new year

Wind returns to this small court
as lichens turn green.
Her eyes and the willow leaves
make a sequence in spring.
Leaning against the balustrade
she remains long in silence.
The new moon and the crackers
are tediously the same as in the past.

The feast and the music have not yet ceased.
In the pond, ice is beginning to melt.
In the bright candlelight and the faint scent,
and deeply hidden in this painted room,
My temples, overladen with thoughts,
are white like frost.

Li Yü

the rapids of the white rocks

Limpid and shallow
are the rapids of the torrent;
The green reeds
I can almost touch
The people from the huts
to the east and west of the water,
Are washing silk
by the light of the moon.

On tiptoe over the rocks
I return to the water’s edge,
Playing with the water
I feel a boundless emotion.
When the sun goes down,
the cold settles on the river,
And the drifting clouds
grow pale and evanescent.

Wang Wei
P’ei Ti

stream

I wish the mountaintop would flee the moon
And delay the darkening of its light.

Ariwara no Narihira

night

Now cat’s done
mewing, bedroom’s
touched by moonlight.

Matsuo Bashō

moon magic

Leading me along,
my shadow goes back home
from looking at the moon.

Yamaguchi Sodō

autumn scene

Under the crescent moon
The earth looms hazily —
Buckwheat flowers.

Matsuo Bashō

the heat

I clap my hands
And with the echoes, the day begins to dawn—
The summer moon.

Matsuo Bashō

nocturno

A night,
a night quite full of murmurs, of perfumes,
and the music of wings:
a night
when the fantastic glow-worms burn
in the nuptial, humid darkness,
and, along the flowery path which crosses the field, you walked,
silent and pale, pressed up against me,
as if a presentiment of infinite bitterness
was troubling the most secret depths of your heart;
and the full moon scattered her
white light
through the bluish,
infinite and profound skies;
and your shadow,
agile
and graceful,
delicate
and languid,
and my shadow, projected by the moonbeams
across the sad sands of the path,
joined and were one,
and were one,
and were one
and were one single long shadow,
and were one single long shadow,
and were one single long shadow …

Tonight,
alone; the soul
full of the infinite bitterness and agonies
of your death,
separated from you yourself by time,
by the tomb and distance,
by the black infinitude
where our voice will not carry,
dumb and alone
I walked along the path,
and the barking of dogs to the moon,
to the pallid moon,
was heard,
and the croaking of the frogs…
I felt chill. It was the chill which, in your bedroom,
was held in your cheeks, in your brows, and your beloved hands,
amongst the snowy whitenesses of your burial-sheets.
It was the chill of the sepulcher, it was the ice of death,
it was the chill of nothingness…
And my shadow,
projected by the moonbeams,
passed on alone,
passed on alone,
passed on alone through the solitary plain,
and your shadow, agile and graceful,
delicate and languid,
as on that warm night of that dead spring,
as on that night full of murmurs, perfumes,
and the music of wings,
came up to and walked with mine,
came up to and walked with mine,
came up to and walked with mine…
Oh, the embraces of shadows!
Oh, the shadows of the bodies
which join the shadows of the souls!
Oh the shadows which seek each other
in the nights of sorrows and tears!…

José Asunción Silva

round red moon

Waves on the blue ocean
Smell of rice wine—
The moon of tonight.

Matsuo Bashō

song

Now night is coming on,
cattle and people are released,
desired rest begins,
my sorrow approaches.

The moonlight and the little golden stars
shine beautifully,
everything all round is happy;
only I am in sadness.

Two are lacking everywhere
in the number of the beautiful stars;
the two stars I mean are
the dear eyes of my beloved.

The moon holds no charms for me,
the light of the stars is dark since
Asteris, my firmament,
has turned away from me.

But when she,
the beauty of my sun,
approaches me again,
I prefer neither star nor moon to shine.

Martin Opitz