Friday, August 10, 2012

Poem of the Week: A Night of Song

I found this in a collection of poems by some of the classical poets of China.  Chinese poetry is so different from Western poetry!  To me it always evokes sitting by ponds of lilies, hearing Oriental music and sipping Green Tea while the wonderful perfume of Jasmine flowers wafts through the air.  Instantly I'm in another world!

A Night Of Song
Tu Fu

The wind scarce flutters through the leaves,
 The young moon hath already gone,
And kind and cool the dews descend:
The lute-strings wake for night alone.

In shadow lapse the twinkling streams,
The lilied marge their waves caress;
And the sheer constellations sway
O'er soundless gulfs of nothingness.

What cadence charms the poet's ear!
What fire-fly fancies round him swarm!
He dreads the lantern lights may fail
Long ere his thoughts have taken form.

Now gallants tap their two-edged swords,
And pride and passion swell amain;
Like red stars flashing through the night
The circling wine-cups brim again.

There steals the old sad air of Ou-
Each calls his latest song to mind;
Then white sails taper down the stream
While lingering thoughts still look behind.

Miss Melody Muffin


  1. That's a good poem! Was it originally written in English? I'm assuming so since it rhymes.

  2. No, it was originally written in Chinese. The translator would have been the one to translate/arrange it so it rhymed. It is cool, isn't it?

  3. That is very cool... I've just started looking into Eastern poetry because one of my stories requires some research into Eastern cultures, and I'm finding it fascinating!

    Did you find this online?

  4. I did find this online, at Project Gutenberg. Here is the link: One of the best parts about this book, is that it includes information about each of the poets whose work is featured. It was truly a gem of a find and I sat and read through it right away. I love Eastern poetry!


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