Archives for posts with tag: li bai

figurineL160xD100xH120mm, China

This figurine is by the famous pottery area Shi Wan; their figurines are typical to have a glazeless delicate facial and hand depiction while contrasting with an expressive and bold glazing on the clothing.

The drunken poet, Li Bai, is a popular subject for figurine, paintings, etc., apart from his literary stature, his love for drinking also give a character for the artisan to express.

月下獨酌

花間一壺酒
獨酌無相親
舉杯邀明月
對影成三人
月既不解飲
影徒隨我身
暫伴月將影
行樂須及春
我歌月徘徊
我舞影零亂
醒時同交歡
醉後各分散
永結無情游
相期邈雲漢

The poem “Drinking Alone under the Moon” by Li Bai, translation by W. Bynner

From a pot of wine among the flowers
I drank alone. There was no one with me—
Till, raising my cup, I asked the bright moon
To bring me my shadow and make us three.
Alas, the moon was unable to drink
And my shadow tagged me vacantly;
But still for a while I had these friends.

To cheer me through the end of spring . . .
I sang. The moon encouraged me.
I danced. My shadow tumbled after.
As long as I knew, we were boon companions.
And then I was drunk, and we lost one another.
. . . Shall goodwill ever be secure?
I watch the long road of the River of Stars.

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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