Morning in the Tang

Morning, wherever it finds you, is a time for renewal, a time for hope.

for Li Bai, somewhence back in the Tang dynasty, morning saw him leaving White Emperor City ( Bai Di Cheng)


朝辞白帝彩云间          Cháo cí Báidì cǎiyún jiān,

千里江陵一日还            qiān lǐ Jiānglíng yī rì huan

两岸猿声啼不住           Liǎng’àn yuán shēng tí bù zhù

轻舟已过万重山             qīngzhōu yǐguò wàn chóngshān



seeing rosy clouds as i leave White Emperor City

it’s a thousand li to Jiangling, there and back in one day

on two sides of the riverbank the gibbons ceaseless call

my little boat has already passed ten thousand mountains


Baidicheng, White Emperor City, is a town in Sichuan, not far from the mountainous city of Chongqing. In ancient times it was surrounded by a white mist, which was believed to be a White Dragon. The Jiangling region is further down the Yangzi river near Wuhan – quite a way to sail there and back in a day. Li Bai had lived as a hermit near Jiangling in earlier days.

The photos are not of the Yangzi River, rather, one splendid morning saw me in Moffat Beach, Australia, and looking out of my window I saw a Chinese junk anchored.