Li Bai Poems

Li Bai was a Chinese poet, sometimes referred to as Li Bo. He was acclaimed during his time as a genius of the genre who moved poetry forward in leaps and bounds. There are around 1,000 poems are attributed to him. They’ve been collected in some of the most important publications of world poetry.

Before The Cask of Wine

by Li Bai

‘Before The Cask of Wine’ is a beautiful lyric that emphasizes enjoying one’s youthful hours to the fullest. As one can’t savor those moments in old age.

Li Bai's poetry is renowned for its beauty, depth, and powerful imagery, something that he shows to the utmost degree in this piece. He was a prolific poet during the Tang dynasty, and his works have had a significant impact on Chinese literature and culture. His poetry often explores themes of nature, passion, celebration, and the passing of time. In this case, he's very interested in the latter. Li Bai is one of the most beloved poets in Chinese history and this poem is one of his best.

The spring wind comes from the east and quickly passes,

Leaving faint ripples in the wine of the golden bowl.

The flowers fall, flake after flake, myriads together.

Taking Leave of a Friend

by Li Bai

Li Bai’s ‘Taking Leave of a Friend’ uses different literary techniques to convey the themes of transience, nature, longing, and friendship.

Li Po, also known as Li Bai, lived in the Tang Dynasty in China from 701-762 AD. It is believed that he wrote 'Taking Leave of a Friend' during this time, although the exact date of composition is not known. 'Taking Leave of a Friend' is a good representation of Li Bai's poetry. It embodies many of the themes and stylistic elements that are characteristic of his work. The poem is a quintessential example of Li Bai's poetry and demonstrates why he is considered one of the greatest poets in Chinese history.

Blue mountains lie beyond the north wall;

Round the city's eastern side flows the white water.

Here we part, friend, once forever.

You go ten thousand miles, drifting away

Three with the Moon and his Shadow

by Li Bai

In ‘Three with the Moon and his Shadow,’ Li Bai contemplates solitude, friendship, and the transcendent power of revelry, invoking the beauty of the moon and the playful dance of the shadow. The poem celebrates the unity found in shared experiences and yearns for connections that surpass mortal boundaries.

This poem resonates with Li Bai's style and themes in his poetry. It captures the essence of Li Bai's lyrical and contemplative approach, exploring themes of solitude, companionship, and the connection between nature and the human experience. The poem showcases Li Bai's ability to evoke vivid imagery, employ metaphor and symbolism, and convey a sense of longing and celebration. The poem also exemplifies the themes and poetic techniques often found in Li Bai's works.

With a jar of wine I sit by the flowering trees.

I drink alone, and where are my friends?

Ah, the moon above looks down on me;

I call and lift my cup to his brightness.

The Jewel Stairs’ Grievance (translated by Ezra Pound)

by Li Bai

‘The Jewel Stairs’ Grievance’ (translated by Ezra Pound) by Li Bai captures the lovelorn yearning of a woman waiting for her lover late at night in a picturesque scene of melancholic beauty.

Given the controversy around this translation of Li Bai's poem, any evaluation must take into account the various second-hand lenses we are forced to view the verses through. Reading other translations of the poet's work reveals that despite some blindspots this recreation in English touches on key tenets of their writing, from the concise and precise imagery to its lush sensory experience.

The jewelled steps are already quite white with dew,

It is so late that the dew soaks my gauze stockings,

And I let down the crystal curtain

And watch the moon through the clear autumn.

A Poem of Changgan

by Li Bai

The famous Chinese poet, Li Bai, also known as Li Po, wrote this beautiful poem, ‘A Poem of Changgan’. It is a coming-of-age poem that deals with the development of a girl into early womanhood.

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