The Letter by Ezra Pound

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Nature Sorrow The poem “The River-Merchant's Wife” by Ezra Pound tells a short story about the merchant's wife: that she hasn't seen her husband for five months, so she decides to write him a letter about her recall of their first meeting and their marriage. She feels very lonely yet in the same way she feels strong. Although she says that she is strong, her sorrow is demonstrated throughout the poem in her depiction of nature. The first indication is how nature conspires against her, as she states, “The monkeys make sorrowful noise overhead…The paired butterflies are already yellow with August…they hurt me. I grow older” (Pound, line 18; 23-25). The Merchant’s Wife describes nature in a sad tone despite her seemingly happy love in her marriage. Their relationship is described that their marriage was not a matter of personal choice, and that the husband reluctantly went away on a long journey. Nevertheless she worries about her husband’s journey, “You went into Ku-to-yen, by the river of swirling eddies” (Pound, line 16). At the same way she confirms her anguish “Please let me know beforehand/And I will come out to meet you/ As far as Cho-Fu-Sa” (Pound, lines 27-29). The Merchant’s Wife depicts herself as a sad person due to her husband’s work. Nature plays an important row in her sorrowful letter. Despite of her strong appearance, she feels weak because her image of nature demonstrates her sadness of the husband’s journey. Work Cited Pound, Ezra. “The River-Merchant's Wife.” Ed. Mays, Kelly J. The Norton Introduction to Literature. Portable 11th ed. New York: W W Norton &, 2014.

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