Contributors to the Poetry Pavilion and I chose seven poems to recite as part of an inaugural Poetry Slam event at the Chine New Year Party, 2022. We began the event by listening to a recording by Helen T. Lin’s father, Professor Dai Junren (戴君仁教授) reciting poems from the Tang dynasty. Among the poems that he recited was Thoughts on a Quiet Night by Li Bo. Li Bo (701-762) is one of the most famous of Tang dynasty poets and Thoughts on a Quiet Night is among the most famous of his many poems. The poem by Li Bo below is a shi 詩poem in five-character regulated verse, with five characters in each line and internal rhymes.
Jìng yè sī Lǐ Bó
Thoughts on a Quiet Night by Li Bo
Chuáng qián míng yuè guāng
In front of the bed bright moonlight
Yí shì dì shàng shuāng.
I wonder if it is frost on the ground
Jǔ tóu wàng míng yuè
I lift my head towards the bright moon
Dī tóu sī gù xiāng.
Then lower it, thinking of my old home.
月上(Moon Rise) from 销闲清课图(Album Depicting Life of Leisure and Solitude) by 孙克弘 (Sun Kehong, 1532—1611）Ming Dynasty. National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan