from Madly Singing in the Mountains by Bai Juyi (Po Chü-I)

And often, when I have finished a new poem,
Alone I climb the road to the Eastern Rock.
I lean my body on the banks of white Stone;
I pull down with my hands a green cassia branch.
My mad singing startles the valleys and hills;
The apes and birds all come to peep,
Fearing to become a laughingstock to the world,
I choose a place that is unfrequented by men.

translated by Tony Barnstone & Chou Ping

6 thoughts on “from Madly Singing in the Mountains by Bai Juyi (Po Chü-I)

    • Well it’s a translation and I don’t believe in editing the translator’s words or punctuation. But I love the spirit of the poem. I actually have a book of Arthur Waley’s translations of Po Chü-I with that poem in it but can’t find it on my shelves. It must be misplaced since all my Chinese poetry is together on 3 shelves on my bookcase. But if I do ever find it, I’ll post his translation to compare. I also have a book of David Hinton’s translations of the same poet but could not find this poem in it. He was a very popular T’ang Dynasty poet in his own time as well with modern translators.

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