from Christopher Reid's review of Helen Carr's The Verse Revolutionaries: Ezra Pound, H. D. and the Imagists:
. . . it does seem that, for Pound, authenticity of voice could only, or most reliably, be attained through translation or adaptation. Even those poems of his that might have come about solely as expositions of the pure Imagist manner--miniature masterpieces like "In a Station of the Metro" and "The Garden"--wear an air of pastiche, as if behind each of them lay some imagined original in a foreign tongue, most likely Japanese or French.
Reid's comment on Pound as pastiche helped me understand an editor's comment on the ghazals I submitted. He said, "They read like the most exquisite parodies of Pound translations from Chinese and Japanese, yet they also do work as original poems do." The slipperiness of imitation, translation and parodies! I did not write the ghazals as parodies, exquisite or not, but now I see how they could be read that way. This reading offends the Neo-Romantic ethic of sincerity in me, but it also pleases me to think how modernist it makes my writing look. I have been thinking about how to take modernism into account in my work, and lo and behold it is here among us.
A modernism not of Eliotian fragmentation, but of Poundian translation. How would the politics of this work out? It is easy for critics to dismiss my work as overly imitative (parodic) of the English poetic tradition, as colonial hangover. Neo-romanticism is still so powerful, in the UK, US, and in Singapore influenced by the USK, with its insistence on originality and individuality, and so parody, that parasite, is judged as inferior. One has to change the climate for parody. Not only to read every poem as always a parody of another, but also to sense behind every language "some imagined original in a foreign tongue." Parody: parallel song.