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This web site is dedicated to the preservation of the spirit of Tang poetry.

Li Bai and Du Fu

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Read poems by the greatest masters of Tang poetry translated by Lan Hua


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The Gan Yu

Chen Zi'ang is one of the early masters of Tang poetry. Now you can read some of his poems translated for the first time into English by Lan Hua

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In Blossom Time
by Li Bai


In blossom time
With a jug of wine
Drinking along
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
As the moon looks down
In sober disdain
And 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

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


This is one of Li Bai's best known and most frequently translated poems. If you would like to compare Lan Hua's translation to more than 30 others, including versions by Ezra Pound, Arthur Waley and other great sinologists of the 20th century, click here .




More translations by Lan Hua of poems by Li Bai: