Three Things – Boat ‘Night On The Great River’ (three translations) By Meng Hao-jan (689/691 – 740 AD)


Steering my little boat towards a misty islet,

I watch the sun descend while my sorrows grow:

In the vast night the sky hangs lower than the treetops,

But in the blue lake the moon is coming close.

[translated by William Carlos Williams]


Night on the Great River

We anchor the boat alongside a hazy island.

As the sun sets I am overwhelmed with nostalgia.

The plain stretches away without limit.

The sky is just above the tree tops.

The river flows quietly by.

The moon comes down amongst men.

[translated by Kenneth Rexroth]


Mooring on Chien-te River

The boat rocks at anchor by the misty island

Sunset, my loneliness comes again.

In these vast wilds the sky arches down to the trees.

In the clear river water, the moon draws near.

[translated by Gary Snyder]

Comment and send me your Three Things and I will find a poem and a picture and publish them for you!

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