Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Poem: Li Po

For today's poem, we're stopping in at 700 BCE for a little piece by Li Po, an old wandering poet of China. The moon is an important feature in our everyday lives. We can keep time and calendar with the moon. We can set our goals and daily lives to the waxing and waning cycles. Li Po's reflections gives pause to the power and mystery of the moon, in sight to all of us. Enjoy!

Three—With the Moon and His Shadow by Li Po

With a jar of wine I sit by the flowering trees.
I drink alone, and where are my friends?
Ah, the moon above looks down on me;
I call and lift my cup to his brightness.
And see, there goes my shadow before me.
Ho! We're a party of three, I say,—
Though the poor moon can't drink,
And my shadow but dances around me,
We're all friends to-night,
The drinker, the moon and the shadow.
Let our revelry be suited to the spring!

I sing, the wild moon wanders the sky.
I dance, my shadow goes tumbling about.
While we're awake, let us join in carousal;
Only sweet drunkenness shall ever part us.
Let us pledge a friendship no mortals know,
And often hail each other at evening
Far across the vast and vaporous space!

1 comment:

  1. I love this poem! And Li Po's poetry in general. You might also like Hanshan, a hermit-poet who composed his poetry on stones, trees and the walls of caves in the 9th century CE. He was a little eccentric, but enlightened. :)