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Watching the Moon by a River in Jiangxi (Translation) (1 Viewer)


Senior Member

[FONT=Calibri, sans-serif]Hi everyone! It is Chinese Thanksgiving Day today (October 1, 2020) it is originally callEd Mid-autumn Festival. I found that the poem below by Bai Juyi really can reflect my mood at the moment“I Look northwest, my hometown is nowhere to be found“. I was born in Vietnam and spent my childhood in China and came to Canada when I was a high school student. so It is hard for Me to to say that I don’t have a hometown.

I sent the Chinese version to friends calling for submissions of the translated versions. I may have more to come. Any comments and critiques are appropriated! Please let me know if the Chinese version is not ok to put here . Thanks for your clicks and time! Happy thanksgiving to you all!


Version 1


Watching the Moon by a River in Jiangxi

By BAI Juyi (Tang Dynasty)
Translated by YU Lan

Last year, in the capital I spent the Mid-Autumn night
By the Z River and pond, at the apricot garden's side.
This year, a banished man, also on Mid-Autumn night,
I am in a riverside house, watching sandy beach sight.
I Look northwest, my hometown is nowhere to be found;
In this land southwest, how often do I see the moon round?
The wind of last night, unnoticed, has silently passed.
[FONT=&quot]Yet the moon of this night shines as brightly as in the past.






The poet wrote this in Jiangxi, far away from the then capital of China, Chang'an (today's Xi'an) in the northwest, as a banished official. In the poem, he lamented the change of his fate: the current river he resided by was not the same river in the capital city the year before, though the moon was the same far away from his home.

About the poet:


[FONT=wf_segoe-ui_light]Bai Juyi - Wikipedia



About the translator:
Translator's bio


YU Lan, aka Fang Huzhai, graduated from the a foreign language institute and taught English, including translation, in that institute and in Beijing Second Institute of Foreign Languages. Now he is teaching Chinese as Foreign Language in the United States. While in China, he published several papers on topics of translation, co-authored two textbooks of English-Chinese translation, and published a textbook of English-Chinese translation in his own name. His hobbies include writing and translating prose and poetry.



Senior Member
Version 2

Watching the Moon on August Fifteenth Night At Pen Bower
By BAI Juyi (Tang Dynasty)
Tr. JOGN ZHAO Yizhong

On the mid-autumn August fifteenth nights of yore,
I'd stand in apricot garden by Qujiang pool.
On the August fifteenth night this year, as before,
I'm also before the Shatou Water Hall cool.

Looking northwest,the hometown of mine I don't find;
Looking southeast a few times I see th' full moon bright
None paid any attention to yesterday's wind;
The elegant mien is like the past years tonight.


About the translator:
ZHAO Yizhong (JOHN): graduated from Qiqihar University in the 1960s, majoring in English. Later I studied at Heilongjiang University and Beijing Second Foreign Language Institute for two years. I was the deputy director of the Foreign Affairs Office of Handan City, Hebei Province, the vice chairman of Handan Municipal Translation Association, the director of the Hebei Provincial Translation Association, as well as the general manager of the Municipal Tourism Bureau. I have been an interpreter for a long time.I live in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. I like to translate ancient poems, and have translated more than thousand ancient poems, many Shakespeare poems and many modern poems, such as Ah Zi's "Looking through the Sunshine", "The Rich Brocade",Leap Dragon's "I am snowflake", ye Zhou's "My Motherland's Above", and Yu Kouzi's "I Live in the Hometown of Moles" in English translation, “Rhymed Translation of One Hundred MAO Zedong's Poems ”,“Rhymed Translation of 150 Chinese Ancient Poems”published in the USA,and so on.


Senior Member
Drinking Alone in the Moonlight

Li Bai

With a pot of wine amid the flowers
I proceed to drink with no[/FONT][FONT=&quot] kin or others
So I raise my cup to invite the moon
and my shadow to make it three together
The moon is unable to taste the wine
The shadow vainly relishes my savor
I appreciate their company as of now
in catching up with spring-time pleasure
The moon paces my traces while I sing
The shadow flails and flops as I dance
We revel in our partying till we’re drunk
We are joyful drunkards when we disband
Wish we could together transcend our being
and[FONT=&quot] join in a trip across the celestial span

about the poet:

Wang Dajian, a native of Xi'an, Shaanxi, once taught at Xi'an Institute of Foreign Languages (now Xi'an International Studies University); he received a Ph.D. in 1999 from the University of Arizona, with focus on English writing, contrastive rhetoric, and lexical semantics. He has published English translations of The Wonder of Encounters (2016) and Celestial Well (2017), respectively a collection of short stories and that of poems by Minglu Zeng, Roses by the Stream (2019), a poetry collection by Bing Hua, and Lyric Poems by Lu Xing (2020). Mr. Wang has been a translator for Poetry Hall and enjoys writing Chinese poems of the classical styles and translating them into English.


Senior Member
Version 3

Watching the Moon on August Fifteenth Night At Penpu
By BAI Juyi (Tang Dynasty)
Tr. LU Sibin

In the past years, on August fifteenth night
I roved th’ Apricot Park by Qujiang Pond.
The same night this year l’d ascend the height
Near th’ Pool of Penpu Sand of which I’m fond.
Where is my hometown? I search northeast side,
So rare’s th’ moon rising round southwest beyond.
Gone are the old winds and trends, who’d contrite?
Tonight’s moon shines still like a pure diamond.

About the Author
Sibin Lu is a senior translator of Chinese and English classics. He studied in the Department of Foreign Languages of Hunan Normal University, majoring in English language. After graduation, he taught English in the Department of foreign languages of Hunan Normal University. In 1986, he graduated from the Master Program of English Education at Wuhan University, and then taught in the Foreign Language Department of Wuhan University. In 1993, he studied in University of Cincinnati for a doctor's degree in education. After graduation, he first worked in the Education and Training Department of Cincom Systems Inc. Cincinnati Ohio, the United States in the development of teaching software, and then worked as the Webmaster and in faculty training at a college in Tennessee, United States. During his stay in the United States, he often participated in Chinese language teaching programs and was always interested in the English translation of ancient Chinese poems for teaching purposes.

Version 4

Mid-Autumn Night Gazing the Moon At Pen Riverside (BAI Juyi)
Tang Dynasty
Tr. Liang CHEN

On last mid-autumn fest night, beheld me
Apricot trees by Winding Stream Lake bank.
But on this mid-autumn night, beholds me
The Pen riverside inn on a sandbank.
To northwest, where can I find my homeland?
In southeast, I've seen many a moon bright.
I sigh to the wind but who'd understand,
Like that of the past is tonight's clear light.

Note to the reader: Winding Stream Lake (northwest) was the Tang's imperial garden. The Pen riverside (southeast) was where the poet was demoted and banished to.

About the Translator:

Mr. Liang Chen, formerly a R&D and business manager in the semiconductor industry, is now an engineering consultant. He has had over 30 years of experience authoring and translating technical and business documents in English, and uses “hpfclxc” handle to publish poems and poetry translations on the internet. He has published quite a few poems and poetry translations on several newspapers, poetry journals as well as internet publishing medias. Many recent translations have been highly appraised.[FONT=&Verdana]