we doubted our own eyes: springtime,
and silver frost on the ground!
Like a blow, your absence.
I look for you under the bright moon
in the springtime
but the moon sinks. You are absent.
This is freely translated from (or adapted from–I’m not sure where that boundary lies) a poem by the Chinese poet Li Po. Most translations of the poem attempt to evoke a sort of mild homesickness. I have seen the poem called “Quiet Night Thoughts” though I am not sure why that’s a good title, since as far as I am concerned all night thoughts are unquiet. If they were really quiet, it seems to me, they would put one to sleep.