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The Summit Temple
Li Bai 701-762

Tonight I stay at the Summit Temple
Here I could pluck the stars with my hand
I dare not speak aloud in the silence
For fear of disturbing the dwellers of heaven
Tí Fēngdǐngsì
Lǐ Bái 701-762

Yè shù Fēngdǐngsì
Jǔ shǒu mén xīngchén
Bù gǎn gāo shēng yǔ
Kǒng jīng tiān shàng rén
Translator: Shigeyoshi Obata 小畑薰良

"The temple is in a district in Hubei, so isolated from the outside world that this poem of Li Po, written on a painted board and left on the beams of the ceiling, remained unmolested for centuries until it was discovered by a local magistrate, thus settling a dispute over its authorship which had arisen in the meantime, some attributing the poem to a certian Yang, who was born mute--the story runs--but on being taken to a high tower one day when he was only a boy of a few years, composed and uttered this poem, of which the first line reads:

"A precipitous tower, one hundred feet high!"

From the book The Works of Li Po, first published in Tokyo, Japan in 1935, Excellent English translations by a Japanese scholar.

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