The Most Famous Chinese Poem

Introduction

I read that this is the most famous Chinese Poem. Four lines. That’s it. That’s economy.

I don’t know Chinese so I must rely on translations. Do any of these translations appeal to you more than another? I like all of them taken together.

Quiet Night Thoughts / Thoughts on a Still Night / Thinking on a Quiet Night

by Li Bai (701-762)

1st unknown translator – external link)

Before my bed, the moon is shining bright,
I think that it is frost upon the ground.
I raise my head and look at the bright moon,
I lower my head and think of home.

2d unknown translator – external link)

Bright moonlight before my bed;
I suppose it is frost on the ground.
I raise my head to view the bight moo,
then lower it, thinking of my home village.

Wikipedia (First reference – external link)

Before my bed there’s a pool of light
I wonder if it’s frost on the ground
Looking up, I find the moon bright
Then bowing my head, I drown in homesickness

Wikipedia (Second reference – external link)

Moonlight before my bed
Perhaps frost on the ground.
Lift my head and see the moon
Lower my head and pine for home.

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