Still awake

3853566155_771f35d751_bThat time you lay with me
and the moon so bright

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.

That’s why.

 

 

Image: .too cold herE by Sippanont Samchai, posted under a Creative Commons  Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) license.

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.

The original:

ppoem

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