.
I never laughed, being bashful.
Lowering my head, I looked at the wall.
Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back.
At fifteen I stopped scowling,
I desired my dust to be mingled with yours
Forever and forever and forever.
Why should I climb the look out?
At sixteen you departed,
You went into far Ku-to-yen, by the river of swirling eddies,
And you have been gone five months.
The monkeys make sorrowful noise overhead.
You dragged your feet when you went out.
By the gate now, the moss is grown, the different mosses,
Too deep to clear them away!
The leaves fall early this autumn, in wind.
The paired butterflies are already yellow with August
Over the grass in the West garden;
They hurt me. I grow older.
If you are coming down through the narrows of the river Kiang,
Please let me know beforehand,
And I will come out to meet you
As far as Cho-fu-Sa.
I'm not much of a poetry person but I am very fond of this poem. Maybe it's because I feel like I can relate to the girl. She fell in love and her husband left to go trade on the river for his job. Even though he didn't want to leave, he did. He hasn't come back yet and she longs to be with him. I've fallen in love and yet they leave. Just like the girl in this poem I'm wondering if they'll ever come back. If they'll ever be who they were when I met them. If we can ever be friends again.