Drinking Alone

July 9, 2012 § 4 Comments


This is one of my favorite poems.

English Translation:

Drinking Alone with the Moon (Li Bai, 701-762 AD, China)

From a wine pot amidst the flowers,
I drink alone without partners.
To invite the moon I raise my cup.
We’re three, as my shadow shows up.
Alas, the moon doesn’t drink.
My shadow follows but doesn’t think.
Still for now I have these friends,
To cheer me up until the spring ends.
I sing; the moon wanders.
I dance; the shadow scatters.
Awake, together we have fun.
Drunk, separately we’re gone.
Let’s be boon companions forever,
Pledging, in heaven, we’ll be together.

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§ 4 Responses to Drinking Alone

  • The Art Pour says:

    Wonderful! And now one of my favorites! I can’t find the translation I first read, so this is butchered, and from memory:

    I locked and secured it
    inside the chest in my house
    but now that rascal love leaps out at me!

    By Prince Hozumi, who, they say, wrote this while drunk.

  • gold price says:

    From a wine pot amidst the flowers, I drink alone without partners. To invite the moon I raise my cup. We’re three, as my shadow shows up. Alas, the moon doesn’t drink. My shadow follows but doesn’t think. Still for now I have these friends, To cheer me up until the spring ends. I sing; the moon wanders. I dance; the shadow scatters. Awake, together we have fun. Drunk, separately we’re gone. Let’s be boon companions forever, Pledging, in heaven, we’ll be together.

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