The Ode to the Moon by the poet Li Taï Po, ink and polychromy on paper, scroll mounted painting, Chinese school of the 20th century,
This painting illustrates a famous poem by Li Po (701-761): "Drinking alone under the moon":
David Hinton's translation :
Among the blossoms, a single jar of wine.
No one else here, I ladle it out myself.
Raising my cup, I toast the bright moon,
and facing my shadow makes friends three,
though moon has never understood wine,
and shadow only trails along behind me.
Kindred a moment with moon and shadow,
I've found a joy that must infuse spring:
I sing, and moon rocks back and forth;
I dance, and shadow tumbles into pieces.
Sober, we're together and happy. Drunk,
we scatter away into our own directions:
intimates forever, we'll wander carefree
and meet again in Star River distance
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