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Li  PO


Li PO (AD 701-762) was one of the greatest of those poets, and one of the few that did not aspire to, or gain, official position. He was a member of a literary group of drunkards known as the “Six Idlers of the Bamboo Grove” and of another called “The Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup”

After a gay and dissipated spell and court, he became the victim of intrigue and was exiled, at one stage being sentenced to death. He was reprieved but banished. According to the tradition he met his death by drowning through hanging over the gunwale of a boat trying to embrace the reflection of the moon on the water.

            

                                                   When I wake and look out on the lawn
                                                            I hear midst the flowers a bird sing
                                                            I ask “Is it evening or dawn”
                                                            The mango-bird whistles, this is spring
                                                            Over powered by the beautiful sight
                                                            Another full goblet I pour.
                                                            And would sing till the moon rises bright.
                                                            But soon I am as drunk as before.

Li PO was on the whole a cheer poet, whose verses are tilled with the traditional themes of Chinese poetry, nature wine friendship , death and immortality.

 
 

 

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