Drinking Alone by Moonlight, Li Bai Essay

2012 WordsFeb 10, 20139 Pages
Drinking Alone by Moonlight Li Bai and the Tang Dynasty The term paper talks about the poet Li Bai as an artist and a person, the Tang Dynasty and the interpretation of Li Bai’s poem Drinking Alone by Moonlight. Li Bai (701 – 762), also known as Li Bo or Li Po, was one of the most important Chinese poets of the Tang Dynasty. I decided to write about him and his work because I like the fact that poetry enthusiasts from both the East and the West appreciate his creations. He is also interesting because of his creativity and free thinking since he liked to stretch the rules of versification of his time. I especially like his poem Drinking Alone by Moonlight so I decided to analyze it verse by verse from one of its translations into English. Most translations of Li Bai's "Drinking Alone by Moonlight" are, in fact, only educated interpretations themselves. Even the title of Li Bai's poem, "Yu Xi D Zhu," literally translates into "moon, under, alone, pour wine" just as easily as it translates into "month, later, only, consider." In this context, a translator is just as likely to write a title of "Pouring Wine under the Moon" as they are "Only to Consider a Month Later." Looking from this twisted perspective I realized that I will actually make an interpretation of an interpretation of an ancient poem. Li Bai is an interesting historical figure, but since he was one of the protagonists of the more than important Tang Dynasty, I think, I should write about this period first to put some things into perspective. In Chinese literature, the Tang period (618-907) is considered the golden age of Chinese poetry. Tang Shi San Bai Shou [300 Tang Poems] is a compilation of poems from this period made around 1763 by Heng-tang-tui-shi [Sun Zhu] of the Qing dynasty. Sun's motivation for compiling the collection sprang from his dissatisfaction with the then popular

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