Chinese Poetry  

English Translation of Poems by
Li Bai (Li Po, Li Tai-Po), Li ShangYin, Du Mu (Tu Mu), Wang Wei, Su Ting, Tao YuanMing, Su Shi (Su Dongpo), Wen TianXiang

You ask me why I dwell in the green mountain;
I smile and make no reply for my heart is free of care.
As the peach-blossom flows down stream and is gone into the unknown,
I have a world apart that is not among men.

More Li Bai in Chinese in English

Li Bai


The breeze and the dew make tranquil the clear dawn;
Behind the curtain there is one who alone is up betimes.
The orioles sing and the flowers smile -
Whose then, after all, is the Spring?

More Li ShangYin in Chinese in English

Li ShangYin


After I climb the chill mountain's steep stone paths,
Deep in the white clouds there are homes of men.
I stop my carriage, and sit to admire the maple-grove at nightfall,
Whose frozen leaves are redder than the flowers of early Spring.

More Du Mu in Chinese

Du Mu (Tu Mu)

Deserted mountains - not a man is seen,
Only the sound of voices can be heard.
The sunbeam, entering the deep woods,
Reflects again, on the green moss.

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Wang Wei


The year is ended, and it only adds to my age;
Spring has come, but I must take leave of my home.
Alas, that the trees in this eastern garden,
Without me, will still bear flowers.

Su Ting (670-727)

I built my cottage among the habitations of men,
And yet there is no clamor of carriages and horses.
You ask: "Sir, how can this be done?"
"A heart that is distant creates its own solitude."
I pluck chrysanthemums under the eastern hedge,
Then gaze afar towards the southern hills.
The mountain air is fresh at the dusk of day;
The flying birds in flocks return.
In these things there lies a deep meaning;
I want to tell it, but have forgotten the words.

Tr. Tony Barnstone and Chou Ping

More Tao YuanMing in Chinese

Tao YuanMing

To what can our life on earth be likened?
To a flock of geese,
alighting on the snow.
Sometimes leaving a trace of their passage.

More Su Shi in Chinese

Su Shi (Su Dongpo)

Crossing the Lonely Sea

Delving in the Book of Change, I rose through hardship great,
And desperately fought the foe for four long years;
Like willow catkin, the war-torn land looks desolate,
I sink or swim as duckweed in the rain appears.
For perils on Perilious Beach, I heaved and sighed,
On Lonely Sea now, I feel dreary and lonely;
Since olden days, which man has lived and not died?
I'll leave a loyalist name in history!

tr.Xu YuanZhong

More Wen TianXiang in Chinese

Wen TianXiang


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