What do you mean you forgot that 2012 was China Rhyming’s year of Chinois poetry? How could you – what do you mean some of it’s a bit rubbish!! How dare you – we’ve had Ezra Pound, WB Yeats, Sacheverell and Edith Sitwell, not to mention Vachel Lindsay (twice). Well, you’re going to get some more – it’s good for you!!
And we’ll start today with a genuine Big Beast (literally actually) in the field of Chinois poetry – the “hippopoetess” (as Ezra Pound called her, because she was obese) Amy Lowell (1874-1925), friend of Florence Ayscough and Harriert Monroe and all those leading gals of things Chinois (and a lot more on this blog to come soon about Florence Ayscough). But today, it’s Lowell’s “Reflections“, published in a journal of poems edited by Harriet Monroe entitled The New Poetry and published in 1917.
WHEN I looked into your eyes,
I saw a garden
With peonies, and tinkling pagodas,
And round-arched bridges
Over still lakes.
A woman sat beside the water
In a rain-blue, silken garment.
She reached through the water
To pluck the crimson peonies
Beneath the surface,
But as she grasped the stems,
They jarred and broke into white-green ripples,
And as she drew out her hand,
The water-drops dripping from it
Stained her rain-blue dress like tears.