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(701-762 / Chu / Kazakhstan)

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Drinking Alone

I take my wine jug out among the flowers
to drink alone, without friends.

I raise my cup to entice the moon.
That, and my shadow, makes us three.

But the moon doesn't drink,
and my shadow silently follows.

I will travel with moon and shadow,
happy to the end of spring.

When I sing, the moon dances.
When I dance, my shadow dances, too.

We share life's joys when sober.
Drunk, each goes a separate way.

Constant friends, although we wander,
we'll meet again in the Milky Way.

Li T'ai-po
tr. Hamil

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002


Read poems about / on: moon, travel, dance, spring, happy, alone, life, joy, flower, friend

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Comments about this poem (Bathed and Washed by Li Po )

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  • Maya Hanson (4/5/2014 3:00:00 PM)

    beautiful! ! ! I love it

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  • John S (4/1/2014 12:47:00 PM)

    I love this poem! I would like to learn more about different styles of poems and different terminology. This poem is almost surreal. He's drinking with the moon, the flowers, and his shadow. He's enticing the moon with his ale. I guess it's called personification when you talk about the moon and your shadow like they're real people. This poem really takes you on a beautiful trip. The moon and his shadow are dancing together and having a splendid time, and when they part ways, they'll meet again in the milky way. Li Po would have been a fun guy to drink with.

  • Richard Blay (3/30/2014 4:26:00 PM)

    solitude! lovely one

  • Besa Dede (3/30/2014 3:35:00 PM)

    Beautiful poem. Li Po has a gentle way of describing even a simple event such as drinking in solitude :)

  • William Goldman (3/30/2014 12:19:00 PM)

    I love those lines
    We share life's joys when sober.
    Drunk, each goes a separate way.

  • Birgitta Heikka (3/30/2014 10:31:00 AM)

    They say it's not good to drink alone. I like the way the poem ended. My favorite verses are the last 3- When I sing the moon dances....

  • Ramesh Rai (3/30/2014 8:38:00 AM)

    An emotion write of Li Po will certainly attract the new generation to mend.

  • Joe Hughes (3/30/2013 6:10:00 AM)

    A great discovery for me.
    Thank you LiPo though you lived so long ago.
    Joe Hughes on Poemhunter and at joehughes.org.uk

  • Shahzia Batool (3/30/2012 9:01:00 AM)

    When the soul selects her own society, solitude turns into multitude......it's very beautiful......

  • Naida Nepascua Supnet (10/18/2010 8:46:00 AM)

    i remember in college when i found out about lipo, i collected his poems, i remember this one because i think it is funny, i love the poem and the poet. He is immortal.

Read all 23 comments »

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