Li Po

(701-762 / Chu / Kazakhstan)

Drinking Alone

Poem by Li Po

I take my wine jug out among the flowers
to drink alone, without friends.

I raise my cup to entice the moon.
That, and my shadow, makes us three.

But the moon doesn't drink,
and my shadow silently follows.

I will travel with moon and shadow,
happy to the end of spring.

When I sing, the moon dances.
When I dance, my shadow dances, too.

We share life's joys when sober.
Drunk, each goes a separate way.

Constant friends, although we wander,
we'll meet again in the Milky Way.

Li T'ai-po
tr. Hamil


Comments about Drinking Alone by Li Po

  • Mohit KatyalMohit Katyal (7/10/2017 12:25:00 AM)

    this is an amazing poem.... inspired me a lot.. well done(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Minx 33Minx 33 (3/11/2017 10:00:00 PM)

    this is beautifully relatable, i love this(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Sylvaonyema UbaSylvaonyema Uba (3/8/2017 5:55:00 PM)

    But the moon doesn't drink

    Nicely communicated.

    Sylva
    A(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • * Sunprincess * (9/13/2015 4:37:00 PM)

    ....so beautiful, love this version, also ★(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
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  • Charity NduhiuCharity Nduhiu (9/10/2015 2:35:00 AM)

    We have a lesson to learn here that we share life's joys when sober.
    Drunk, each goes a separate way. Wonderful(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Elizabeth Padillo OlesenElizabeth Padillo Olesen (11/10/2014 6:17:00 AM)

    I find this poem so beautiful with very good images...(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
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  • Elizabeth Padillo OlesenElizabeth Padillo Olesen (11/10/2014 6:16:00 AM)

    I find this very beautiful with beautiful harmonic images to the given theme. Keep on posting.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Maya Hanson (4/5/2014 3:00:00 PM)

    beautiful! ! ! I love it(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    7 person did not like.
  • John SJohn S (4/1/2014 12:47:00 PM)

    I love this poem! I would like to learn more about different styles of poems and different terminology. This poem is almost surreal. He's drinking with the moon, the flowers, and his shadow. He's enticing the moon with his ale. I guess it's called personification when you talk about the moon and your shadow like they're real people. This poem really takes you on a beautiful trip. The moon and his shadow are dancing together and having a splendid time, and when they part ways, they'll meet again in the milky way. Li Po would have been a fun guy to drink with.(Report)Reply

    Frank Avon(10/20/2014 1:04:00 AM)

    Oh, and by the way, the poem doesn't rhyme - in Chinese or in this fine English translation. Go figure!

    8 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Richard BlayRichard Blay (3/30/2014 4:26:00 PM)

    solitude! lovely one(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
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  • Besa DedeBesa Dede (3/30/2014 3:35:00 PM)

    Beautiful poem. Li Po has a gentle way of describing even a simple event such as drinking in solitude :)(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • William Goldman (3/30/2014 12:19:00 PM)

    I love those lines
    We share life's joys when sober.
    Drunk, each goes a separate way.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Birgitta Abimbola HeikkaBirgitta Abimbola Heikka (3/30/2014 10:31:00 AM)

    They say it's not good to drink alone. I like the way the poem ended. My favorite verses are the last 3- When I sing the moon dances....(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    7 person did not like.
  • Ramesh RaiRamesh Rai (3/30/2014 8:38:00 AM)

    An emotion write of Li Po will certainly attract the new generation to mend.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Joe HughesJoe Hughes (3/30/2013 6:10:00 AM)

    A great discovery for me.
    Thank you LiPo though you lived so long ago.
    Joe Hughes on Poemhunter and at joehughes.org.uk(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Shahzia BatoolShahzia Batool (3/30/2012 9:01:00 AM)

    When the soul selects her own society, solitude turns into multitude......it's very beautiful......(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Naida Nepascua SupnetNaida Nepascua Supnet (10/18/2010 8:46:00 AM)

    i remember in college when i found out about lipo, i collected his poems, i remember this one because i think it is funny, i love the poem and the poet. He is immortal.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
  • Terence George Craddock (3/30/2010 6:46:00 AM)

    Li Po chooses beautiful natural surroundings and sits among flowers to drink and contemplate long before a generation of flower power take this conception to symbolize a desire for peace and love not war. Shadow and moon are a powerful influence at night in settings of unique interactive meditation. A challenging theme for an artists charcoal oils or a poets pen.
    'We share life's joys when sober.
    Drunk, each goes a separate way.'
    True often when drinking companions are few, but drunken football or rugby teams, worse still when staunch fans of major domestic or international teams, get out of control; suddenly the energy of an earthquake or title wave can be unleashed with amazing force in confined places. Alcohol and friends are poetry of enticing potential.(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
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  • Nina .a. (3/30/2010 6:09:00 AM)

    congrats on making poem of the day, i liked it so i voted :)(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Ramesh T ARamesh T A (3/30/2010 2:38:00 AM)

    Wine effect with the influence of Moon though taken alone will surely make one meet Moon, shadow and self in the Milky Way! A wise way to enjoy with Nature!(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
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Read poems about / on: moon, travel, dance, spring, happy, alone, life, joy, flower, friend



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002



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