Commentaries - January 2016

Twenty-six items from Special Collections (e)

Exhibit “E”: Teleuts.

Exhibit “E”: Teleuts. (“Praise song of the buck-hare,” anonymous Siberian folksong)

Bibliography: The poem is found on pages 211–3 of Guide to Kulchur, Ezra Pound, (New Directions, 1938; new edition, 1952). It is also included in the Library of America Ezra Pound: Poems and Translations (2003), pages 605–7. ¶ Pound’s note on the poem reads: “Von Sydow gives note to effect that this is in Wm. Radloff’s Proben der Volksliteratur, 1866.

Twenty-six items from Special Collections (d)

Exhibit 'D': Mahārāṣṭri Prākṛt.

Exhibit 'D': Mahārāṣṭri Prākṛt. (Specimens from the Gāthāsaptaśatī of Sātavāhana Hāla)

Bibliography: Not Far from the River: Poems from the Gāthā Saptaśati, translated by David Ray (Copper Canyon Press, 1990). ¶ Ray’s numbering for the items in his selection is simply sequential (1–356); it does not correspond with the numbering in Indian editions of the Gāthāsaptaśatī of Sātavāhana Hāla. However, I own a reprint of the Asiatic Society of Kolkata edition, which was Ray’s principal source-text. I’ll install a few items from this, for comparison’s sake, in an appendix.

Twenty-six items from Special Collections (f)

Exhibit ‘F’: medieval Welsh.

Exhibit ‘F’: medieval Welsh. (“Eiry mynydd,” anonymous, 12th century, two versions and the original)

Bibliography: “Gnomic Stanzas” is from The Penguin Book of Welsh Verse, translated with an introduction by Anthony Conran (Penguin, 1967, pages 99–100).  [“Mountain snow, white is every place…”] is from Studies in Early Celtic Nature Poetry, by Kenneth Jackson (Cambridge University Press, 1935; reprinted 2011, page

Twenty-six items from Special Collections (c)

Exhibit 'C': medieval Italian.

Exhibit 'C': medieval Italian. (Guido Cavalcanti, Ballad ["Era in penser d'amor quand' i' trovai..."], late 13th century)

Bibliography: The Poetry of Guido Cavalcanti, edited and translated by Lowry Nelson, Jr. (Garland Publishing, 1986). For some reason, this particular translation is hard to get. If you look at it, it doesn't look like anything special, but a lot of Garland items are like that.

Twenty-six items from Special Collections (b)

Exhibit 'B': Finnish.

Exhibit 'B': Finnish. ("Elk and Snake" ["Hirvi ja Käärme"], sung by Oute, collected by A.A. Borenius, 1877; and "The Great Pig" ["Iso Sika"], singer unknown, collected by A. Ahlqvist, 1854)

Bibliography: Finnish Folk Poetry: Epic, edited and translated by Matti Kuusi, Keith Bosley, and Michael Branch (Finnish Literature Society, 1977). The two poems exhibited here are on pages 276 and 269–70, respectively. The book includes the Finnish originals in left-hand columns; English on the right. Expensive book, heavy as a stone.