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Though we journey to the West We pray to the East More or less that's the way Each day begins and ends It’s a tale everyone ...

Friday, October 23, 2020

Drinking Alone in the Moonlight (by Li Bai)

 Here's my translation of one of Li Bai's most famous poems.  This is an old translation that I'm only posting now in order to share with a new acquaintance on Twitter.  But it's such a pleasure to reread Li Bai's wonderful poem ... I'm already looking forward to a jug of wine later tonight.

In blossom time
With a jug of wine
Drinking alone
Without a friend

I raise my glass 
And invite the moon
To share the bottle
With me and my shadow

What a party we make
The moon looks down
In sober disdain
While my idiot shadow
Follows my every move

Friends for the night
We come together in pleasure
To make the most
Of this glorious weather

But while I sing and dance
Shadow wobbles unsteadily
And moon remains aloof
Far overhead

If only I could sober up
Before the party ends
Maybe we'd all end up
The best of friends

Yet before stumbling apart
Let me propose a solemn oath
That we three reunite soon
In the distant Milky Way