translating du fu 2Points Illustrated

1. Making sense of the text.

2. Exploring metrical renderings.

Ballad of the Beautiful Ladies

Following on from the first Du Fu translation, we take a more substantial, well-known poem of Du Fu's, and see what verse forms we can make to convey something of its aesthetic shaping and effect.

The poem was written during Du Fu's residence (around 753, in no exalted capacity) at the Tang imperial court in Chang'an. Before examining the original, we look at three competent translations — just the first six lines allowed by fair usage under copyright law:

1. On the third day of the third moon, gentle breezes blow,
Upon the waters by whose edge they come and go,
Women of richest beauty (thoughts as pure as snow).
Fine bones curve soft flesh (soft as nightfall's glow).
In late Spring, lace graces rich silks that shine
With gleaming Peacocks stitched in gold
And Unicorns in argentine. {1}

2. There is a freshness in the air this Third of Third, a spring festival day.
I see by the Meandering River of Ch'ang-an many fair women
With distant looks but frequent smiles, sweet and real.
With delicacy of complexion and symmetry of form,
They appear in silken dresses embroidered with golden peacocks
Or silvery unicorns, dazzling in the sunshine of late spring. {2}

3. Third month, third day, in the air a breath of newness: by Chang'an riverbanks the beautiful ladies crowd, rich in charms, regal in bearing, well-bred, demure, with clear sleek complexions, bone and flesh well-matched, in figured gauze robes that shine in the late spring, worked with golden peacocks, silver unicorns. {3}

Some Comments

1. A honest attempt to make a poem that works in English. Despite some poeticisms, it scans, rhymes and conveys the splendour of the Tang Court. But on the debit side, some parts seem to have been added to complete the form: does Du Fu really dwell on flesh and bones so much, or suppose that court women had thoughts as pure as snow?

2. Free verse, deftly written, with nothing appearing contrived or over-worked: not poetry, however.

3. Prose version, where we begin to divine what Du Fu actually said, where the peacocks and unicorns come in, etc. The accompanying note identifies the characters, and explains that the scene is the spring outing held on the third day of the third lunar month at Qujiang, or Winding River, a park in the Tang capital of Chang'an.

Examining the Chinese

From the Chinese poetry and dictionaries (in characters and modern pinyin) on Zhongwen and University of Virginia sites {4} we learn that the 26-line poem is rhymed a b b c c a d c e b a a d a f c b b b a c a g a c b. The number of characters to each line is as follows: 7 7 7 7 7 7 5 7 5 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7. The poem is in the gushi or old style — designed to be sung, not so strict on tone patterns, but probably using a caesura before the last three characters of each line. {5}

So that we can think ahead, we should see how the content is organized:

lines 1-6: set the scene.
lines 7-8: ask and answer what women wear on their heads.
lines 9-10: ask and answer what women wear on their backs.
lines 11-12 refer to the elder sisters (Guo and Kin) of the imperial concubine Yang Guifei (who helped to destroy the Empire).
lines 13-18 describe the cuisine.
line 19 mentions the musical accompaniment.
line 20 refers to guests and retainers.
lines 21-22 mention the arrival of Yang Guifei's cousin, the powerful minister Yang Guozhong.
line 23 is a touch of naturalness: catkins dropping like snow.
line 24 talks about a bluebird, the traditional bearer of love-notes: probably a reference to the highly improper affair between Lady Guo and Yang Guozhong.
lines 25-26 refer to the power of the Yang family and its dangers.

First Attempts

We start with the first six lines, which set the scene. Now it's not difficult to write some quasi-ballad 5-4 metre that retains the a b b c c a rhyme pattern:

In the winding river park, Chang'an,
those who matter most, the sum
of court and beauty's livery have come
in peacock-coloured robes and dresses
through which the silver unicorn progresses:
such wealth and freshness! Spring begun.

And doubtless we could waltz through the whole translation in this way, even employing the c b rhymes to round matters off:

Think what power the minister possesses —
you, beneath his smile and thumb!

Getting Back to the Original

In this fairly dreadful rendering we have left out most of the content that really counts. And where, incidentally, have the words come from, but previous translations? We have happily accepted their accuracy and made a stab at the original meaning: a lazy and dangerous proceeding. True, Pound knew very little Chinese, but while he achieved some stunning successes, there were also many embarrassing failures. {6} The problem is not simply the hit or miss nature of the approach, but the failing of the translation to get down to that interpenetration of sense and expression out of which poetry is built. The only safe way, unfortunately, is to plod through a word by word translation. In Pinyin {4} the first six lines are:

san1 yue4 san1 ri4 tian1 qi4 xin1
chang2 an1 shui3 bian1 duo1 li4 ren2
tai4 nong2 yi4 yuan3 shu2 qie3 zhen1
ji1 li3 xi4 ni4 gu2 rou4 yun2
xiu4 luo2 yi1 chang2 zhao4 mu4 chun1
cu4 jin1 kong3 que4 yin2 qi2 lin2

where the numbers refer to tones. We use the Pinyin dictionary on the University of Virginia site {4} to get this:

1. three month three day sky air fresh
2. chang an water margin many beautiful person
3. manner concentrated thought distant virtuous also true
4. muscle-tissue manage slender smooth skeleton flesh uniform
5. embroidery gauze clothing skirt evening/ending spring/wanton
6. sudden gold great sparrow silver legendary-animal female-unicorn

Very different. We begin to appreciate the compact and allusive nature of Chinese poetry, and to see that the criticisms we made about the first translation were wide of the mark: it is indeed fairly literal. Ours is not. Something comes over from the word-for-word translation, and that something is not conveyed by our translation.

Drafting to Explore the Meaning

We start with the most difficult: sorting out the meaning of line 4. Here are some possibly renderings, building progressively on images suggested by the words:

how firm and delicate about the bones
how firm and delicate about their shapes
how firm and practised about their slender forms
bodies firm and practised in their delicate shapes
bodies delicate and practised in each slender shape
bodies held out and delicate within their shapes

then, picking up the possible crepe, escape or drape for the rhyme, we move on to complete the last three lines:

bodies held out and delicate within their shapes
that the gauze of evening or the golden drapes
of peacock or the silvered unicorn declare.

Still very standard and uninspired English verse. The problem is the compact nature of the original, and we can either omit details to shoehorn content into a pentameter line or expand the line. We choose the latter, add the first three lines, and modify:

Third day, third month: a freshness, sky and the air.
On the banks of Chang'an's winding river a press
of virtuous beauties, who decorously progress
their shining bodies, silk-hemmed, whose held-in shapes
retreat in evening gauze, or flare in golden drapes
of radiant peacocks, lapidary pale unicorns: and there

No, it's not going anywhere. But before trying again, we ought to look at the rest of the poem:

tou2 shang4 he2 suo3 you3
cui4 wei2 man3 ye4 chui2 bin4 chun2

bei4 hou4 he2 suo3 jian4
zhu1 ya1 yao1 ji2 wen3 cheng1 shen1

jiu4 zhong1 yun2 mu4 jiao1 fang2 qin1
ci4 ming2 da4 guo2 guo2 yu3 qin2

zi3 tuo2 zhi1 feng1 chu1 cui4 fu3
shui3 jing1 zhi1 pan2 xing2 su4 lin2
xi1 zhu4 yan4 yu4 jiu3 wei4 xia4
luan2 dao1 lou3 qie1 kong1 fen1 lun2
huang2 men2 fei1 kong4 bu4 dong4 chen2
yu4 chu2 luo4 yi4 song4 ba1 zhen1

xiao1 gu3 ai1 yin2 gan3 gui3 shen2

bin1 cong2 za2 ta4 shi2 yao4 jin1

hou4 lai2 an1 ma3 he2 qun1 xun2
dang1 xuan1 xia4 ma3 ru4 jin3 yin1

yang2 hua1 xue3 luo4 fu4 bai2 ping2

qing1 niao3 fei1 qu4 xian2 hong2 jin1

zhi4 shou3 ke3 re4 shi4 jue2 lun2
shen4 mo4 jin4 qian2 cheng2 xiang1 chen1

for which a word-for-word translation continues as:

head/chief top/send_up what place possess/exist
colour_green/kingfisher small fill/satisfied petal/page suspend/down hair_on_temples lips

back/betray rear/descendants what place observe
gem/pearl dislike/satiate waist/kidney level/grade firm/stable name/say body/trunk

just/come/go centre/attain clouds curtain/screen pepper/spices house relatives
bestows_favours/appoints title great nation guo and/with/give qin_ dynasty

purple camel 's hump go_out/send/produce colour_green/kingfisher caldron/pot
water/juice essence/semen/spirit 's plate/examine white fish scales {8}
rhinoceros chopsticks dislike/satiate surfeited/confer long_time_ago/grow_late not_yet below/bring_down
bell/fabulous_bird knife/old_measure embrace/drag cut/slice empty/bare disordered/tangled green_silk_thread
yellow/huang gate/entrance dart/high charge no move/action dust
ride/manage kitchen/cupboard wrap_round unravel give/dispatch eight/all_around valuable/rare

panpipe/flute drum/beat mournful sing/recite feel/perceive ghost/spirits spirit/god

guest/submit from/through mix/mingle arrive/intelligent honest/solid essential ferry/saliva/ford

behind/descendants come/return saddle horse what/where hide/escape patrol/cruise
bear/undertake/just carriage/high/balcony down horse enter brocade/tapestry cushion/mattress

willow/poplar flower snow fall/surplus cover/return/reply white/pure/bright apple {9}

blue/young bird fly/dart leave hold_in_mouth/gag red/blush kerchief/towel

roast/cauterize hand may/possibly fever/restless power cut/terminate normal_human_relationships
be_cautious do_not/cannot approach in_front/preceding assist/rescue reciprocal glare

Let's now pick out the more useful words and set them out as a sort of shopping list:

1. three month three day sky air fresh
2. chang an water margin many beautiful persons
3. manner concentrated thought distant, virtuous, true
4. on slender frames the flesh is managed smooth and uniform
5. on embroidered gauze of evening clothes there wanton
6. sudden gold peacocks, legendary female unicorns in silver

7. what do we see most on their heads?
8. kingfisher satisfaction, hair down from temples, lips

9. what do we see their backs betray?
10. a unlikeable satiation of pearls on their firm waists called bodies

11. appear the relatives of the cloud curtain of spices
12. favoured with titles of the dynasties Guo and Qin

13. purple camel's hump is produced from a green cauldron
14. from a water essence set out on plates white fish flakes
15. satiated they toy with rhinoceros chopsticks, put them down
16. make ring the metal, drag pieces, leave them disordered, tangled with green silk thread
17. arrivals at the yellow gate do not lift the dust
18. they ride from the kitchen with their valuable dispatches

19. plaintive panpipe and drum sing to conjure up spirits
20. guests arrive and mingle, honest essential hungry

21. behind comes on his saddled horse slowly hidden
22. bearing high carriage dismount horse join the brocaded mattress

23. poplar flower fall snow reply white apple

24. blue bird flies with red kerchief in beak

25. burn hand possibly restless power terminates normal human relationships
26. be cautious if approach without respite of reciprocal glare

And that's largely it: we don't get anything more definitive, which accounts for wide variations in the translations, e.g.

All that is cut with fancy and prepared with care is left untouched {10}
Belled knives ring, as deft slices heap unheeded plates {1}
And the finely wrought phoenix carving-knife is little used{2}
and phoenix knives in vain haste to cut and serve {3}

Some differences seem to arise over variant readings of the characters, or possibly use of pinyin, but the point as issue is interpretation, making sense of what Du Fu is saying. We can stick to a neutral and uninformative rendering, a lowest common denominator of meaning, but that's fairly pointless: it couldn't have been Du Fu's intention and no poetry eventuates. The alternative is to immerse ourselves in the conventions of the period, and search the text for confirmation of anything suggested. It seems to me that:

1. Du Fu is rather ambivalent. He is making veiled social comment but is also drawn to the spectacle — Chang'an was the richest and most populous city in the world, and Du Fu knew he was viewing the most splendid court ever known. Hence the warmth of descriptions. There is an affectionate tone in a poem that possibly had affinities with the Palace Style of the Southern Dynasties (420-581). Du Fu is not pamphleteering or being ironical: he understands the realities of court life, its jealousies, and the brief lives of its beauties.

2. Though Du Fu was more Confucian than Buddhist in his outlook, he was also acutely aware of the unreality of court life, how it contrasted with the grinding poverty of the world outside. The richness of costume and the culinary delights have an almost suffocating superfluity: Du Fu uses surplus, satiated, surfeited. The splendour being used to please Yang Guifei is unnecessary, indeed immoral, serving only to distract Emperor Xuanzong from larger responsibilities. Nature obtrudes in the fall of poplar flowers. The gold (daytime) splendour of (real) peacocks is contrasted with the night-time (lunar) silver of (imaginary) phoenixes. The food is so rich that disorder and lassitude follow. The drums and pipes call up spirits of the ancestors, though no one is listening.

3. Reciprocal is a key word in the last line. It is not the power of the Yang family that Du Fu is attacking, but the absence of the former checks and balances that had kept the Tang dynasty on its successful course.

Metrical Version

Can we convert the "shopping list" to a metrical version that comes over as English verse? Very simply: {11}

In Chang'an's Winding River Park the air
Has Spring in prospect and the beauties there
Are virtuous and regal, demure and proud,
Voluptuous in bodies veiled and loud.
As golden peacocks they flare on gauzy drapes,
Or are legendary unicorns in silvery shapes:
The sheen and ornament of each plumed head
Outdazzles the kingfisher's jades and red.
On each slim back a waistband presses
Satiated with pearls and with heavy dresses.
Sisters to the favourite who sleeps within
Clove-scented chambers sit Guo and Qin.
A great hump of camel, purple, brims from the pot,
And slivers of fish, whether they will or not
Dally with chopsticks of rhinoceros horn
Or acknowledge appetites overdrawn.
Riders continually, though they lift no dust,
Post out with delicacies: in the air a just
Perceptible answering to which pipes and drum
Raise ghosts of the hungry in the mass who come.
Quietly, reigned at his tent, the minister steps down
From his horse to the carpets with a haughty frown,
Unnoticed, the poplar's frail drift of white
As a bluebird with a letter flits from sight.
Power burns, is hungry, and these summons brook
No slackness in obedience or measured look.

Pros and Cons of the Draft

Are we writing Augustan pastiche? Several things should be said:

1. Certainly

As golden peacocks they flare on gauzy drapes,
Or are legendary unicorns in silvery shapes:

Calls up

From each she nicely culls with curious toil,
And decks the Goddess with the glitt'ring spoil

etc. of The Rape of the Lock {12} but Pope's verse is mock heroic in tone, stricter in measure, and more given to antithesis, poetic diction, end-stopped couplets and inversions. Both are packed with detail and social comment, however, and get their effect by varying the placing of words within a clear iambic beat.

2. Perhaps we could say that the translation was overdressed, a little too showy and obvious? That is undeniable. The Tang court was the most splendid in China's history, however, and its "artificiality" is perhaps brought out by the translation. Ours is a demotic age, but our preference for the mundane should not blind us to the tastes of other periods or countries — which would be a version of neocolonialism, under another name. {13}

3. It doesn't seem very "Chinese". We have not reproduced the allusiveness and tone patterns of Chinese verse in our translations, but then no one has, and no one can. Waley, {14} far more than Pound, tried to bring some of the features of the Chinese over into English, but their effect was limited, indeed invisible: we don't "read" these features as poetry.

We cannot take the free verse styles into which that Chinese poetry is generally translated today as a touchstone, moreover. Free verse is hopelessly inappropriate to the regulated, highly compressed and structured nature of classical Chinese poetry. What Pound did in Cathay was to remove the specificity of Fenollosa's drafts — often by simply cutting phrases and normal referents {15} — and this increase in allusiveness was amplified by his free verse style, itself a cut-down version of formal verse, as many have pointed out. {16} The echoes that free verse retains of a more formal structure served to represent the echoes that Chinese poetry also possesses — in what the words mean, and to older poems.

4. Allusiveness is a question of degree. Augustan verse seems very precise, but, as any writer soon finds out, no word is perfect. There are always alternatives, words with slightly different meanings or connotations, but strict forms close off the search for alternatives more quickly: a word can't be changed without major alterations elsewhere, which becomes increasingly prohibitive in time and effort.

5. Though the formality of Chinese classical poetry suggests that we should adopt some formality in the translation, any formal style will attract cries of pastiche, of working in outmoded forms. But instead of despairing, we should perhaps question the current orthodoxy. Chinese poets today generally write in free styles suggested by western literature, but the older forms are still more widely read. Indeed, Tang poetry was revered and taken as a model in later dynasties, so that a poem in a style of a thousand years earlier would not have been criticized on that count, quite the contrary. Novelty is of less importance in the east. Modernism, that insists that poetry should continually move on, is a very western and limiting notion.

6. The fall from grace of formal verse in translation (with some honourable exceptions) may reflect a dearth of talent, models and experience. Translators today don't write naturally in verse, any more than could Eliot write acceptable Augustan pastiche in the excised portions of The Waste Land. {17} Free verse is preferred because its failures are less evident and because strict verse inevitably brings out the structure of the original, which requires an understanding of the original as poetry.


Have we missed some of the symbolism in Du Fu's poem? Very probably. There are allusions to jade, kingfisher and feathers, all of which carry overtones to a Chinese writer, {18} particularly someone from a literary family. The blue bird is a messenger of love, and the cuisine details may be a reference to feelings, as the Chinese place the seat of emotions in the stomach. And so on. But while we can note them, the different traditions prevent us from developing them in the translation.

Second Version

The exercise was an experiment, to see if formal verse could convey something of the aesthetic shaping and effect of Du Fu's poem. Clearly it can: the result has better shaping, social comment and detail than previous translations. But it is something of a period piece, and though it can be defended against free verse claims, it might be better cast in something quieter and less self-conscious.

What would be best? An English ballad form will lose most of the content. We could use quatrains, but Du Fu does not. Perhaps we should use the same 26 line shape, but bring variety by adopting Du Fu's a b b c c a d c e b a a d a f c b b b a c a g a c b rhyme scheme. Because difficult, we might do this in stages. First we establish the rhymes, filling in the lines with a rough material, even doggerel:

It is the third month festival at Chang'an
And the beautiful by the river in the warm Spring air
Walk demurely and virtuously and only wear
What bodies so decorously speak aloud
Through dresses where peacocks strut gold and proud
And unicorns in silver in silk's gauzy fan.
On their heads, fine feathers and jade-green shapes
That would dazzle the kingfisher out aloud
On each slim back a heavy waistband presses
More weighed with pearls than they easily bear:
Prouder than these or the preening swan
Sit the sisters of her whom all wait upon.
And food! There from the pot the smell escapes
Of a great hump of camel, fish from the pan
Laid out on crystal: they put their chopsticks down
Over plates they feel their very stomachs bowed.
All the same, though, from kitchens the sumptuous fare
Is carried to the waiting ad the elaborate care
Is matched with the music, the drum and panpipe there
Rouse ghosts of all hungry since time began.
Unnoticed, the minister in this noisy crowd
Steps from horse to carpet to silk sedan.
A scatter of flowers falls in radiant white
And a bluebird with a letter but yet no plan.
Yet far more dangerous is the unavowed:
Be cautious of the minister with his bland, hard stare.

Then we work on this draft, trying to fit the rhymes in more naturally, and give some lift to the metre. We also reduce the stresses to four in lines 7 and 9, as per the original:

It is the third month festival at Chang'an
And the beauties by the river in the warm Spring air
Walk virtuous, walk regally, and in gestures share
What their shimmering bodies waft aloud.
Metallic unicorns and peacocks walk on proud
As gauzes thereafter close the evening span.
On their heads? Feathers, tinkling shapes:
Like a kingfisher nods each flashing cloud.
And on their backs? Waistbands with pearls
More thickly embroidered than slim backs should bear:
And prouder than these, than the preening swan,
Are the kith of the favourite all wait upon.
From jade-green ewers a rich juice escapes
From purple hump of camel, white fish from the pan.
Each laid out on crystal brings chopsticks down:
To too much already have their stomachs bowed.
Yet fast from kitchens comes more rich fare
Despatched by horses and an elaborate care
Extends to the music: the soft panpipes there
Summon ghosts of the hungry since time began.
Unnoticed, a minister in the jostling crowd
Steps from horse to carpet to silk sedan.
Thin flowers from a poplar drift in swirls
As a bluebird with a letter flits from clan to clan.
If harm does not come from a love avowed
Who will balance the power of that hot stare?

Now, most crucially, we have to return to the word-for-word translation, and correct unwarranted deviations from the original. There is not much to do, but the final version is here, which also presents the rhyming couplets version with similar corrections.

Final Lines

We have also taken the opportunity to tighten the concluding lines. The pinyin is:

blue/young bird fly/dart leave hold_in_mouth/gag red/blush kerchief/towel

roast/cauterize hand may/possibly fever/restless power cut/terminate normal_human_relationships
be_cautious do_not/cannot approach in_front/preceding assist/rescue reciprocal glare

which may mean that the blue bird (a messenger of love) holds an incriminating letter, one that would burn the hand of a normal carrier. Power is restless and severs human relationships, but equally dangerous is the illicit affair between sender and recipient of the letter. Be cautious, therefore, and avoid becoming involved in either. The amended versions are:

As a bluebird with a letter flits from sight.
Though illicit and severing, these summons brook
No slackness in obedience or answering look.


As a bluebird with a letter links clan to clan.
Power is restless, but the hot words vowed
Burn deeper than the minister's unbridled stare.

Du Fu (I suspect) is linking the innocent fall of poplar flowers with the billet doux that the minister Yang Guozhong sends the Lady Guo, drawing a parallel to the infatuation of the Emperor for Yang Guifei, and looking thence to the fall of the Tang Empire engineered by Yang Guifei's relations. Affection and desires are to be expected, but they need to kept within the bounds of propriety.


1. Clearly, many forms of verse, both metrical and unmetrical, can be used to render Chinese classical poetry into English. Simply as verse, the first version is probably better, though most readers will probably prefer the second, which seems more natural, though failing to convey some of the detail. Eighteenth-century verse is the more compact form, probably because the style was developed to convey information, rather than what the Romantics and later poets wanted: to evoke evanescent or deeply-buried emotions.

2. We have to spoil the verse a little to improve the sense.

A 568-page free pdf ebook on practical verse writing is available from Ocaso Press. Click here for the download page.

Notes and References

1. From A Ballad of Beautiful Women by Du Fu. Translated by Mimi Chan and Piers Gray. Renditions No. 14 Autumn(1980) NNA.
2. Ch'ên Shou-Yi, Chinese Literature, a Historical Introduction (New York: The Ronald Press Company, 1961), 252. Q
3. Burton Watson (trans.) The Selected Poems of Du Fu. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002) 17. Q
4. The Columbia Book of Chinese Poetry. NNA. 300 Tang Dynasty Poems, Ned Walsh. Chinese texts with literal translations.
5. Chinese Poetry. Short Wikipedia entry. Also Chinese Poetry in Alex Preminger and F.V.F. Brogan The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993).
6. Eugene Chen Eoyang, The Transparent Eye: Reflections on Translation, Chinese Literature, and Comparative Poetics (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1993), 196-209. Q
7. To the extent that Chinese means anything outside the tangles of hermeneutics: see Eric Hayot, "Critical Dreams: Orientalism, Modernism, and the Meaning of Pound's China," Twentieth Century Literature 45, no. 4 (1999). Q
8. Translations consulted give crystal for jing1, though the calligraphic character reads essence/semen/spirit
9. Translations consulted give reeds for jin1, though the calligraphic character reads apple.
10. Ch'ên Shou-Yi, 252.
11. How? the reader may be asking. Well, if it's of any interest, after drafting countless versions on various patterns, none of them successful, I picked up Sir Richard Fanshaw's translation (1571) of Camoëns's Os Lusiadas for bedtime reading, and found that the first eight lines were given immediately. Poetry so often comes from pressure on a mind packed with content and verse echoes, but the driving force is hard work, the ability to drive the problem so deep into the mind that the unconscious takes over.
Alexander Pope, Rape of the Lock. 1715. Accessed 1 Jul 2004.
13. Postcolonial criticism in
Literary Criticism & Critical Theory. T. Gannon. NNA. Accessed 1 Jul 2004.
Arthur Waley, Selections of Chinese Poetry
. Accessed 1 Jul 2004.
15. Ming Hsieh, Ezra Pound and the Appropriation of Chinese Poetry: Cathay, Translation, and Imagism (Garland Publishing 1998) . Also J. H. Pryne's NNA and Critical and Comparative Studies
16. Timothy Steele, Missing Measures: Modern Poetry and the Revolt Against Meter (Univ Of Arkansas 1990) NNA.
17. T. S. Eliot The Waste Land A Facsimile and Transcript of the Original Drafts Including the Annotations of Ezra Pound. Valerie Eliot (Ed.) 1994.
18. In Chinese mythology, the kingfisher denoted nobility and fortune. In the “Account of the Western Regions” in the History of the Former Han Dynasty, there is a passage which vividly records the sight of the foreign exotica that flooded into the capital, Chang’an: in the palace quarters were arrayed precious treasures from the South Sea and the Western Regions, such as bright pearls, tortoise shells, rhino horns and kingfisher feathers. Huo Wei, Cultural Exchange and the Quest for Immortality. NNA.


The final versions are included in Diversions, a free pdf collection of translations published by Ocaso Press.


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