Li Bai- China’s Greatest Poet (Intermediate)

Online Chinese Lesson- Li Bai- China’s Greatest Poet (Intermediate)

Key Learning Points (Preview):

纪念 (jìniàn): v. to commemorate

风格 (fēnggé): n. style

Feb. 28, 2011 is the 1310th anniversary of the Poet Li Bai, one of the greatest poets in world history. Many people “纪念 (jìniàn) commemorated” this event on microblog sites in China that are similar to Twitter. Google has also released a special commemoration doodle. As China’s representative poet, he has profoundly influenced Chinese culture. Even today, people in China are still trying to learn and study his poems.

Tang poetry represents a major part of Chinese literary achievement and it is widely agreed that Li Bai was the greatest poet during the Tang Dynasty, and in China he is regarded as both “诗仙 (shīxiān) the God of poetry” and “酒仙 (jiǔxiān) the God of wine” because he always wrote his great poems while drinking. His poems are revered by phrases such as: “笔落惊风雨,诗成泣鬼神。(Bǐ luò jīng fēngyǔ, shī chéng qì guǐshén.) When the pen is to paper, the wind and rain have been shocked, and when the poetry is finished, even the ghosts and spirits have been touched by it.”

Li Bai used all of his creative ability to make his poems perfect in both content and form. Although his poems contain his subjective expressions, readers always feel that his writings are true. He always used a variety of methods to make his poems memorable and moving. Li Bai is also called “游侠 (yóu xiá) traveling knight” by people since he loves traveling, so most of his masterpieces describe the beautiful scenery of China. Let’s have a look at some of his poems:

Fēi liú zhí xià sānqiān chǐ, yí shì yínhé luò jiǔ tiān.
1. 飞  流 直 下    三千     尺,疑是 银河   落 九 天。

Its torrent dashed down from three thousand feet high, as if the Silver River fell from
the azure sky.

—From《望庐山瀑布》(Wàng Lúshān pùbù) Cataract on Mount Lu

Tiān shēng wǒ cái bì yǒu yòng, qiān jīn sàn jìn huán fù lái.
2. 天        生    我  材 必 有  用,   千    金  散   尽   还   复 来。

Heaven has made us talents; we’re not made in vain. A thousand gold coins spent,
more will turn up again.

—From《将进酒》(Qiāng jìn jiǔ) Invitation to Wine

Jǔ bēi yāo míngyuè, duì yǐng chéng sān rén.
3. 举 杯 邀     明月,   对     影    成       三   人。

I drink alone beneath the bright moonshine. I raise my cup to invite the moon, who blends
her light with my shadow and we’re  three friends.

—From 《月下独酌》(Yuè xià dú zhuó) Drinking Along with The Moon
His poems attract people with his powerful imagination, beautiful images, fresh and bright language, and his free and powerful “风格 (fēnggé) style.” He was a genius without parallel.

Key Learning Points:
纪念 (jìniàn): v. to commemorate


Duānwǔjié shì wèi le jìniàn wěidà de àiguó shīrén Qū Yuán.
端午节      是  为   了 纪念   伟大  的 爱国     诗人   屈   原。

The Dragon Boat Festival commemorates the great patriotic poet Qu Yuan of China.

 风格 (fēnggé): n. style


Nǐ shuō de shì zhēn de ma?
A. 你 说   的 是    真   的   吗?

Is it true what you said?

Wǒ bú huì gēn nǐ sāhuǎng, nà bú shì wǒ de fēnggé.
B. 我   不  会 跟   你   撒谎,   那  不 是   我 的  风格。

I wouldn’t lie to you; that’s not my style.

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4 thoughts on “Li Bai- China’s Greatest Poet (Intermediate)”

  1. 3. Yes, this online Chinese lesson is good. 思念 also means to miss. It can be used in a number of ways, such as referring to great people, relatives and so on, while 想念 is used for some people or surroundings that you may see. But 怀念 is used only for great people or beautiful scenery, such as人们永远怀念这位民族英雄 People have long cherished the memory of this national hero.

  2. I came across a phrase 想念 when I am taking online Chinese lessons. What does it mean?

  3. Fantastic written content, just what I desired! I came across your own web page following a extended study on the matter, but also the good material will be anticipated to discover! Well done!

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