Jerome Rothenberg has posted his introduction to a collection of the poetry in English of Wai-lim Yip 葉維廉, forthcoming next year. Here’s an excerpt:
But what about [Ezra Pound’s] invention of China or of Chinese poetry?
What is left to say is that Pound set a style that came to typify early twentieth-century translations into English/American and that he later pointed (in Canto 49, say) toward other styles that were possibly closer to the classical Chinese … It fell to Wai-lim Yip – a poet first and foremost – to unearth all this for us – not to invent China over again but to explain and explore aspects of the traditional poetry that link to American works after and beyond Pound and William Carlos Williams. From Yip’s work we get what we might call the montage principle based on both a knowledge and practice of Chinese poetry and an observation of the work of later American poets, including Pound himself in the Cantos. (That Yip’s approach is not only that of a scholar but of a deeply involved poet is also something worth noting.) In the course of doing this Yip has opened for us not only a sensible view of Chinese poetry but a profound understanding of the nature of translation and the possibilities of poetry as they emerge from an actual practice.
Click on the image above for the full piece.