Teasing Tu Fu by Li Po

Here on the summit of Fan-k’o Mountain, it’s Tu Fu
under a midday sun sporting his huge farmer’s hat.

How is it you’ve gotten so thin since we parted?
Must be all those poems you’ve been suffering over.

translated by David Hinton

To Send Far Away by Li Po

So much beauty home–flowers filled the house.
So much beauty gone–nothing but this empty bed,

your embroidered quilt rolled up, never used.
It’s been three years. Your scent still lingers,

your scent gone and yet never ending.
But now you’re gone, never to return,

thoughts of you yellow leaves falling,
white dew glistening on green moss.

translated by Daviid Hinton

Goodbye At The River by Li Po

In this little river town
the autumn rain lets up
the wine’s all gone
well then, goodbye!

you stretch out in your boat
the sail fills, you skim home
past islands burning with flowers
banks crowded with willows

what about me? I don’t know
I think I’ll go sit
on that big rock
and fish

translated by David Young

from The Hard Road by Li Po

I would cross the Yellow River, but ice chokes the ferry;
I would climb the T’ai-hang Mountain, but the sky is blind with snow. . .
I would sit and poise a fishing-pole, lazy by a brook–
But I suddely dream of riding a boat, sailing for the sun. . .
Journeying is hard,
Journeying is hard.
There are many turnings–
Which am I to follow?. . .
I will mount a long wind some day and break the heavy waves
And set my cloudy sail straight and bridge the deep, deep sea.

translated by Witter Bynner & Kiang Kang-hu