Li Bai 李白

A poetic immortals who make great achievements


Chinese Name: 李白

English Name: Li Bai

Other Names: Li Shier 李十二, Li Hanlin 李翰林, Li Shiyi 李拾遗

Born: 701

Died: December 762


Create the peak of ancient romantic literature 创造了古代浪漫主义文学高峰

The Gexing and seven quatrains have reached a height that is difficult for later generations to reach 歌行体和七绝达到后人难及的高度

Main Works:

Wang Lushan waterfall 望庐山瀑布

Difficult road 行路难

Difficult road to Shu 蜀道难

Li Bai 李白
Li Bai 李白

Brief Biography of Li Bai

Li Bai, a great romantic poet in the Tang Dynasty, was praised as a “poetic immortal 诗仙” by later generations and was called “Li Du 李杜” together with Du Fu 杜甫. In order to distinguish himself from the other two poets, Li Shangyin 李商隐 and Du Mu 杜牧, namely “Xiao Li Du 小李杜”, Du Fu and Li Bai were also called “big Li Du 大李杜”. He is frank and generous, likes to drink and write poems, and likes to make friends.

Li Bai (701 to December 762), with the courtesy name of Taibai 太白, was also called Qinglian Jushi 青莲居士 and “relegated immortal 谪仙人”. According to the book of the old Tang Dynasty 旧唐书, he was from Shandong 山东. According to the book of the new Tang Dynasty 新唐书, he was the ninth grandson of the Xingsheng 兴圣 Emperor Li Yi 李暠, and he was the same ancestor as all the kings of the Tang Dynasty 唐朝.

Li Bai 李白
Li Bai’s hometown 李白故里

Li Bai’s collection of Li Taibai 李太白集 has been handed down from generation to generation. Most of his poems are written when drunk. His representative works include Wang Lushan waterfall 望庐山瀑布, difficult road 行路难, difficult road to Shu 蜀道难, going to wine 将进酒, and leaving Baidi city early 早发白帝城. His Ci 词and Fu 赋 have been biographical in the Song Dynasty (for example, in the volume of Wen Ying 文莹’s Xiang Shan Ye Lu 湘山野录). In terms of their pioneering significance and artistic achievements, “Li Bai’s Ci ” enjoy great status.

Personal Life and Major Contributions

A genius when he was young

In the first year of Chang’an 长安 (701), Li Bai, courtesy name Taibai, was born in the broken Leaf City 碎叶城 (now Kyrgyzstan 吉尔吉斯斯坦) of Anxi protectorate 安西都护府. When he was about five years old, he moved with his father to Qinglian Township 青莲乡, Zhangming County 彰明县, Mianzhou 绵州 (now Jiangyou 江油, Sichuan 四川). His ancestral home is Qin’an County 秦安县, Tianshui City 天水市, Gansu Province 甘肃省. His family background and family are unknown.

In November of the first year of Shenlong 神龙 (705), Wu Zetian 武则天 died. Li Bai was five years old and he began to study hard.

Li Bai 李白
Wu Zetian 武则天

In the 3rd year of Kaiyuan 开元 (715), Li Bai was 15 years old. There are many poems and Fu, which have been praised and rewarded by some social celebrities, and he began to engage in social activities. He is good at swordsmanship and likes to be a knight-errant. Cen Shen 岑森 was born that year.

In the 6th year of Kaiyuan (718), Li was 18 years old. He lived in seclusion in Daitian 戴天 Dakuang mountain 大匡山 (now Jiangyou City, Sichuan Province) to study. He traveled to and from neighboring counties, and successively visited Jiangyou, Jiange 剑阁, Zizhou 梓州, and other places, from which he has gained a lot of experience and knowledge.

Li Bai get acquainted with Du Fu

In the summer of the third year of Tianbao 天宝, Li Bai arrived in Luoyang 洛阳, the eastern capital. Here he met Du Fu. The two greatest poets in the history of Chinese literature have met. At this time, Li Bai was already famous throughout the country, while Du Fu was in his prime, but he was trapped in Luo City 洛城.

Li Bai 李白
Difficult road to Shu 蜀道难

Li Bai was 11 years older than Du Fu, but he didn’t look arrogant in front of Du Fu because of his talent. Du Fu, who is “a man of great character and also fond of wine” and “makes friends with old people”, did not bow his head to praise Li Bai. The two established a profound friendship as equals. When they were in Luoyang, they made an appointment to meet in the Liangsong 梁宋 (today’s Kaifeng 开封 and Shangqiu 商丘) to visit Taoism and seek immortals.

Li Bai‘s achievements in the poem

Li Bai’s achievements in Yuefu 乐府, Gexing 歌行, and quatrains 绝句 are the highest. His Gexing 歌 completely breaks all the inherent forms of poetry creation. He has nothing to rely on. His writing style is variable and he has reached the magical realm of being unpredictable and swaying at will. His quatrains 绝句 are natural and lively, elegant and unrestrained, and can express endless feelings in simple and clear language.

Among the poets in the prosperous Tang Dynasty 唐朝, Wang Wei 王维 and Meng Haoran 孟浩然 were good at the five quatrains 五言绝句, and Wang Changling 王昌龄 and other were good at seven quatrains 七言绝句. Li Bai was the only one who was good at both the five quatrains 绝句 and the seven quatrains 绝句.

In Li Bai’s poems, imagination, exaggeration, metaphor, personification, and other techniques are often used in a comprehensive way, resulting in a magical, magnificent, and moving artistic conception. This is the reason why Li Bai’s romantic poems give people a bold, unrestrained, and elegant feeling.

Li Bai 李白
Du Fu 杜甫

Li Bai’s poems had a profound influence on the later generations. Han Yu 韩愈, Meng Jiao 孟郊 and Li He 李贺 in the middle Tang Dynasty, Su Shi 苏轼, Lu You 陆游 and Xin Qiji 辛弃疾 in the Song Dynasty 宋朝, Gao Qi 高启, Yang Shen 杨慎 and Gong Zizhen 龚自珍 in the Ming and Qing Dynasties 明清 were all greatly influenced by Li’s poem.

Video: The Great Chinese Poet Li Bai

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