To the Translator, Somewhere
in New England, on the Road to Far Cathay

by Steve Bradbury

Who got me thinking: Should a man be scorned
If, finding himself thrown upon an un-
Familiar shore, he should “make new for himself
What is old and see himself in it?” Or,
Encountering an alien melos, clap it into
Silence with the weathered clapboard of
A strenuous New England tranquility?
Or something more or less along those lines.
No, what really rankles is the ease
With which you visualize the poem behind
The poem you cannot even read, then wax
Prolific on “the rotting taproot of our
Discredited world view,” as you endlessly
Rehearse Pound’s invention of free verse.