Cathay is a collection of classical Chinese poems by Li Bai, interpreted by the American poet Ezra Pound. Though Pound didn’t speak Chinese, he based his translations on notes by Ernest Fenollosa, in the process setting a benchmark for modernist translations. The interpretative nature of Pound’s work broke new ground in the treatment of poetry, and his status as an outsider allowed him a creative space not available to more literal translators. Cathay stands today as a seminal work strongly influential both on the poetry of his day and the succeeding generation.
Camphor Press | June 2014