Li Po

(701-762 / Chu / Kazakhstan)

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Drinking Alone


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

........................
........................
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  • Rookie - 47 Points 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. (Report) Reply

    Bronze Star - 6,142 Points Frank Avon (10/20/2014 1:04:00 AM)

    Oh, and by the way, the poem doesn't rhyme - in Chinese or in this fine English translation. Go figure!

  • Rookie 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 :) (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 556 Points Birgitta Abimbola 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.... (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 10,609 Points Ramesh Rai (3/30/2014 8:38:00 AM)

    An emotion write of Li Po will certainly attract the new generation to mend. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 68 Points 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 (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 421 Points Shahzia Batool (3/30/2012 9:01:00 AM)

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

  • Rookie - 227 Points 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. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Terence George Craddock (3/30/2010 6:46:00 AM)

    Li Po chooses beautiful natural surroundings and sits among flowers to drink and contemplate long before a generation of flower power take this conception to symbolize a desire for peace and love not war. Shadow and moon are a powerful influence at night in settings of unique interactive meditation. A challenging theme for an artists charcoal oils or a poets pen.
    'We share life's joys when sober.
    Drunk, each goes a separate way.'
    True often when drinking companions are few, but drunken football or rugby teams, worse still when staunch fans of major domestic or international teams, get out of control; suddenly the energy of an earthquake or title wave can be unleashed with amazing force in confined places. Alcohol and friends are poetry of enticing potential. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 294 Points Ramesh T A (3/30/2010 2:38:00 AM)

    Wine effect with the influence of Moon though taken alone will surely make one meet Moon, shadow and self in the Milky Way! A wise way to enjoy with Nature! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Joseph Poewhit (3/30/2009 2:06:00 PM)

    Finding a reason for drinking is the keyword. Some drink for drunkenness, while some wine and flowers beauty, and a silent friend, we find a reason. Seeking a beauty, in the flowing world of wines intoxication. Elevated, insightful things appear. BUT, to lie in an alleyway with an empty bottle - WELL LI PO WAS RIGHT. (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 3,090 Points Is It Poetry (3/30/2009 2:01:00 PM)

    It is a terrible shame that thier are not
    hundreds of these simple thoughts
    of friend ship inside this one head..iip
    on paper... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Michael Pruchnicki (3/30/2009 10:22:00 AM)

    Prissy comments about this poem in English translation having nothing to offer an expert reader and poet like Straw leaves me in dismay and feigned sorrow! What a bleeding pity for us all! He prefers classical music in the raw to the diluted versions on his iPod, mercy me! God help us, but I'll take a drunken Chinese poet any time to a pretentious wannabe nattering on about communication and translation and all that! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kevin Straw (3/30/2009 7:05:00 AM)

    This does not do anything for me. Perhaps it's better in the original. I have an idea that translations are always less than the originals. Language, perhaps, contains elements of communication that are lost in translation - like classical music is 'thinned out' on downloading to an iPod. (Report) Reply

    Bronze Star - 6,142 Points Frank Avon (10/20/2014 1:19:00 AM)

    Of course, something is always lost in translation - or when one is not sitting within the first ten rows
    of a symphony, unless the acoustics of the hall are very, very good. But there are good translations and not so good. This one, it seems to me, is a fine one. Li Po got lucky. And for those of us who can't afford the time or the $$$ to attend a first-rate orchestral concert every day, thank god for our old LPs or CDs or NPR or whatever is available. Get down off your high horse; my Shetland pony gives me a damned good ride.

  • Rookie Bill Thomas (3/30/2009 3:02:00 AM)

    One of my favourites of all time... have a look at my version, 'Off His Face In The Flower Border', if you like. (Report) Reply

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