K.K. Ruthven: On Ezra Pound's "Fish and the Shadow"
The salmon-trout drifts in the stream,
The soul of the salmon-trout floats over the
Like a little wafer of light.
The salmon moves in the sun-shot, bright shallow
sea . . . .
As light as the shadow of the fish that falls
through the water,
She came into the large room by the stair,
Yawning a little she came with sleep still upon
"I am just from bed. The sleep is still in my eyes.
Come. I have had a long dream."
And I: "That wood?
And two springs have passed us."
"Not so far, no, not so far now,
There is a place – but no one else knows it –
A field in a valley . . .
Qu’ieu sui avinen,
Ieu lo sai."
She must speak of the time
Of Arnaut de Mareuil, I thought, "qu’ieu sui
Light as the shadow of the fish
That falls through the pale green water.
Notes. Qu’ieu sui avinen, / Ieu lo sai: "That I am handsome, / I know" (Provencal French).
Arnaut de Mareuil, a medieval troubador, described himself as "handsome" ("avinen"). "The shadow is possibly the memory of an earlier life, a memory stirred only in dreams. In her sleep a girl has experienced an incident which took place in medieval Provence," explains K. K. Ruthven
|Title||K.K. Ruthven: On Ezra Pound's "Fish and the Shadow"||Type of Content||Criticism|
|Criticism Author||Criticism Target||James Wright|
|Criticism Type||Poet||Originally Posted||25 Mar 2020|
|Publication Status||Excerpted Criticism||Publication||A Guide to Ezra Pound's Personae|
|Printer Friendly||View||PDF Version||View|
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