I. Sho-Sho Hakkei Tegakami: Eight Views of XiaoXiang.
Pound received a scroll book with the Eight Views of XiaoXiang [Japanese: Sho-Sho Hakkei tegakami] from his parents some time before 1 March 1928. The book was produced in Japan (Sho-Sho is the Japanese translation of the XiaoXiang, whereas tegakami means scrollbook, album), yet the “Views” were a literary and painterly genre initiated in China in the 11th century: eight landscapes of the Xiang river and Dongting Lake in the Hunan province. See more in Resources. The book that Pound had as his family heirloom was a series of 8 triptychs with an ink painting framed by a poem in Chinese on the right and one in Japanese on the left. Pao Swen Tseng, a Chinese missionary and teacher from Hunan, visited Pound in Rapallo some time around 17 May 1928 and informally translated the poems to the poet while he was taking notes (Palandri 51; Qian Chinese Friends 9-17). Pound copied out an English paraphrase on 30 July for his father but did not mail the letter (Palandri 53). See Calendar. Miss Tseng did not take the Japanese poems into account while translating the poems.
Fig. 1. Recto. Inner cover. Rain on the Xiao and Xiang. Chinese calligraphy in regular script; Autumn Moon over Lake Dongting. Chinese calligraphy in clerical script. Read right to left.
Fig.2. Evening Bell from a Mist-Shouded Temple. Chinese Calligraphy in regular script; Sailboats returning from Distant Shore. Chinese calligraphy in cursive script. Inner cover. Read right to left.
Fig. 3. Verso. Outer cover. Mist over Mountain Town. Chinese calligraphy in seal script; River and Sky in Evening Snow. Chinese calligraphy in semi-cursive script. Read right to left.
Fig. 4. Wild Geese Descending to Sand bar. Chinese calligraphy in cursive script; Sunset over Fishing Village. Chinese calligraphy in seal script. Outer cover. Read right to left.
Note. The above images are digital reproductions of the tegakami facsimile produced by Maria Costanza Ferrero De Luca, who describes it in detail (Ezra Pound e il Canto dei Sette Laghi. Reggio Emilia: Diabasis, 2004. 10-11).
Grateful acknowledgment to Mary de Rachewiltz, Brunnenburg, Italy, for permission to present the images here.
“The story of what Pound’s canto 49 owes to the screen book he received from his parents in early 1928 has been told and retold many times. A relic from Japan, the fourteen-fold screen book consists of two endpapers, two covers, eight ink paintings, eight poems in Chinese and eight poems in Japanese, mutually representing eight classic views about the shores of the Xiao and Xiang rivers in central South China.”
Zhaoming Qian. Modernist Response, 123.
“The album (tekagami) is thus made up of twenty-four panels in which each painting is framed by two poetic texts in different scripts. The physical layout of the album in a concertina format invites most Western readers to adapt customary reading patterns, reading from ‘front’ to ‘back,’ two panels at a time, when instead it is correct to view the album as a series of triptychs, starting from the ‘back’ and working to the ‘front,’ turning the album over and working back to the point of commencement.”
Mark Byron. “In a Station of the Cantos,” 144.
Reproductions of the tegakami:
- Ferrero De Luca, Maria Costanza, ed. Ezra Pound e il Canto dei Sette Laghi. Reggio Emilia: Diabasis, 2004. This study includes the full colour facsimile of the screen book that Pound received from his parents.
- Richard Dean Taylor “Appendix” to his essay “Cantos XLIX the Fourth Dimension.” The Appendix provides an interlinear of the canto and the paraphrase (from Pound’s unsent letter to his father, 28 July 1928).
The online version of the Appendix also includes reproductions of all the paintings in Pound’s scroll book. Click on the icons to see enlargements. See whole article here.
Zhaoming Qian has provided black and white images from the scroll book in his book, The Modernist Response to Chinese Art. Full triptych for “Night Rain.” Reproductions of the paintings for the other poems. The paintings are also reproduced in his article on canto 49 in Ezra Pound and China.
Qian, Zhaoming. “Pound’s Seven Lakes Canto.” In The Modernist Response to Chinese Art. Pound, Moore, Stevens. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2003. 123-140: 128-33.
Qian, Zhaoming. “Painting into Poetry: Pound’s Seven Lakes Canto.” Ezra Pound and China. Ed. Zhaoming Qian. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan Press, 2003. 72-95.
- Mark Byron has provided high quality colour reproductions for “Autumn Moon” and “Fishing Village in the Twilight Glow.”
Byron, Mark. “In a Station of the Cantos: Ezra Pound’s ‘Seven Lakes’ Canto and the Shō-Shō Hakkei Tekagami.” Literature & Aesthetics 22.2 (2012): 138-152: 145, 146. Free online.
II. “Auspicious Clouds.” [Chinese: Ch’ing-yun ko; Japanese: Kei Wun Ka]. Ancient Chinese Song in Japanese transcription taken from Fenollosa’s notes of his sessions on the history of Chinese poetry with Prof. Mori on 4 June 1901.
Reproduced in Hugh Kenner. “More on the Seven Lakes Canto.” Paideuma: A Journal Devoted to Ezra Pound Scholarship 2.1 (1973): 45.
III. Clod Beating Song. Ancient Chinese poem. [Chinese: Chi-yang ko; Japanese: Geki jo ka] Fenollosa’s notes of his sessions on Chinese poetry with Prof. Mori on 28 May 1901.
Reproduced in Hugh Kenner. “More on the Seven Lakes Canto.” Paideuma: A Journal Devoted to Ezra Pound Scholarship 2.1 (1973): 45-6.
Chinese titles transliteration in Palandri, Angela J. “The ‘Seven Lakes Canto’ Revisited.” Paideuma: A Journal Devoted to Ezra Pound Scholarship 3.1 (1974): 51.
Hugh Kenner did not include the Japanese transcription for the Clod Beating Song since Pound did not use it for the canto.
The most thorough and detailed study of the literary aspect of Pound’s sources for canto 49 was made by Sanehide Kodama (Paideuma 6.2 (1977) and Maria Costanza Ferrero de Luca (2004)).
Note on Sources