Imagery in Spring-Watching Pavilion
Imagery Examples in Spring-Watching Pavilion:
"bell tolls..." See in text (Spring-Watching Pavilion)
Balaban’s translation, with its image of the “bell” that “tolls,” reminds the readers that this translation came from a Western perspective. John Donne’s famous poem “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and Hemmingway’s novel of the same title has become a part of the popular imagination when picturing church bells. In using these specific words, Balaban conjures these cultural touchstones and brings Western conceptions of life and death into Ho’s critique of Eastern religions.
"upside-down in sad puddles..." See in text (Spring-Watching Pavilion)
This second stanza introduces the poem’s central metaphor of the divine as water. In these lines, Ho critiques organized religion through the images of bells creating waves. In John Balaban’s translation, these waves divert the divine water, turning it into “sad puddles” that reflect “heaven upside-down.” The speaker’s claim is that following organized religion leads to a diminished and distorted encounter with the divine.