Translated by Arthur Waley. I find Arthur Waley a rather unsympathetic translator of Li Po; often, he seems irked by the poet's carefree hedonism , preferring the austerity and elegance of, say, Tu Fu or Wang Wei. As a result, his translations seem strained, insincere; they have none of the supple beauty of Sam Hamill's, or even Ezra Pound's. That said, there are occasions on which Waley gets things exactly right; this is one of them. "Self-Abandonment" captures the beauty that lies on the other side of perception, the beauty of the unspoken, the unseen, the unknown. It's almost Zen-like in its rejection of character and plot, and yet, in a mysterious, moonlit sort of way, it works - and it's absolutely wonderful. thomas.  Not without cause, it must be said: "In outward personality [Li Po] was the more tiresome sort of bohemian: vain and untrustworthy, an irresponsible citizen, a careless friend (once the conventional pieties of 'friendship verse' have been discounted), an indifferent husband and a terrible drunk." -- from a review of Simon Elegant's 1997 translation of Li Po's mock autobiographical tale, "A Floating Life". The full review is at [broken link] http://olimu.com/Journalism/Texts/Reviews/LiPo.htm [Biography] A Li Po biography has already featured on the Minstrels, accompanying Poem #504, "About Tu Fu". So here's an Arthur Waley biography instead: Waley, Arthur David born Aug. 19, 1889, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Eng. died June 27, 1966, London original name Arthur David Schloss English sinologist whose outstanding translations of Chinese and Japanese literary classics into English had a profound effect on such modern poets as W. B. Yeats and Ezra Pound. (The family name was changed from Schloss to Waley, his mother's maiden name, at the outset of World War I.) Educated at Rugby School and at King's College, Cambridge, Eng., Waley was assistant keeper in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum from 1913 to 1929 and lectured thereafter in the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. Among his most outstanding and influential translations are 170 Chinese Poems (1918), Japanese Poems (1919), and the six-volume translation of The Tale of Genji (1925-33), by Murasaki Shikibu, which is one of the oldest novels extant in the world. This novel faithfully depicts aristocratic life in 11th-century Japan, as does a work by another court lady, which Waley translated as The Pillow-Book of Sei Shonagon (1928). He also wrote on Oriental philosophy and translated and edited the Analects of Confucius (1938). Waley's other works include The No Plays of Japan (1921), Introduction to the Study of Chinese Painting (1923), The Opium War Through Chinese Eyes (1958), and The Ballads and Stories from Tun-huang (1960). -- EB [Minstrels Links] Li Po poems: Poem #504, About Tu Fu Poem #683, To Tu Fu from Shantung Poem #749, Parting Poem #794, In the Quiet Night Poem #70, The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter Note that the last named above was translated by Ezra Pound; his translation is said to be very different from the Chinese original.