Tan Da: Drunk

Drunk

    Introduction

A wild party, laughter in the night:
Are these women or flowers bathed in light?
In mirth you even forget old age.
Drunk, you no longer need a river.

    Elaboration

    What night is this?
The crescent slinks behind the western hills.
There, there—three, four, five people—
are you real or dreams?
    The world is only as the eye sees it:
    A grudge is a hangover from a past life.
It’s written in Heaven’s logbook: Be tipsy,
love beauty, flow with the music;
choose your form: Be high, stoned, passionate,
    dead-drunk.
(In the drunk realm, who can say what is ultimate?)
The body always wears a disguise,
but here you see a man’s true nature.
Forgetting at last even moon and flowers,
we taste in the wine
    immortality.

Translated by Nguyen Ngoc Bich

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