Thoughts on a Tranquil Night
Before my bed a pool of light—
O can it be frost on the ground?
Looking up, I find the moon bright;
Bowing, in homesickness I’m drowned.
Seeing a pool of moonlight, the poet is drowned in the pool of homesickness.
“Thoughts on a Tranquil Night” is a poem written by Li Bai, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. The poem depicts the poet’s feelings of missing his hometown when he looks up at the moon in his house on an autumn night. The first two lines are about the illusion that the poet had for a moment in the specific environment of being a guest in another country; the second two lines deepen the poet’s homesickness through the portrayal of his movements and demeanor. The poem uses metaphor and foil to express the feeling of homesickness. The language is fresh and simple, but the rhyme is endless and has been widely recited.