Visiting the Monk of Mt Daitian Without Finding Him
Dog’s bark through water’s sound
Peach blossoms the dew weighs down
In deep woods, glimpses of deer
At brook’s edge, no noon chimes
Wild bamboo part blue mists
Spring falls from emerald cliffs
No one knows where he is gone
Weary, I rest against some pines
Mid Mountain: With a Hermit, Drinking Together
Two men drinking together. Mountain flowers blossom.
One cup, one cup, again another cup.
I’m drunk, on the edge of sleep – you’d better go.
At dawn, if you desire, come back with your guitar.
Mid Mountain: Question and Answer
You ask me why I dwell on the emerald mountain.
I laugh, without answering, my heart at ease.
Peach flowers in the water’s current linger into vanishing.
Heaven and earth are different here than in the world of men.
Translated by Andrew Haley
Li Po or Li Bai (李白) the Banished Immortal, celebrated Tang Dynasty poet, was born in 701 in present day Kyrgyzstan to Chinese exiles. He achieved great acclaim before his death, despite a life of itinerant wandering. One of the Eight Immortals of Wine, he was a legendary drinker and is said to have drowned drunk in the Yangtze trying to embrace the reflection of the moon. He was returning to his childhood home in Sichuan Province after a thirty-five year absence. He was 61.