Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
On Barbarous Modern Instruments
By Arthur Waley, trans.
 
From “Chinese Poems”

Po Chü-i—Eighth and Ninth Centuries

OF cord and cassia-wood is the harp compounded.
Within it lie ancient melodies—
Ancient melodies, weak and savorless,
Not appealing to present men’s taste.
Light and color are faded from its jade stops;        5
Dust has covered its rose-red strings:
Decay and ruin came to it long ago.
But the sound that is left is still cold and clear,
And I do not refuse to play it to you.
But even if I play, people won’t listen.        10
 
How did it come to be neglected so?
It was because of the Ch’iang flute and the Ch’in flageolet.
 
 
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