Drinking Alone in the Moonlight
by Amy Lowell
A pot of wine among flowers.
I alone, drinking, without a companion.
I lift the cup and invite the bright moon.
My shadow opposite certainly makes us three.
But the moon cannot drink,
And my shadow follows the motions of my body in vain.
For the briefest time are the moon and my shadow my companions.
Oh, be joyful! One must make the most of Spring.
I sing–the moon walks forward rhythmically;
I dance, and my shadow shatters and becomes confused.
In my waking moments we are happily blended.
When I am drunk, we are divided from one another and scattered.
For a long time I shall be obligated to wander without intention.
But we will keep our appointment by the far-off Cloudy River.
From the Chinese poem by Li Po. Based on the translation of Florence Ayscough
About the Author
Amy Lowell (February 9, 1874 – May 12, 1925) was an American poet from Massachusetts. She posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1926.
Huizong, Autumn Colours Among Streams and Mountains, c. 1000 (detail)