Poem – Chinese

Chuang qian ming yue guang
Yi shi di shang shuang.
Ju tou wang ming yue,
Di tou si gu xiang.


Before my bed there is bright-lit moonlight
So that it seems like frost on the ground
Lifting my head I watch the bright moon
Lowering my head I dream that I’m home

My informant told me this poem from memory. However, once he started reciting it, I knew immediately which poem he was talking about. This is one of the first poems that Chinese students learn, either from their parents or from Chinese school. One reason that it is so popular is because Chinese poetry is usually very difficult to understand. Many of the words that great Chinese poets use are very traditional and no longer used in the modern world. However, this poem is simple yet still complicated. While the words are easy to understand, the content of the poem creates beautiful imagery.

My informant says that his mother used to recite this poem to him before he went to bed.This poem ins written by Li Po and it is named Jing Ye Si or Quiet Night Thoughts in English. This poem is very descriptive and creates many images in the reader’s mind. In the Chinese culture, the moon is a very important aspect, especially when it is full. A full moon, especially during autumn, symbolizes family and tradition. It is a time for celebration. Thus, when the person in the poem looks at the moon, he thinks of his family and wishes he could be at home with them.