Beneath the Moon, Before the Steps (visiting Li Yu)

Beneath the Moon, Before the Steps

Beneath the Moon, Before the Steps (visiting Li Yu)

Under a full moon, cherry blossoms lie scattered before her door
As she lies on the bed, sorrow wraps her like smoke
After nearly a year, she still feels regret
The two, woven like braids, cloud her face, wan and sallow
Her eyes red, she wipes away tears as they run to her breast
What longing makes her suffer so,
the world outside her window like a drunken dream?

Literal translations of classic Chinese poetry can be found at chinese-poems.com. This is my interpretation of a poem by Li Yu. The literal translation, as provided at chinese-poems.com, is as follows:

Beneath the Moon, Before the Steps

Oriental cherry fall all steps front moon
Appear bed sorrow rest on smoke enveloped
Distant like last year this day regret also same
Two braids not in order cloud wan and sallow
Tears wet red wipe chest
What place seem yearn suffer
Gauze window drunk dream in

Image source: Keigetsu Matsubayashi, via Pinterest
More Chinese interpretations can be found here.

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