In 1915, Ezra Pound published a collection of early “translations” of Chinese poetry that took the poetic world by storm. However, Pound didn’t know a word of Chinese. Middlebury professor Timothy Billings was the first scholar to decipher the manuscripts that Pound used as “cheat sheets” to compose adaptations of Tang Dynasty poetry. Here he shares his discoveries.
Timothy Billings is Professor of English and American Literatures at Middlebury College.