My Translation of A Li Bai Poem

A couple of years ago I was asked by an ex-boss to search for an appropriate Chinese classic couplet for use in a calligraphy artwork, which was to be framed as a farewell gift for a retiring British senior manager who claimed to love Chinese art. Naturally, I was required to also give him the translation of the chosen writing. One of Li Bai’s (李白) poems titled “Farewell to A Friend” (送友人) immediately sprang to mind and I thought a pair of lines from the poem would be perfect for the purpose. Then I searched on the University of Virginia website for an English translation of the poem. I took a look at it and felt that it bothered me. So I decided to do my own translation.

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