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Thoughts in a Tranquil Night Analysis

Author: Poetry of Li Po Type: Poetry Views: 267

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Athwart the bed

I watch the moonbeams cast a trail

So bright, so cold, so frail,

That for a space it gleams

Like hoar-frost on the margin of my dreams.

I raise my head, --

The splendid moon I see:

Then droop my head,

And sink to dreams of thee --

My Fatherland, of thee!


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This translation must be at least 100 years old. It is not a translation at all but an old-fashioned rhapsody vaguely based on the original poem. Below is a transliteration of Li Po's Chinese characters:
Bed before bright moon shine
Think be frost on ground
Raise head view bright moon
Lower head think of home
A straightforward English translation:
At the foot of the bed shines the moon so brightly
It seems to be frost on the ground.
I raise my head and gaze at the moonlight;
I lower my head and think of home.
There's no "cast a trail" or "margin of my dreams" or "Fatherland" or other translational nonsense in Li Po's poem.

| Posted on 2017-07-03 | by a guest

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