Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The 300 Tang Dynasty Poems, #38: The Moon at the Fortified Pass

The Tang Dynasty was a high point in Chinese culture. Poetry was especially esteemed. No occasion; no homecoming or leaving taking was too insignificant to be commemorated in a poem. The best examples of the poetry of the age are collected in the classic, 300 Tang Dynasty Poems.

Below is #38, The Moon at the Fortified Pass

Li Bai

The bright moon lifts from the Mountain of Heaven
In an infinite haze of cloud and sea,
And the wind, that has come a thousand miles,
Beats at the Jade Pass battlements....
China marches its men down Baideng Road
While Tartar troops peer across blue waters of the bay....
And since not one battle famous in history
Sent all its fighters back again,
The soldiers turn round, looking toward the border,
And think of home, with wistful eyes,
And of those tonight in the upper chambers
Who toss and sigh and cannot rest.


walt said...

"And think of home, with wistful eyes..."

Here is a story of modern China that rather reflects the mood of that poem. Not a happy tale, btw.

Always enjoy the Tang poems.

Rick Matz said...

Thanks, Walt. The posts you've made lately at A Plainly Hidden View have been outstanding!