Today, is Chinese New Year. And today I'm featuring a poem by the classic Chinese poet, Li Bai. The poem is translated by Vikram Seth and is found in Three Chinese Poets [895.1 THR]:
Drinking Alone with the MoonInterestingly, there's a web page that has 32 translations of the poem. If you'd like to see the effect a translation has on your reception of a poem, or would like to study the art of translation, then this is the place to go! Most surprisingly, there's a translation of the poem by Vikram Seth dated 2001, that differs significantly from the translation above which is from 1992!
A pot of wine among the flowers
I drink alone, no friend with me.
I raise my cup to invite the moon.
He and my shadow and I make three.
The moon does not know how to drink;
My shadow mimes my capering;
But I'll make merry with them both--
And soon enough it will be Spring.
I sing--the moon moves to and fro.
I dance--my shadow leaps and sways.
Still sober, we exchange our joys.
Drunk--and we'll go our separate ways.
Let's pledge--beyond human ties--to be friends,
And meet where the Silver River ends.
Tomorrow we will be having a Chinese New Year's celebration here at the Library at 1:00 pm. Happy New Year to you all!
There's plenty more poetry to explore at the Round-Up being held at The Miss Rumphius Effect.