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Winter is Icumen In

Cabbages stacked up for selling outside the McDonald's on Gongti Bei Lu. November 7, 2009

Cabbages stacked up for selling outside the McDonald's on Gongti Bei Lu. November 7, 2009


Winter is Icumen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm.
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!
Sing: Goddamm.
Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
An ague hath my ham.
Freezeth river, turneth liver,
Damm you; Sing: Goddamm.

Ezra Pound, noted Sinologist

6 Comments

  1. protesteth, such a post, such a period; nuanqi arrives, reign of cold ends — yet, before! not yet! such a temperature! interval of bliss! this prelude to the aria of deep winter boiler amokness, desiccating lungs, turning nostrils to leather, forcing open windows… savor the transition.

    Sunday, November 8, 2009 at 6:57 am | Permalink
  2. FOARP wrote:

    Pound – traitor, fascist, and mad as a march-hare to boot. Don’t know why he felt he had to burn the first poem in the English language like this, but that’s just another one of those unanswerable ‘whys’ about the man.

    Friday, November 13, 2009 at 8:59 pm | Permalink
  3. @FOARP: I quote Bill Knott:

    POEM

    well alright
    I grant you
    he was a fascist
    ahem antisemitism the
    er war and all
    I’m not defending them
    but at least
    you’ve got to admit
    at least he
    made the quatrains run on time

    And ‘Sumer is icumen in’ was more of a round than a poem, no?

    Friday, November 13, 2009 at 9:07 pm | Permalink
  4. richard wrote:

    Thanks for the laugh with that Bill Knot ditty. Priceless.

    Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 7:43 am | Permalink
  5. EBShanghai wrote:

    As for Pound being a Sinologist, I remember that most of what he produced was considered philologically indefensible nonsense by my professors, old-school Berkeley guys. And the anti-semitism. Yuck.

    Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 1:07 pm | Permalink
  6. I remain convinced that Pound hit upon truths in e.g. his translation of the Analects that no other sinologist or translator has yet unearthed. For instance, did you know that Confucius hated the Jews?

    Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] Cabbages stacked up for selling outside the McDonald’s on Gongti Bei Lu. […]

  2. Sinoglot | Phelps on Grammatical Gender in Mandarin on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    […] Speaking of unearthing new secrets of Chinese, I’m reminded of Brendan O’Kane’s keen observation about the insights of Ezra Pound, which for some reason O’Kane buried in the comments on a post: […]

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