Drinking Alone in a Small Garden by Li Shang-yin

Who could have knit the willow’s belts?
The flower buds are unwilling to open yet.
Only a pair of dancing butterflies are left;
Not a single person has come here.
I half unfold the dragon-whisker mat,
And lightly pour into the horse-brain cup.
Every year the arrival of spring is uncertain;
I have been deceived by the early blooming plum!

translated by James J.Y. Liu

8 thoughts on “Drinking Alone in a Small Garden by Li Shang-yin

  1. Question I’ve wanted ask. When you listen to a Chinese poem being read properly, in Chinese does it have a rhythm and music like a lot of Western poems do?

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