Cherishing the Memory of Zi-you 1 on the Mid-autumn Festival

Su, Dong-Po (1036 A.D.-1101 A.D.)

    "When will we have a bright moon?" I raise my wine cup to ask the blue sky. I wonder what year it is in the Palace of Heaven. I want to ride the wind to visit there, but I am afraid that the jade tower of heaven is too high for me to bear the cold. As I dance with my clear shadow, I feel as though I do not belong to this world. The moon turns toward my red attic and then lowers itself so that its light enters my beautiful window. The light shines on me and I cannot fall asleep. I should not have any complaints, but I do wonder why the moon is all the more round when we are separated. Humans have meetings and partings. Sometimes they are happy; sometimes they are sad. The moon is sometimes clear, sometimes covered by clouds, sometimes full, and sometimes incomplete. These things have been hardly perfect since ancient times. I wish we could live for a long time and appreciate this beautiful moon together even though we are a thousand miles apart.

1 Zi-you, a.k.a. Che, was Dong-po Su's younger brother. He was at a different city when this poem was written.