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

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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

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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)

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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.

More Wang Wei in English & Chinese

Wang Wei

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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)

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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

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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)

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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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