Li Bai

''Li Bai Strolling'', by [[Liang Kai]] (1140–1210) Li Bai (, 701–762), formerly pronounced Li Bo, courtesy name Taibai (), was a Chinese poet acclaimed as one of the greatest and most important poets of the Tang dynasty and in Chinese history as a whole. He and his friend Du Fu (712–770) were two of the most prominent figures in the flourishing of Chinese poetry under the Tang dynasty, which is often called the "Golden Age of Chinese Poetry". The expression "Three Wonders" denotes Li Bai's poetry, Pei Min's swordplay, and Zhang Xu's calligraphy.

Around 1,000 poems attributed to Li are extant. His poems have been collected into the most important Tang dynasty collection, ''Heyue yingling ji'', compiled in 753 by Yin Fan. Thirty-four of Li Bai's poems are included in the anthology ''Three Hundred Tang Poems'', which was first published in the 18th century. Around the same time, translations of his poems began to appear in Europe. The poems became models for celebrating the pleasures of friendship, the depth of nature, solitude, and the joys of drinking. Among the most famous are "Waking from Drunkenness on a Spring Day" (Chinese: 春日醉起言志), "The Hard Road to Shu" (Chinese: 蜀道难), "Bring in the Wine" (Chinese: 将进酒), and "Quiet Night Thought" (Chinese: 静夜思), which are still taught in schools in China. In the West, multilingual translations of Li's poems continue to be made. His life has even taken on a legendary aspect, including tales of drunkenness and chivalry, and the well-known tale that Li drowned when he reached from his boat to grasp the moon's reflection in the river while he was drunk.

Much of Li's life is reflected in his poems, which are about places he visited; friends whom he saw off on journeys to distant locations, perhaps never to meet again; his own dream-like imaginings, embroidered with shamanic overtones; current events of which he had news; descriptions of nature, perceived as if in a timeless moment; and more. However, of particular importance are the changes in China during his lifetime. His early poems were written in a "golden age" of internal peace and prosperity, under an emperor who actively promoted and participated in the arts. This ended with the beginning of the rebellion of general An Lushan, which eventually left most of Northern China devastated by war and famine. Li's poems during this period take on new tones and qualities. Unlike his younger friend Du Fu, Li did not live to see the end of the chaos. Li Bai is depicted in the ''Wu Shuang Pu'' (無雙譜, ''Table of Peerless Heroes'') by Jin Guliang. Provided by Wikipedia
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