The Freedom of the Moon
I've tried the new moon tilted in the air
Above a hazy tree-and-farmhouse cluster
As you might try a jewel in your hair.
I've tried it fine with little breadth of luster,
Alone, or in one ornament combining
With one first-water start almost shining.
I put it shining anywhere I please.
By walking slowly on some evening later,
I've pulled it from a crate of crooked trees,
And brought it over glossy water, greater,
And dropped it in, and seen the image wallow,
The color run, all sorts of wonder follow.
Thoughts in Night Quiet
Before my bed a pool of light – Can it be hoar-frost on the ground? Looking up, I find the moon bright; Bowing, in homesickness I am drowned.
Li Bai (Li Po)
(Tr. Xu Yuanchong, 1988 and 2001,
from "300 Gems of Classical Chinese Poetry")
The moon is full November 25, 5:44 P.M.