Li Bai: Among the Mountains, Give the Recluse Another Drink

Among the Mountains, Give the Recluse Another Drink

山 中 与 幽 人 对 酌
两 人 对 酌 山 花 开
一 杯 一 杯 复 一 杯。
我 醉 欲 眠 卿 且 去
明 朝 有 意 抱 琴 来。

 

Shan Zhong Yu You Ren Dui Zhuo

Liang ren dui zhuo shan hua kai
Yi bei yi bei fu yi bei.                                                                                                                  Wo zui yu mian qing qie qu
Ming zhao you yi bao qin lai.

 

Among the Mountains, Give the Recluse Another Drink

Two people facing each other, pouring wine among the opening mountain blossoms
One cup, another cup, again another cup.                                                                          I am drunk and want to sleep, you can go now
With dawn’s light, continue to hold a qin without strings.

 

Notes:

Qin: Ancient stringed musical instrument.

 

Commentary:

The line “…to hold a qin without strings” respects the silences within music, as well as the empty white spaces of a Chinese painting.  Famously, the poet Tao Yuanming had a qin without strings hanging on his wall. An article on the Internet goes into more detail: “Stringless Qing: Seeking the Roots of Silent Music”.

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