Lǐ Bái 699-762

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In olden days there was a wild traveler,
They called him "Bannished Immortal".
The lowering of his brush
would startle wind and rain,
The poem finished
ghosts and spirits would weep.

(See Paula Varsano's translation of a portion of 'Twenty Rhymes Sent To Li The 12th')

Known as the 'Banished Immortal', Li Bo or Li Bai is one of China's most interesting characters. A facile versifier, a drunkard, a braggart, a knight errant, a Doaist, he played many roles during his lifetime and it is safe to say that there is not one Han Chinese that does not know him and most probably each one knows at least one of his may poems.

Born somewhere in the west, Gansu, Xinjiang, no one knows for sure, of mixed blood, perhaps Turkish, he grew up in Sichuan. In 725 he left home to travel. He lived in Hubei, and Shandong where he practised Daoism, and in the Jiangnan which is the area south of the Changjiang.

In 742 Emperor Xuan Zang gave him a position in the Hanlin Academy as a sort of versifier and court entertainer. This sumptuous period of his life ended in 744 when he lost his position. He spent most of the rest of his life traveling and living off of relatives, friends and others who cherished his entertaining personality and his soaring flowing poems.

Li Bai Chronology

701 Born somewhere in present day Xinjiang.

705 His family moved to Mianzhou, Sichuan. In his early 20s he lived the life of a knight-errant living by his sword.

726 Traveled in northern China

727 Married to daughter of retired prime minister at Anlu, where lived for next 8 years.

742 Went to Changan and was presented to Emperor Xuan Zang who showered him with favors. Appointed to Hanlin Academy and lionized by fellow scholar- officials. Drunken brawls in the baudy houses of Changan.

744 Left Changan under a cloud. Met Du Fu for first time in Luoyang.

745 Met Du Fu again, this time in Qizhou, Shandong Initiated into Daoism. Next ten years in northern and eastern China. Paid his way by entertaining his hosts.

755 An Lushan Rebellion. Li Bai in Jiangnan, away from danger.

757 Joined the entourage of Li Lin in Jiujiang, a prince who plotted a rebellion against the Tang, and floated down the Chanjiang. Li Lin was defeated by the royal forces and Li Bai was thrown in prison. Banished to Guizhou, but on the way there he was pardoned. Returned to Jiangnan.

762 Died in southern Anhui.

A Farewell Song of White Clouds 白雲歌送劉十六歸山
Addressed Humourously to Du Fu 戲贈杜甫
An Imperial Concubine 玉階怨
Ancient Air #1 古風
Ancient Air #33 古風
Ancient Air #38 古風
Ancient Air #40 古風
Ancient Air #42 古風
Ancient Air #5 太白何蒼蒼
Ancient Air #52 古風
Ancient Air #7 古風
Ascending The Mountain On Double Nine 九日登山
Ascending Triple Gorges 上三峽
At Jinxiang, Sending Off Wei the Eighth to the Western Capital 金鄉送韋八之西京
At The Xie Tiao Pavillion in Xuanzhou, Taking Leave 宣州謝朓樓餞別校書叔雲
Calm Night Thoughts 靜夜思
Changan Song 長干行
Climbing High 古風 (登高)
Climbing Jing Pavillion On A Fall Day 秋日登敬亭
Climbing Jinling's Phoenix Terrace 登金陵鳳凰臺
Climbing Lushan's Five Old Men Peak 登廬山五老峰
Climbing Omei Mountain 登峨眉山
Climbing Xie Tiao's North Tower in Xuancheng in Autumn 秋登宣城謝眺北樓
Dawn Vista On Huangshan 曉看黃山
Deathbed Song 死床歌
Down From Zhongnanshan 下終南山過斛斯山人
Drinking Alone 獨 酌
Dulu River 獨漉篇
Early Departure From Baidi Town 早發白帝城
Enjoying Sounds of Flute In Yellow Crane Tower 欽聽黃鶴樓上吹笛
Gazing at Lushan Waterfall 望盧山瀑布
Green Mountain Perch 碧山棲
Hearing Sage Monk of Shu Play The Qin 聽蜀僧濬彈琴
Hearing Bamboo Flute on a Spring Night in Luoyang 春夜洛城聞笛
Hengshan 衡山
In Response To Tongtang Tune By Censor Lu 和盧侍御通塘曲
Infinite Longing 長相思
Jade Steps Resentment 玉階怨
Jingtingshan 敬亭山
Laolao Ting, A Tavern 勞勞亭
Looking Toward Heaven's Gate 望天門山
Meeting Hermit Husi Descending Zhongnanshan 下終南山遇斛斯山人宿置酒
Moon Over mountain Pass 關山月
Moth Eyebrow Mountain Moonsong 峨眉山月歌
Mountain Man Yang Returns To Songshan 送楊山人歸嵩山
Mounting Lotus Blossom Mountain 西上蓮花山
Night Mooring At Ox Island 夜泊牛渚懷古
Night Thought 静夜思
On A Picture Screen 觀元丹丘坐巫山屏風
On Ascending the North Tower One Autumn Day 秋登宣城謝眺北樓
On The Ninth (1) 九 日 (1)
On The Ninth (2) 九日 (2)
On Yellow Crane Tower Hearing a Flute 黃鶴樓聞笛
Parting At Xuanzhou Xietiao Tower 宣州謝朓樓餞別校書叔雲
Qingping Melody In Three Parts (No.1) 清平調三首
Qingping Melody In Three Parts (No.2) 清平調三首
Qiupu River Song 秋浦歌
Retired Emperor Xuanzong Tours Chengdu 上皇西巡南京歌十首之一
Seeing Off a Friend Leaving for Shu 送友人入蜀
Seeing off Meng Haoren At Yellow Crane Tower 黃鶴樓送孟浩然之廣陵
Seeing Off Recluse Wen to Huangshan 送溫處士歸黃山
Sitting Alone In Jingting Mountain 獨坐敬亭山
Sitting Alone on Jingting Mountain 獨坐敬亭山
Solitary Drunk Under The Moon 月下獨酌
Solitary Moonlight Drunk 月下獨酌
Teardrop Tablet 墮淚碑
The Flute Sobbing (To the Tune of Yiqin'e) 憶秦娥
The Girl of Ba Speaks 巴女詞
The Night of Sorrow 怨情
The Pavillion Of Master Xie 謝公亭
The Phoenix Bird Tower 登金陵鳳凰臺
The Solitude of Night 自遣
The Summit Temple 題峰頂寺
The Way To Shu Is Hard 蜀道難
The Women of Yue, Five Poems 越女詞五首
To Meng Haoran 贈孟浩然
To Meng Haoran (1) 贈孟浩然 (1)
To Meng Haoren (2) 贈孟浩然 (2)
To Meng Haoren (3) 贈孟浩然 (3)
To Meng Haoren (4) 贈孟浩然 (4)
To The Tune King's East Patrol 永王東巡歌 (第六首)
Trip to Jiangling 早發白帝城
Visiting DaiTianshan But Daoshi Not There 訪戴天山道士不遇
Visiting DaiTianshan But Daoshi Not There 訪戴天山道士不遇
Wang Zhaojun 王昭君
Went to See a Daoist Priest on Sky-Capped Mountain But Missed Him 訪戴天山道士不遇
Xie Xia Shier Deng Yueyanglou 寫夏十二登岳陽樓

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