Poems of Bai Juyi
At Anchor by Night
Dark falls along the river, making me lonelier still.
Wet breezes and frosty air are the hard edges of night.
Looking back onto the river from where I am anchored,
Amid the flowering rushes shines one small lamp.
It is 815 and Bai Juyi is probably newly exiled. Again. Earlier this year in Chang'an, Yuan Zhen lived more or less next door. If Bai were still there, he would be less lonely and on an ornamental lake, not a river. Of course, his wife is with him and his, probably extended, family. And he is a famous poet with plenty of people who would happily spend the evening with him. And exile is just another imperial job in a somewhat less pleasant place. So he's out here because he wants to feel lonely. But there's nothing wrong with that.