At Yellow Crane Tower Taking Leave of Meng Hao-jan as He Sets Off for Kuang-ling by Li Po

My old friend takes leave of the west at Yellow Crane Tower,
in the misty third-month blossoms goes downstream toYang-chou.
The far-off shape of his lone sail disappears in the blue-green void,
and all I see is the long river flowing to the edge of the sky.

translated by Burton Watson

13 thoughts on “At Yellow Crane Tower Taking Leave of Meng Hao-jan as He Sets Off for Kuang-ling by Li Po

  1. I am happy with the different translations. It depends on whether I am thinking he is leaving to go somewhere else – like on a long journey – or whether he has died suddenly. But whatever, all very beautiful.

  2. I’m confused by the line with goes. So the third month goes downstream or blossoms go downstream. I like the idea of months passing on down the stream but it reads funny.

    Overall, I agree with the others that it’s a beautiful fare thee well.

    • He goes downstream. The blossoms refers to the time of year: the third month blossoms or as another translator put it “the misty month of flowers”. It is a little confusing Burton’s way but each translator dealt with it in a different way.

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