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The Most Famous Chinese Poem


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.

By thomasfarley01

Business writer and graphic arts gadfly.

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