A. Critical and Comparative Studies

7. Bodenheim, Maxwell. To Li Tai Po. Dial 67 (1919): 428.

Leonard (A5) was not alone in taking exception to the East Asian interests of the Imagists, though Bodenheim is more provocative in approaching the matter. This poem, which appeared in the same issue of the Dial as a piece of chinoiserie by Amy Lowell, is addressed to the Chinese poet Li Po (Jpn.: Rihaku), whose work in translation, via Fenollosa’s notebooks (CB1a-b), was the most immediate source of the poems Pound had published four years earlier in Cathay (BK15): ‘They are writing poems to you: / White devils who have not / Smeared the distant yellow of your life / Upon their skins . . .  / These faces bend over paper / And steal from you a little silver and red / So that their lives may seem to bleed / Under the prick of a flashing need’.





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