Prelude to Water Melody


Su Shi


How long will the full moon appear?
Wine cup in hand, I ask the sky.


I do not know what time of the year.
It would be tonight in the palace on high.


Riding the wind, there I would fly,
Yet I’m afraid the crystalline palace would be
Too high and cold for me.

I rise and dance, with my shadow I play.
On high as on earth, would it be as gay?


The moon goes round the mansions red
Through gauze-draped window soft to shed
Her light upon the sleepless bed.


Why then when people part, is the oft full and bright?


Men have sorrow and joy; they part or meet again;
The moon is bright or dim and she may wax or wane.
There has been nothing perfect since the olden days.


So let us wish that man
Will live long as he can!
Though miles apart, we’ll share the beauty she displays.




I picked up the glass and asked when does the moon begin to appear, and I have no idea what year and month is the palace in the sky. At this moment, I only want to return to the sky by the breeze, but I am afraid that I cannot bear the cold in the sky. The moon bypassed the pavilion and hung low on the window, and I can’t fall asleep. Why is the moon only round when people leave? From ancient to today, people have changes in sorrow and joy, and the moon has a change of gloom. I hope that the loved ones of all people in this world can be safe and healthy, even if thousands of miles separate them, and they can still share this beautiful moonlight.

We can see that the “moon” appeared many times in this poetry. “Moon” has the meaning of missing family or someone you loved in ancient poetry. The author expresses his feelings for his family and loves through the moon, and he not only hopes that everything goes well and safe, but also hopes for an early reunion with family. Today, this poetry will be sung when the Mid-Autumn Festival of China comes every year, and it also reflects the people who can’t return home, miss their hometown, and miss the emotions of their loved ones.





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