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Li Bai

Li Bai

Li Bai (701–762) was one of the great masters of Tang poetry, a wanderer and also a creator and re-shaper of some of the era’s formal conventions. This poem, among Li Bai’s most renowned, is classed as a huaigu theme, “remembering the past,” and is typical of Tang shi poetry, featuring pentasyllabic couplets densely interwoven with parallelisms, puns, internal rhymes, and allusions. The original, when calligraphed in classical Chinese characters, forms a neat rectangle of fifteen such couplets.

 

 

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