This book develops an understanding of ideogrammic method, how it evolved from a particular perception of Chinese characters and its importance to Western poetic theory. It provides insight into the influence of classical Chinese poetry on Euro-American poetry. Classical Chinese poetry is inextricably linked to the characters in which it was created. Interpreting this poetry involves contextual decoding of these characters. By exploring the etymology and composition of Chinese characters in the context of imagism, semiotics and montage this book builds a foundation for Ezra Pound’s contribution to the translation of classical Chinese poetry. Working from the notes of Ernest Fenollosa, Pound developed and accommodated an ideogrammic method in poetry theory providing a lasting contribution to translation tools, poetic composition, and a precursor to postmodern poetic thought. Comparative analysis of Pound’s translations of the Shijing with those of Arthur Waley allows readers to develop their own interpretation of the text. This research discloses how Pound’s misinterpretation of Chinese characters ironically enriched European poetry: Pound’s perception proved productive error.