Chinese Poems – Li Bai

Listening to a Monk from Shu Playing the Lute

The monk from Shu with his green lute-case walked
Westward down Emei Shan, and at the sound
Of the first notes he strummed for me I heard
A thousand valleys’ rustling pines resound.
My heart was cleansed, as if in flowing water.
In bells of frost I heard the resonance die.
Dusk came unnoticed over the emerald hills
And Autumn clouds layered the darkening sky.
…. … … … …. … …

The Waterfall at Lu Shan

In sunshine, Censer Peak breathes purple mist.
A jutting stream, the cataract hangs in spray
Far off, then plunges down three thousand feet–
As if the sky had dropped the Milky Way.
– Li Bai
…. …. …. …. … …
Li Bai was born in Chinese Turkestan in 701. He travelled a great deal throughout China. He made a great impression on his contemporaries as a paradigm of the intoxicated and impulsive poet with his flashing eyes and great iconoclastic energy. He was interested in alchemy and Taoism.

From” Three Chinese Poets”
Translation by Vikram Seth