|The Rhyme Maker
Other English translations:
The Ship Of Spice-wood (Obata)
River Song (Pound)
Li Bai is also known as Li Po, Li Bo,
Li Tai-po, and as
Rihaku (Japanese name).
Amy Lowell, the co-translator of this poem with
Florence Ayscough, also contributes her own wine poems to vintagewinepoems.com.
indentations in this poem indicate the continuation of the previous
which does not fit within the specified margins of this web
page. Compare with the printable version (see link below).
translation by Ayscough and Lowell, receives the “wine poem”
designation because of the 6th stanza, which I see as an important
“brush-stroke” in describing this scene. I offer the other
translations here at vintagewinepoems.com (by Obata and Pound, see
above) as a demonstration of the important role that the translator
of poetry plays. All three translations have their strong
1. The Chinese
flageolet is musical instrument, played
like a flute or recorder.
2. “The Immortal”
is a reference to Taoist “saint” Tou
Tzû-a, who attained immortality and was transported to Paradise by a
crane so old that it had turned yellow. The next two lines
a Taoist tale about a man who was so loved by sea gulls that hundreds
would gather around him whenever he put to sea.
3. The “tzu and
fu” are irregular forms of verse used by
Ch'ü P'ing, a famous poet of China who also went by the name Ch'ü
Yüan (332-295 bce).
4. The “Five
Peaks” is a reference to the sacred mountains
(representing the four points on a compass and the center of the
- S. H.
The Wine Poems
more Li Bai
Farewell Banquet (Lowell)
Midnight Farewell (Obata)
Mountain Revelry (Obata)
The Ancestral Shrine Of King Yao (Lowell)
The Cask of Wine (Obata)
The Extreme South Mountain (Lowell)
Alone by Moonlight II (Waley)
Alone On The Rock (Lowell)
Of Wu (Obata)
On Being Asked Who He Is (Obata)
The Yo-Yang Tower (Obata)
As A Parting Gift (Lowell)
Leave Of Du Fu (Lowell)
Terraced Road (Lowell)
Meng Haojan (Obata)
Poems Written As Parting Gifts (Lowell)
A Man of Leisure (Obata)
with multiple English translations:
Being Drunk On a Spring Day
From Sleep On A Spring Day (Obata)
Waking From Drunkenness on a Spring Day
Alone In The Moonlight I (Lowell)
With The Moon And His Shadow (Obata)
Alone by Moonlight I (Waley) A/V
Alone In The Moonlight II (Lowell)
Alone by Moonlight III (Waley)
The Eve Of Starting On A Journey (Lowell)
At a Tavern of Chin-Ling (Obata)
Tai's Wine-Shop (Lowell)
The Death Of The Good Brewer (Obata)
Solitude of Night (Obata)
Li Bai (701 – 762), Chinese poet
by Florence Ayscough (1878-1942), British scholar
verse by Amy Lowell (1874-1925), American poet
boat of the wood of the sand-pear.
flageolets and pipes of gold. 1
of delectable wine,
ten thousand pints
boat-load of singing-girls
the water ripples
Immortal waited, 2
mounted and rode the yellow crane.
he who is the guest of the sea has no such desire,
would he be followed by the white gulls.
tzu and fu of Ch'ii P'ing hang suspended like the
terraces and the pleasure-houses
the Kings of Ch'u
empty heaps of earth.
am drunk with wine,
the sweet taste of it;
am overflowed with the joy of it.
I take up my writing-brush,
could move the Five Peaks. 4
I have finished my poem,
laugh aloud in my arrogance.
rise to the country of the Immortals which lies in
the middle of
fame followed the ways of the good official,
wealth and rank were long constant,
indeed might the water of the Han River flow
Tablets: Poems From The Chinese (1921)
Poems From The Chinese (1921)
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