Li Yu: Alone Without Words

Alone Without Words: (Enjoy Seeing Each Other)

无 言 独: 相 见 欢
无 言 独 上 西 楼。
月 如 钩。
寂 寞 梧 桐 深
院 锁 清 秋。
剪 不 断,理 还 乱
是 离 愁。
别 是 一 般 滋
味 在 心 头。
Wu Yan Du: (Xiang Jian Huan)

Wu yan du shang xi lou
Yue ru gou.
Ji mo wu tong shen
Yuan suo qing qiu.

Jian bu duan, li huan luan
Shi li chou.
Bie shi yi ban zi
Wei zai xin tou.


Alone Without Words: (Enjoy Seeing Each Other)

Alone without words, go to the western towers
Moon is like a copper crescent.
Lonely among the deep parasol and paulownia trees
Locked courtyard, clear autumn.

Cut but not broken, logic bends me back to the surrounding disorder
And departures melancholy.
One kind of sorrow multiplies
This taste in my heart-mind.



A sad poem written inside prison from an emperor.  The “surrounding disorder” is Li Yu’s assessment of the political situation he find himself in.


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