From the list of translated poems, we can see that what Pound had translated were not all Chinese classical poems. After careful study, Zhao Yiheng found that in Fenollosa’s manuscripts, there were a lot of classical poems, such as Qu Yuan’s composing poems, Song Yu’s Ode to The West, and Cao Cao’s The Short Song, but Pound did not choose to translate these poems. So what kinds of poems Pound had chosen? Cathay was published in the year of 1915, and at the same time, the world war one was spreading all over Europe. The unprecedented cruel one greatly shocked the scholars’ mind, and they began to bury themselves in agitation and confusion.
Pound once wrote to one of his friends “The war is devouring people’s awareness, and Cathay has properly expressed poets’ confusion in the war, and also has best reflected the present European’s mind” (Chang Yaoxin, 2003:165). As to the poems in the Cathay, we can see that most of them are about the anxiety of parting and missing. In the poems of Song of the Bowmen of Shu（《采薇》) and Lament of the Frontier Guard(李白:《胡关饶风沙》), there are pains of war; in the poems of The River Merchant’s wife: A letter(李白:《长干行》) and The Jewel Stair’s Grievance(李白:《玉阶怨》), there is sadness of the lonely women; in the poems of Leaving-Taking near Shokou（李白:《送友人入蜀》), Separation on the River Kiang(李白《黄鹤楼送孟浩然之广陵》) and Four Poems of Departure(李白:《送友人》), there is sadness because of the departure of the friends; in the poem of Exile’s Letter(李白:《忆旧游寄谁郡元参军》), there is reminiscence. These poems, which reflect the departing agonies and hate for the war and present times, have the most prominent themes of isolation, depression, sadness, missing and exile: people are far apart from each other, lovers are not allowed to be met, and relatives can not get together. So it can be thought that Pound was using the departing poems to express his sadness in his heart and at the same time to reflect the reality. “Old wine in new bottles”. It is another way to express their feelings tactfully. Pound is a man of Cosmopolitanism and historicism. Cosmopolitanism is the ideology that all kinds of human ethnic groups belong to a single community based on a shared morality.
This is very different from communitarian and particularistic theories, especially the ideas of patriotism and nationalism. Cosmopolitanism may entail some sort of world government or it may simply refer to more inclusive moral, economic, or political relationships between nations or individuals of different nations. As to Pound, the cosmopolitanism is somehow different. This refers to his literature spirit of world culture. To use S.Prawer’s words to explain it, that is to be aware of other nations’ classical culture, and to be open to other languages’ works, and at the same time, to view other ethnics’ cultural import and exchange as the import and exchange of goods. Pound seeks for the poetics which have the universal meaning. At the same time, Pound has the spirit of historicism. He said that all the times belong to the temporary age, and in literature, the real time is independent of the surface of the time. This means that history is in the service of the present age.
Just as the present literature, there are good ones and bad ones, so we can rethink history from a certain point at present, and can also observe the present phenomenon from the angle of history (Tao Naikan, 2006:7). It is very common for Pound to choose the Chinese classical poems of which most of the themes are about the departing pains and missing. At that time, the war happened, which meant that the present age was in a mess, and then Pound became confused. He tried to find a way to express his thoughts, and found that the Chinese poems could help him (Liu Li, 2007). Anyway, it was a kind of euphemistical expression.