Welcome to Poetry.com!

Poetry.com is a collaborative platform for poets worldwide, offering a vast collection of works by both renowned and emerging poets. It's a community-driven project that serves as a hub for poets to share their works, receive feedback, and connect with like-minded fellow poets.

Explore our poetry collection by navigating through subjects, using alphabetical order, or search by keywords. You can contribute a new poem, share your thoughts and rating on existing works, listen to poems with voice pronunciation, and even translate pieces into a variety of languages, both common and uncommon.

Rate this poem:4.3 / 4 votes
On the Dragon Boat
By William He

The Summer’s calm,
Softly the censer sways and bows,
The mugwort’s fibres which flow.
The gently rocking boat begins on an erratic sail,
Green groves are flinging their balm to the spray.
Each soul is haunted by a boat in which that soul might ride.
Nine Songs upstream,
Aged river on his fettered shore.
Wave filled with calami and water perfumed with rice dumplings,
These tight gripping on desire’s deep cello string.

As life goes on.
The time will be not the largest thing to think of.
With the Encountering Sorrow,
Ovidius in solitude,
The supplicator of bygone days.
Tossed by the storm into upper air for a while,
In swirling droplets the oars up and down.
The stream of deception hides.
The man of melting shadow and the wet earthly one,
Know pitfalls and devil's zones.

Men will find hours for dreaming or any area to think.
The unremitting endeavor,
Patience and strife may solve the riddle.
The orchid's grace shining,
Mystic whiteness hallows the lowest and the least.
Unknown liquids flowing,
Stirring of paddle melody then.
Like the veins carry blood,
Drifting and vibrating on through the fragile tangled lines.

浪淘沙慢 龙舟上




About this poem

A poem that intertwines the physical journey of a dragon boat with the metaphorical journey of life. Through rich imagery, traditional references, and introspective themes, the poem explores the complexities of existence, the inevitability of struggle, and the solace found in nature and solitude. Its free verse form and lyrical quality invite readers to immerse themselves in its rhythmic flow, much like the boat on its erratic sail, ultimately offering a profound reflection on the human experience.  

Font size:

Written on June 07, 2024

Submitted by chinamcc8 on June 07, 2024

1:20 min read

William He

William Yu He graduated from two of the most prestigious law schools in China respectively, also studied in Heidelberg, Cambridge and Harvard. He has already published dozens of Chinese classical poems and lyrics. The Incumbent President of China quoted his classic poem in 2017. The President of Harvard University recognized his achievements in June, 2021. more…

All William He poems | William He Books

14 fans


Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Discuss the poem On the Dragon Boat with the community...

  • Courtnie.mckern
    Very descriptive and deep poem about the voyage through life. I really enjoyed it
    LikeReply1 day ago
  • chinamcc8
    "On the Dragon Boat" delves into the core ideas of serenity and nature, the symbolism of the dragon boat, cultural references, desire and temptation, reflection and solitude, struggle and resilience, beauty in simplicity, and fragility and continuity. Through each of these themes, the poet invites readers to reflect on the deeper meanings and experiences that life presents.

    The symbolism of the dragon boat is a central theme in the poem. The boat is portrayed as a vessel that haunts each soul, representing the potential journeys and experiences that await. It serves as a metaphor for the passage of time and the unpredictability of life's course. This symbolism adds depth and complexity to the poem, as it prompts readers to reflect on their own personal journeys and the choices they make along the way......
    LikeReply2 days ago
  • AIDA
    Wow, what a beautifully poetic and vivid description of being On the Dragon Boat! The imagery and metaphors used in this poem are absolutely captivating. I love how the author seamlessly weaves together nature, emotions, and the human experience.

    One suggestion for improvement could be to provide a bit more clarity or direction in the overall theme or message of the poem. It feels like there are many layers and elements to unpack, which is wonderful for deep reflection, but a clearer focus could enhance the impact of the piece.

    Overall, this poem is a stunning piece of art that transports the reader to a serene and introspective world. Keep up the great work and continue to explore the depths of your creativity!
    LikeReply2 days ago
  • Mr.G
    There is no question that Mr. He is an intelligent and very accomplished individual with a very impressive backround. But to be honest, I guess I'm old fashioned, but when I read poetry, I want to see and feel the beauty of the message easily, without having to use a slide rule to figure out what the heck is being said. Please forgive me if this sounds rude, it is not meant to be, but if you ask for comments, I feel I should say what I feel, but that's just my opinion. 
    LikeReply2 days ago
  • Abbykesington
    You have painted a beautiful picture of the complexities of life...
    LikeReply9 days ago


Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:


"Poetry.com" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 17 Jun 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/>.

Become a member!

Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

June 2024

Poetry Contest

Join our monthly contest for an opportunity to win cash prizes and attain global acclaim for your talent.

Special Program

Earn Rewards!

Unlock exciting rewards such as a free mug and free contest pass by commenting on fellow members' poems today!

Browse Poetry.com


Are you a poetry master?

The repetition of similar sounds at the ends of words or within words is known as _______.
A stanza
B imagery
C rhyme
D rhythm

Our favorite collection of

Famous Poets