701 - 762
Chinese Poet

Poetry was the most celebrated art during the golden age of the Tang dynasty. The collection of Tang poetry included 48,000 poems written by 2,000 poets.

Li T'ai-Po ranks together with his friend Tu-Fu as the greatest Chinese poet and one of the greatest poet's in world history.

Li Tai-po, or Li Bai, was one of the most popular poets during the T'ang dynasty. His lyrics are characterized by spontaneity and vivid imagination. He was a pleasure lover. He drank continually, travelled a good deal and used to stand in drunken amazement on arched bridges and among the ruins of ancient palaces where he would conjure up the past before his minds eye.

Popular legend has it that he drowned when, sitting drunk in a boat, he attempted to seize the moon's reflection in the water. So even his death became a poem.

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Selected Poems