drinkerW150xD100xH150mm, China

Li Bai, the famous Romanticist poet of the Tang dynasty which brought poetry to a new height during his time.  In the “300 Tang Poems”, now seen as the canon of poetry, Li Bai had 34 entries.  Equally famous was his enjoyment of the Chinese wine.  He enjoyed a carefree life in youth, worked briefly for the court he was cast away for being out spoken, in later years he came a Taoist and continue a life of wandering.  He wrote over a thousand poems, on the subjects of nature, solitude, friendship and drinking.

Li Bai’s character was portrayed in a Beijing opera “Tai Bai Zeoi Se”

The story begins with the 2 corrupted generals, Yang and Gao who are in charged of the court examination, both were hoping to make some money out of it.  Li Bai had been recommended by the court scholar He to enter the exam.  Upon seeing the scruffy clothes Li Bai was wearing, sensing there would be no money out of him, the examiners gave him a hard time.  Without looking at his paper, he was teased and mocked; feeling unjust Li Bai vowed to give equal humiliation to the two and walked out of the examination hall.

Then one day, the Tang Emperor received a letter from the neighboring country, the letter was written in their own language and nobody in court could read it.  Feeling embarrassed by their own failure, the officials wanted to take the blame out on the messenger.  The messenger replied, if the Emperor wanted to be friend with their country, he should seek a way to read the letter, then the two countries could become friends, otherwise they would be at war.  Among the hundred scholars at court, nobody could read a word of it and Li Bai was recommended by scholar He.  “But Li Bai was not an official.”, said Yang, “and he drinks too!”.  The Emperor said he himself drinks as well and award Li a grand title so he can help out in the palace.  Li finding his new earned power, took his chance to played tricks on the two.  Here is what happened.

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