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

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

Stopping at Beign Mountain by Wang Wan

Man on a road through green mountains.
A boat sails the green waters.

The banks grow when the tide stills.
One sail taut in the wind.

The ocean sun emerges from broken night.
Spring flows in rivers as the year ages.

How can my letter find its way home
to Luoyang where the geese fly?

translated by Tony Barnstone & Chou Ping

Traveling By River In Lınghan by Liu Tsung-yuan

Sailing south on infested waters into the land of mist
horizon of tanglehead stretching to the sea
hills marked by elephant swaths after a rain
dragon drool rising from the depths in the sun
poison-spitting frogs that can see a traveler’s shadow
a typhoon sky frightening the passengers on board
my concerns however are other than these
namely how to bear white hair and the disappearing years

translated by Red Pine

Yüeh-yang Tower by Li Shang-yin

Wishing to disperse for once the sorrows of a lifetime,
I mount the Yüeh-yang Tower above the Tung-t’ing lake.
Over ten thousand miles I could have sailed in high spirits,
But alas, there are dragons who know how to upset the boat!

traslated by James J.Y. Liu

Remembering by Yuan Chen

I daydream, melancholy at the windowsill—-
memories I will never tell—-

our passion in the late-night hours,
our tearful good-byes at dawn.

Mountains and rivers divide us,
and I’ve given up hoping for rain.

Divided, I dream of you today—-
I even embrace the pain.

translated by Sam Hamill