Li Po

(701-762 / Chu / Kazakhstan)

Autumn River Song - Poem by Li Po

The moon shimmers in green water.
White herons fly through the moonlight.

The young man hears a girl gathering water-chestnuts:
into the night, singing, they paddle home together.

Li T'ai-po
tr. Hamil

Comments about Autumn River Song by Li Po

  • (4/15/2018 11:24:00 AM)

    It is rubbish and I have never heard anything so bad (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • (5/6/2017 11:19:00 PM)

    Simply superb poem depicting tranquility and life full of contentment. (Report) Reply

  • (5/6/2017 9:56:00 PM)


    (Report) Reply

  • Tom Allport (5/6/2017 6:43:00 AM)

    a poem that paints a beautiful picture of peace and harmony? ...............wonderfully written. (Report) Reply

  • (5/6/2017 2:14:00 AM)

    Love simplified. Moonlight, green water, white herons all contribute to the bridal orchestra. A true masterpiece (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (5/6/2017 1:11:00 AM)

    The moonlight! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (5/6/2017 12:54:00 AM)

    Fly through the moonlight...... thanks for posting..... (Report) Reply

  • (4/5/2017 11:20:00 AM)

    images of one being. The heron. The moon. The girl. The youth. The water. Moved and shuffled without effort by a mind apart and separate. (Report) Reply

  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (7/6/2016 1:36:00 PM)

    The love filled heart of a young man is searching for a beautiful lady love and the bird, surroundings etc makes the perfect environment for this. Lovely poem. (Report) Reply

  • (9/13/2015 10:09:00 PM)

    ..............peaceful....heron's are lovely creatures ★ (Report) Reply

  • Elizabeth Padillo Olesen (11/10/2014 6:14:00 AM)

    Simple and it is humming, moving and waking up the senses and the mind. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Aftab Alam Khursheed (11/10/2014 2:54:00 AM)

    The comment of Kevin Straw is the poem yet Michael Harmon has given the valuable information -Under the beauty of nature Both the boy and the girl came closure and vowed and puddled to make a home- happy home sound of water during gathering chestnuts that boy heard is in fact the love flourished between them nice poem (Report) Reply

  • Agboyi Felix (11/10/2014 12:49:00 AM)

    If really you knew who Li was, you'd have understood him in all aspects. He's my mentor in poetry. (Report) Reply

  • John Tatum (12/21/2013 6:39:00 AM)

    Maybe they will become boyfriend and girlfriend now...the relationships for young people are mostly pure until they are ready to be married around 23-26 or even later now, the boy usually wants to secure a nice house before getting married. (Report) Reply

  • Naida Nepascua Supnet (11/10/2013 6:52:00 AM)

    If only he was still alive, I maybe a follower. I love Lipo. (Report) Reply

  • Manohar Bhatia (11/10/2013 4:46:00 AM)

    Its love in Autumn along the bank of a river.Li Po has written this small poem to touch any person in love with a beautiful setting of moon, river, herons. (Report) Reply

  • Krishnakumar Chandrasekar Nair (11/10/2013 2:16:00 AM)

    There is more to it than chest nuts gathered
    And the shimmering moon and herons white
    Hope this story had a happy ending
    And they have lived well ever after........

    Good one by Li and I invite all those reading this to my page too
    (Report) Reply

  • Paul Brookes (11/10/2011 4:42:00 AM)

    Very deep symbolism here, thanks to Michael Harmon for helping me better understand the poem. (Report) Reply

  • Gordon Tseng (11/10/2011 3:45:00 AM)


    Born a Taoist brandishing a sword under the wild pine,
    He still could not easily cut and cross the Confucian line.
    Unable to bring the cloudy world his political sunshine,
    He freely rowed a boat with his sword into poetry and wine.

    -a poem about one of the greatest poets in Chinese history, from GOD BLESS NOT ONLY AMERICA by Gordon Tseng
    (Report) Reply

  • (11/10/2009 4:45:00 PM)

    Yes, there is a lot going on here, and kudos to Michael Harmon for his diligent research into the symbols that underlie the imagery of the poem. And even the resolute Kevin Straw is on his best game here with a perceptive interpretation of 'Autumn River.' But let's pause and consider first a few things that crossed my mind about both Li Po and his 'Autumn River Song.'

    Is it possible that a much older Li Po (the speaker or persona) is thinking back on his youthful dalliances? I always have the impression that Li Po's persona in his poetry pretty much reflects the poet himself. He does not seem to contrive much of a fictional character that he uses to project his thoughts or feelings. What you read in this case is all there is to say - a man in his dotage identifies with the herons in flight as he recognizes his oncoming death and perceives a beauty in existence almost beyond comprehension!
    (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: water, girl, together, moon, green, home, river, autumn, night, song

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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