Drifting on the Lake

by Wang Wei

English version by Willis Barnstone
Original Language Chinese

Autumn is crisp and the firmament far,
especially far from where people live.
I look at cranes on the sand
and am immersed in joy when I see mountains beyond the clouds.
Dusk inks the crystal ripples.
Leisurely the white moon comes out.
Tonight I am with my oar, alone, and can do
     everything,
yet waver, not willing to return.

-- from To Touch the Sky: Poems of Mystical, Spiritual & Metaphysical Light, Translated by Willis Barnstone

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Recommended Books: Wang Wei

The Poetry of Zen: (Shambhala Library) To Touch the Sky: Poems of Mystical, Spiritual & Metaphysical Light Sunflower Splendor: Three Thousand Years of Chinese Poetry Three Chinese Poets: Translations of Poems by Wang Wei, Li Bai, and Du Fu An Anthology of Chinese Literature: Beginnings to 1911





Drifting on the Lake