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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A beautiful crescent moon

One more post before I turn in tonight.

Tonight I saw a beautiful crescent moon. Tried to take a picture but failed miserably at a clear picture.

Reminds me of the Chinese poem, 靜 夜 思 (jing4 ye4 si1):


chuang2 qian2 ming2 yue4 guang1,
yi2 shi4 di4 shang4 shuang1,
Ju3 tou2 wang4 ming2 yue4,
Di1 tou2 si1 gu4 xiang1.


Before my bed
There is bright-lit moonlight,
So that it seems
Like frost on the ground,

Lifting my head
I watch the bright moon,
Lowering my head
I dream of my home.

(Adapted from Source: SACU)

   (Recitation and other translations are available from

The poet, 李 白  (Li3 Bai2) ,(701-762 AD) is regarded as the more romantic of the two great Tang poets. The other being, 杜甫 (Du4 Fu4). According to legend, Li Bai was drowned attempting to embrace the moon's reflection in a river, possibly after he enjoyed his wine. The actual circumstances of his death are unknown. In the preface to the first collection of his poetry assembled (posthumously) by his cousin Li Yongbin, it appears he died of sickness brought on by age and hardship during travel.

The beauty of Chinese poetry is in the use of the Chinese words. You can have many different versions of the poem (as listed in but each is up to the reader's appreciation and understanding. Much like poetry in different languages and cultures.

The poem that came to my mind was so simple yet appropriate because I was on my way home. I missed my dogs. (haha but it is true! loneliness in my heart)

This poem talks about the ambience of the evening where Li Bai was at. It aroused deep feelings in him. Many Chinese poems (those that I had the fortune to learn when I was young) were created by poets emoting deep feelings.

This poem always surface to my mind whenever I admire the moon. Since young I have always been 'mooning'. Haha, no, of course that is not the correct term. *tongue-in-cheek* But I am always reminded that things change, just like the waning and waxing of the moon.

For me, the intriguing part of the poems are the use of the language, besides the meanings of the words. There are a lot of background knowledge you need to understand before you can appreciate the beauty of the poem and how it came about. The circumstances of the poet plays an important role too.

 This was what caught my attention, on my stroll home, with friend SJ.


Treasure what you have. Because it will be long gone before you know it.

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thQnk :)


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