Pound’s Chinese sources, articles,
translations and original poems


rsz li shida fishing village at sunset 

1913 - Pound writes to Dorothy in October that he is reading Confucius and Mencius, probably in Pauthier's translation. 

1914 – “The Words of Ming Mao ‘Least among the Disciples of Kung Fu-Tze.’” [Egoist I. 24 (15 December 1914): 456.] P&P I: 320.

1915 – Cathay. London: Elkin Matthews. [Translation of poems, mainly by Li Bai].

1915 – Three Cantos I [Poetry June 1917]. Personae 229-234.

1917 – “Provincialism the Enemy II.” [New Age 21.12 (19 July 1917): 268-69]. SP 193-96; P&P II: 233-34.

1918 – “Mr. Villerant's Morning Outburst.” [3rd letter]. Little Review V.7 (November 1918): 7-12. P&P III: 221-223. Pavannes & Divagations 72-73. Pdf.

Around 1920 Pound acquires Alexandre de Lacharme’s Latin translation of the Odes [Shi Jing] called: Confucii Chi-King Sive Liber Carminum. Stuttgart: Julius Mohl, 1830 (Cheadle 156, 299).

1923 – Canto XIII. [“One canto.” Transatlantic review I.1. 1924]. A Draft of XVI Cantos. Paris: Three Mountains Press, 1925.

1927 - “Prolegomena.” [Exile 2 (Autumn 1927): 35] SP 216; P&P IV: 385.

Circumstantial evidence signalled by Porteous, Fang, and Cheadle suggests Pound had acquired an anonymous version of James Legge’s English translation of the Four Books in bilingual edition, which he used in his translation of The Great Learning (Cheadle 23, 280: n.51.)

1928 – Confucius. Ta Hio. The Great Learning. Seattle: U of Washington Bookstore. Reprinted in 1936 and 1939.

1936 – Ta Hio. The Great Learning. London: Stanley Nott. [Ideogrammic series]

1937 - Pound writes to his friend Katue Kitasono to send him a copy of the Chinese text of the Shi Jing which he hopes to read together with Alexandre de Lacharme's Latin translation as a crib. Kitasono sends him a four volume edition (text and commentary) that arrive in Rapallo by October 1937. Pound found it difficult to establish the correspondences between the Chinese text and the Latin crib (Cheadle 156).

1937 – Confucius. Digest of the Analects. Abridged and translated by Ezra Pound. Milan: All’ Insegna del Pesce d’Oro.

1937 – “Immediate Need of Confucius” [Aryan Path, August 1937; Impact. Regnery 1960]. SP 75-80.

1937 – “Mang- Tze (The Ethics of Mencius).” [The Criterion, July 1938; Impact. Regnery 1960]. SP 81-97.

1938 – Guide to Kulchur. London: Peter Owen, 1978.

1939 – Reprint of Ta Hio. The Great Learning. Norfolk Conn.: New Directions.

1940 – Cantos LII-LXI. [The China Cantos]. London: Faber and Faber, 1940; New Directions, 1940.

1942 – [with Alberto Luchini]. Confucio. Ta S’eu, Dai Gaku, Studio Integrale. Rapallo: Scuola Tipografica Orfanotrofio Emiliani.

1944 – Testamento di Confucio. Venice: Casa Editrice delle Edizioni Popolari.

1945 – Ciung Iung. L’Asse che non vacilla. Secondo dei libri confuciani. Versione italiana di Ezra Pound. Venice: Casa Editrice delle Edizioni Popolari.

1948 – The Pisan Cantos. New York: New Directions.

“In 1944-45, a modern translation of the Shi Jing by the Swedish sinologist Bernhard Karlgren, the sinologist most responsible for reforming the West's understanding of the composition of written Chinese, was published as ‘The Book of Odes’ in the Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities. At St. Elizabeths, Pound closely read and studied these translations, Karlgren’s glosses, and the Chinese text that accompanied them, making his own glosses in the margins. Sometime between 1937, when it is apparent from his letters to Katue that Pound did not own a Chinese text of the Confucian odes, and 1950, he also acquired James Legge’s bilingual edition of the Shi Jing, for it is clear from his translations that Pound used both Karlgren’s translation and Legge’s translations as guides for his own” (Cheadle 156-57).

1947 – The Unwobbling Pivot and The Great Digest. Pharos 1.4 (winter 1947) [revised translation based on James Legge]

1947 – “Mencius or the Economist.” New Iconograph 1.1 (fall 1947): 19-21.

1950 – Confucius. The Analects. Books I-X. Hudson Review 3.1 (spring 1950): 9-53; Books XI-XX. 3.2 (summer 1950): 237-88.

1951 - The Analects. [Text reproduced from the Hudson Review. Cover design by Michael Lekakis.] New York: Sq $ Series.

1951 – Confucius. The Great Digest, The Unwobbling Pivot, The Analects. Translation and commentary by Ezra Pound. New York: New Directions. [Stone Classics edition]

1951 – Ernest Fenollosa. The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry and Confucius, The Unwobbling Pivot and The Great Digest. New York: Square Dollar Series.

1954 – The Confucian Odes. The Classic Anthology Defined by Confucius. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP.

1955 – Confucius. Studio Integrale and L’asse Che Non Vacilla. Versione e commento di Ezra Pound con una nota sui classici in pietra di Achilles Fang. Milan: All’Insegna Del Pesce D’Oro.

1956 - Confucian Analects. Translated and introduced by Ezra Pound. London: Peter Owen.

1964 – [with Marcella Spann]. Confucius to Cummings. An Anthology of Poetry. New York: New Directions.



Cheadle, Mary Paterson. Ezra Pound’s Confucian Translations. Ann Arbor: Michigan UP, 1997.

Lan, Feng. Ezra Pound and Confucianism: Remaking Humanism in the Face of Modernity. Toronto: Toronto UP, 2005.


Cantos in periodicals

Three Cantos (Ur-Cantos)

lake garda 267823





A Draft of XXX Cantos

Eleven New Cantos

rsz guido cavalcanti

The Fifth Decad

rsz toscana siena3 tango7174


confucius adams 2

The Italian Cantos LXXII-LXXIII


The Pisan Cantos

rsz security cages where ezra pound was held pisa italy 1945

Rock Drill: LXXXV-XCV

Thrones XCVI-CIX

Drafts and Fragments