Treasure Island

Li Po

(701-762 / Chu / Kazakhstan)

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Alone And Drinking Under The Moon


Amongst the flowers I
am alone with my pot of wine
drinking by myself; then lifting
my cup I asked the moon
to drink with me, its reflection
and mine in the wine cup, just
the three of us; then I sigh
for the moon cannot drink,
and my shadow goes emptily along
with me never saying a word;
with no other friends here, I can
but use these two for company;
in the time of happiness, I
too must be happy with all
around me; I sit and sing
and it is as if the moon
accompanies me; then if I
dance, it is my shadow that
dances along with me; while
still not drunk, I am glad
to make the moon and my shadow
into friends, but then when
I have drunk too much, we
all part; yet these are
friends I can always count on
these who have no emotion
whatsoever; I hope that one day
we three will meet again,
deep in the Milky Way.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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Comments about this poem (Alone And Drinking Under The Moon by Li Po )

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  • Daryl Gaines (12/19/2013 8:15:00 AM)

    Very well written. Sometimes we ask questions we really don't want answers to and what better way to do that then being with the things that physically can't respond (Report) Reply

  • Alistair Graham (12/19/2013 2:53:00 AM)

    July Moon
    I
    The first sip of a fine Rioja
    Sumptuous nose, tantalising tongue
    liquid art in my hand

    Half a bottle now
    Half way between the past
    and the future

    My hand has been resting on the glass
    for an age
    Bloody sore, the skin marked

    The whole bottle now, a blonde beer
    I’m carried along the conveyor belt
    to the destination

    The moon is watching
    It is now upon me
    A swollen camembert globe

    oozing a smothering liquid blanket
    enveloping my panic-face,
    advising how I should go

    II

    At the front of the house
    the Cordyline Palm
    filters the street light to me

    Again, the moon comes

    A white-hot disc now
    stihl-sawing the top of my skull
    to create a lid

    A skullcap canopy
    shading the nonsense from the sun
    while the orchestra plays, despite the heat

    A hand painted wooden sign,
    thrust into my shoulder,
    inviting the lunatics

    I arrive (Report) Reply

  • Musfiq Us Shaleheen (12/19/2013 1:59:00 AM)

    the genius writing of a very romantic poet Li Po... the extreme imagery of love and romance even he was alone..
    the metaphors shimmers as moon.. applaud and render me through my life.. i never forget that romance...
    - Shaleheen (Report) Reply

  • Gwyn Griffin (12/14/2013 3:45:00 PM)

    This must be the poem that inspired Vangelis to write the song The Little Fete from the album China, especially since he paraphrased it in a condensed form - I take a bottle of wine and go to drink it among the flowers. We are always three counting my shadow and my friend, the shimmering moon. Happily, the moon knows nothing of drinking and my shadow is never thirsty. When I sing, the moon listens to me in silence. When I dance, my shadow dances too. After all festivities, the guests must depart. This sadness, I do not know. When I go home, the moon goes with me and my shadow follows. (Report) Reply

  • John Shea (1/18/2013 7:30:00 PM)

    I Li Po just drank the wine but the moon got a break from the same clouds that block my eyes and mind. (Report) Reply

  • Poet Dragon (12/19/2012 8:39:00 PM)

    Each man an empire lifts his hands
    wiggles his fingers, makes demands
    sighs at discomfort, sighs at ease
    in loneliness ponders his disease (Report) Reply

  • Joseph Poewhit (12/19/2009 8:56:00 AM)

    Prov: 31 in the Bible says to give wine to those that be of a heavy heart. Seems to have worked out well with Li Po. - MERRY (Report) Reply

  • Joseph Poewhit (12/19/2009 8:54:00 AM)

    PROV: 31 in the Bible says to give wine to those that be of a heavy heart. Seems to have worked out well with Li Po. - MERRY (Report) Reply

  • Patrick Derilus (12/19/2009 8:52:00 AM)

    is this about having a friend to spend time with in your free time....

    i'm kind of new to poetry. (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (12/19/2009 1:02:00 AM)

    Lonely souls commune with Nature so and express their experience in poems immortal as of this poem by Li Po! Indeed philosophic poets are friendless but they are friends of Nature to inspire and express matters for the world to know reality pretty well! (Report) Reply

Read all 27 comments »

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