At this time of year the Chinese celebrate their Mid-Autumn Festival.
With a click of the chop-sticks to Cha Xiu Bao:
Bright moon, when did you appear?
Lifting my wine, I ask the dark night sky.
Tonight in the palace of heaven
what year is it, I wonder?
I pray to ride the wind and fly home there,
Only to hide in the jade and crystal mansion,
As I could not bear the cold up high.
So I dance and play in your showers,
this human world — how can it compare with yours?
Circling red chambers,
Leaning the curtained door,
You shine on the sleepless.
Surely you bear us no ill will —
why then must you be so round at times when we are parted!
People can be sorrow or joy, close together or far apart,
The moon may be dim or bright, full or null.
Things are like this since time immemorial.
I only hope we two may last forever,
So that we may share the moon’s beauty even though we are a thousand miles apart.
~ Shui Diao Ge Tou (æ°´èª¿æŒé ) by Su Dongpo (1037 – 1101); gorgeous Chinese calligraphy of the poem can be found here.
Though it’s one of the most beautiful poems ever written in history, it’s one meant for singing instead of reading, especially ever since the 80’s, thanks to the everlasting adaptation "May We Last Forever" by Teresa Tang]
[Painting by Liu Danzhian]