Three Chinese poets : Your interpretations

Well, I came across this book: Three Chinese Poets, a collection of poems by three of the best poets in Chinese history, and perhaps, even in the world (..This is not my word.. the cover says so.) The three are: Li Bai, Du Fu and Wang Wei. This book is a translation of some of their poems in to English by Vikram Seth. I am not sure if it is the translation or the depth in thinking but, I did not understand the poems. I confess my ignorance… can’t do nothing but a confession. 😉 Those I understood appeared simple for me, though I suspect some other meaning there. Anyways, presenting 3 poems from the book here… your interpretations are welcome ….


1. In the quiet night : by Li Bai

The floor before my bed is bright
Moonlight – like hoarfrost – in my room
I lift my head and watch the moon
I drop my head and think of home

2. Parting at a wineshop in Nanjing : by Li Bai

We Nanjing friends are here to see each other off
Those who must go, and those who don’t – each drains his cup.
Go, ask the Yangtze, which of these two sooner ends..
Its water flows east – the love of parting friends .

3. Dreaming of Li Bai : by Du Fu

The pain of death’s farewells grows dim.
The pain of life’s farewells stays new.


– So, here they are, the three poems. What is your take on these 3 poems by the greatest of the Chinese poets? How do you interpret them as a reader?

By the way: Here are the wiki entries for – Du Fu , Li Bai , Wang Wei . I need not mention their greatness. One mere fact that their poems written in 8th century are still a reader’s delight is enough to say that.

PS: I realised I am an incorrigible blogger. Tommorow, I have 2 end-sem exams, which means, 6 hrs of writing 😦 . Yet, I am blogging!!!

Published in: on April 6, 2007 at 9:16 am  Comments (4)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Dreaming of Li Bai seems to be the easiest to decipher , You must have already interpreted but here’s my thought !!

    through the wiki links I found that DU FU had great friendship with LI BAI , and his demise would have wrecked him and wrought up him write that.

    he’s saying that on can swallow the grief of sepration by death but not when one wold leave your friendship , that’s abyss of grief !

  2. Voila , here’s some thing I found which advocates my thought

  3. I thought I was an incorrigible blogger once. Invariably ending up writing most of my blog entries right before assignment submissions or exams. And the moment I stepped out of the univ., my blog count dropped drastically.

    Have fun blogging now.

  4. Nothing makes me feel, more stupid and common place than when I do not understand good poetry.

    Thank God, I at least understand (wrong word) , I can enjoy (uuuhun), I can feel some great poetry.

    I did not get any of them, at least when half my brain is seized by Ghantasala.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: