Li Bai


Li Bai

Also known as Li Po, Li Bo, Li Pai, the great Chinese poet Li Bai (Chinese: 李白) was a wandering poet during the mid Tang Dynasty. His poems famously celebrate the various pleasures of life. Many of his works were translated by Ezra Pound, in their collected works titled, Cathay.

Waking From Drunkenness on a Spring Day is one of Li Bai's most famous poems. This is the Arthur Waley translation:

Waking From Drunkenness on a Spring Day (春日醉起言志)
處世若大夢, Life in the world is but a big dream;
胡爲勞其生. I will not spoil it by any labour or care.
所以終日醉, so saying, I was drunk all the day,
頹然臥前楹. lying helpless at the porch in front of my door.
覺來盼庭前, when I awoke, I blinked at the garden-lawn;
一鳥花間鳴. a lonely bird was singing amid the flowers.
借問此何時, I asked myself, had the day been wet or fine?
春風語流鶯. the Spring wind was telling the mango-bird.
感之欲嘆息, moved by its song I soon began to sigh,
對酒還自傾. and, as wine was there, I filled my own cup.
浩歌待明月, wildly singing I waited for the moon to rise;
曲盡已忘情. when my song was over, all my senses had gone.

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