Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Li Po is In the Mountains on a Summer Day

photo © Mark Butkus 2014
Get higher to stay cooler.

Gently I stir a white feather fan,
With open shirt sitting in a green wood.
I take off my cap and hang it on a jutting stone;
A wind from the pine-tree trickles on my bare head.

— Li Po

Alternately known as Li Bai (701-762) the great Taoist philosopher and poet Li Po roamed China as a young man enjoying life and drink. Summoned by his benefactor the Emperor Xuanzong to the royal palace, a drunken Li Po improvised fantastic love poems that temporarily kept him in good stead.

Following his dismissal from the royal court Li Po continued with his vagabond ways. One romantic legend has Li Po drowning after falling into the water in an attempt to embrace the moon.

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