When will the moon be clear and bright?
With a cup of wine in my hand,
I ask the blue sky.
I don’t know what season it would be
in the heavens on this night.
I’d like to ride the wind to fly home.
Yet I fear the crystal and jade mansions
are much too high and cold for me.
Dancing with my moon-lit shadow,
It does not seem like the human world.
The moon rounds the red mansion
Stoops to silk-pad doors,
Shines upon the sleepless,
Bearing no grudge,
Why does the moon tend to be full
when people are apart?
People may have sorrow or joy,
be near or far apart,
The moon may be dim or bright,
wax or wane,
This has been going on
since the beginning of time.
May we all be blessed with longevity
Though far apart,
we are still able to share
the beauty of the moon together.
Su Shi was a writer, poet, artist, calligrapher, pharmacologist, and one of the major poets of the Song era. His courtesy name was Zizhan and his pseudonym was Dongpo Jushi. Besides his renowned poetry, his other extant writings are of great value in the understanding of 11th century Chinese travel literature.