Treasure Island

Tu Fu

(712-770 / Gong County / China)

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Full Moon


Above the tower -- a lone, twice-sized moon.
On the cold river passing night-filled homes,
It scatters restless gold across the waves.
On mats, it shines richer than silken gauze.

Empty peaks, silence: among sparse stars,
Not yet flawed, it drifts. Pine and cinnamon
Spreading in my old garden . . . All light,
All ten thousand miles at once in its light!

Submitted: Saturday, May 26, 2001
Edited: Saturday, May 26, 2001

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Read poems about / on: river, silence, moon, light, night, star

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Comments about this poem (Full Moon by Tu Fu )

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  • Ramesh Rai (4/2/2014 1:03:00 PM)

    I am so much attracted by the write of this great poet of seventh century that i need to read the original write. (Report) Reply

  • Tim Stensloff (4/2/2012 9:39:00 PM)

    Tu Fu is an absolute master. It's criminal how underlooked he is in the Western literary world. (Report) Reply

  • Terence George Craddock (4/2/2010 2:14:00 PM)

    'Above the tower - a lone, twice-sized moon.' Interesting, a China Moon, so surreal with implications, in translation, rich with original observed meaning.
    The moon draws out every possible landscape, every possible culture, as viewed from upon planet earth. It would be interesting to know the context of this poem. The tower, the gardens location?
    'Spreading in my old garden... All light,
    All ten thousand miles at once in its light! '

    And the context of the miles? I wonder which of the possibilities I consider is the closest. Any experts out there? (Report) Reply

  • Joseph Poewhit (4/2/2010 4:57:00 AM)

    Amazing how the moon has captivated man's life. Inspiration from love Ecstasy to full moon omens of lunacy. Yet, GOD created it. (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (4/2/2010 2:41:00 AM)

    The panoramic view of Moon broadens on and on till the end of the poem! Quite interesting poem to read! (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Straw (4/2/2009 7:33:00 AM)

    Even translated this is a wonderful poem. It evokes in me exactly what it purports to communicate - I find myself and an ancient Chinese poet at one. I google: 'Tu Fu, (712–770) was a prominent Chinese poet of the Tang Dynasty. Along with Li Bai (Li Po) , he is frequently called the greatest of the Chinese poets.' I must read more of him. (Report) Reply

  • Michael Pruchnicki (4/2/2008 1:27:00 PM)

    Concentrate on the gorgeous imagery! You can almost see
    the painting of the tower on the cold river and the moon
    shining over all - like a Chinese or Japanese tapestry! (Report) Reply

  • Mark Nwagwu (4/2/2008 3:09:00 AM)

    very insightful poem filled with the brillianct light that only a twice-sized moon can spread in our gardens of dark-filled hearts (Report) Reply

Read all 17 comments »

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