Tuesday, September 11, 2012

0 Guest reviewer: Karen Lee discusses the poem, Thoughts on a Tranquil Night by Li Bai


Title: Thoughts in a Tranquil Night
Author: Li Bai
Feature Type: Poem


Introduction of Li Bai
Li Bai, also known as Li Po, great poet after Chen Zi Ang, brought peotry of the Tang Dynasty to the peak. Li made the first golden period of the Chinese classical poetry and he opened a new climax for romantic poetry tradition of Qu Yuan.
His nickname, "the poem god," came from his alleged ability to produce beautiful poetry quickly and effortlessly. More than a thousand of his poems are still around for us to read and enjoy.


Introduction of the Poem
This poem is about homesickness, written in a quiet night.

Poem in Pin Yin

jìng yè sī
静 夜 思
lǐ bái
李 白
chuáng qián míng yuè guāng
床 前 明 月 光
yí shì dì shàng shuāng
疑 是 地 上 霜 。
jǔ tóu wàng míng yuè
举 头 望 明 月
dī tóu sī gù xiāng
低 头 思 故 乡

Poem in English

Athwart the bed
I watch the moonbeams cast a trail
So bright, so cold, so frail,
That for a space it gleams
Like hoar-frost on the margin of my dreams.
I raise my head, -
The splendid moon I see:
Then droop my head,
And sink to dreams of thee -
My father land , of thee!
(Tr. L.Cranmer-Byng)


My Thoughts
The moon is the usual symbol of nostalgia in the works of most Chinese poets, however, his poem is a rare exception for its expressiveness and directness a pool of light before the bed looks just like autumn hoarfrost at first glance. Is it really frost? The poet wonders. Upon a closer look he finds out it is the moon light. In Chinese tradition the phases of the moon have always signified family separation and reunion. At this emotional momet the poet cannot but feel lonely and miss his family far away.
Li Bai wrote occasional verse and poems about his own life. His poetry is known for its clear imagery and conversational tone. His work influenced a number of 20th-century poets, including Ezra Pound and James Wright.
All his poems are worthy to read, if anyone is interested in his poems, please contact me, we can learn and review together.

About the Author
This guest post is written by . She is an Editor at YOYBUY.COM. YOYBUY is one of the oldest and most reliable taobao agents in China, helping foreign people buy items from almost all Chinese online shops (B2C).

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