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.