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Posted by on Sep 20, 2007

Li Bai

Another in a long line of perfectly captured moments via the medium of traditional Chinese poetry. The stanza break below is mine; generally speaking, those types of artificial breaks don’t exist because the structure of the language and even the order in which it is written is quite different. Read in the Chinese (if I were capable), the reader would have no difficulty in deciphering where the break was. The English reader needs a gentle nudge in the right direction. I have put the original Chinese above as well. This was all taken from here.
The poet himself, Li Bai, is an interesting character. You can read more about him here, but he supposedly died while drunkenly trying to embrace the midnight moon while boating. I imagine he would be a fun evening.

Seeing a Friend Off
Green mountains range

beyond the northern wall.

White water rushes round the eastern town.

Right here is where, alone and restless, he

Begins a journey of a thousand miles.

While travelers’ intents are fleeting clouds,

A friend’s affection is a setting sun.

He waves good-bye, and as he goes from here,

His dappled horse lets out a lonely neigh.
By Li Bai Tr. Stephen Carlson
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