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The Selected Poems of Li Po

4.36  ·  Rating Details ·  556 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Li Po (A.D. 701-762) lived in T'ang Dynasty China, but his influence has spanned the centuries: the pure lyricism of his poems has awed readers in China and Japan for over a millennium, and through Ezra Pound's translations, Li Po became central to the modernist revolution in the West. His work is suffused with Taoism and Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism, but these seem not so much sp ...more
Paperback, 134 pages
Published May 1st 1996 by New Directions Publishing Corporation (first published 1996)
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Peycho Kanev
Apr 07, 2011 Peycho Kanev rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry

Rinsing sorrows of a thousand forevers
away, we linger out a hundred jars of wine,

the clear night’s clarity filling small talk,
a lucid moon keeping us awake. And after

we’re drunk, we sleep in empty mountains,
all heaven our blanket, earth our pillow.
Neil McCrea
May 13, 2014 Neil McCrea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I return to Li Po often. He is as important to me as anyone in my literary pantheon. I haven't done the comparative research to determine which translation is best, but I've yet to be disappointed when I've cracked a Li Po collection.

really, the following is all you need to know:

Alone and Drinking Under the Moon

Amongst the flowers I
am alone with my pot of wine
drinking by myself; then lifting
my cup I asked the moon
to drink with me, its reflection
and mine in the wine cup, just
the three of us; then
Robert Sheppard


The Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) is considered the "Golden Age" of Chinese poetry and a time of cultural ascendency when Chin
Dec 28, 2010 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovable drunken hippie poet and singer/songwriter of ancient china. I love your stuff, Li Po!

"To wash and rinse our souls of their age-old sorrows,
We drained a hundred jugs of wine.
A splendid night it was . . . .
In the clear moonlight we were loath to go to bed,
But at last drunkenness overtook us;
And we laid ourselves down on the empty mountain,
The earth for pillow, and the great heaven for coverlet."
Oct 20, 2009 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: china-and-japan
Li Po is an excellent Tang dynasty poet who liked to drink too much and then write verse. He was a real "carpe diem" type of guy who became popular in the West when Ezra Pound translated his verse around 1918. Although he allegedly drowned in the Yangtze River after stepping out of a boat to hug the moon, more likely he was poisoned by sipping mercury as a Taoist elixir to gain eternal life. Oh well, at least he wrote some good poems.
Steve Wilson
Aug 10, 2011 Steve Wilson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: all-time-faves
This book of poetry gave me more blissful shivers per page than anything else I've read.
Jul 29, 2007 Trina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I enjoy the translation of the "River Merchant's Wife" in this translation so much more than Ezra Pound's version.
Oct 18, 2016 Shelley rated it really liked it
Ahhhh good poetry
Feb 23, 2008 Jacq rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I simply love Li Po. What more can I say?
David Nessipbekov
So serene and beautiful. I'm really not into my Asian roots but this is some great poetry. It is a little monotone- nature, wine, Taoist stuff. The lack of rhyme and the even meter make it seem so sagey. Glad to have read this book!!!
Aug 13, 2013 Stephen rated it it was amazing
Poetry at its finest. Astonishingly beautiful landscapes, transcendent perceptions, surreal imaginative leaps, deeply felt emotions: Li Po has it all. These translations are excellent, never tempted to diverge from Li Po's voice for the sake of its own music. Listen to the simple wording of this masterpiece of Zen:

The birds have all vanished into deep
skies. The last cloud drifts away, aimless.

Inexhaustible, Ching-t'ing mountain and I
gaze at each other, it alone remaining.

Austere as this poem sou
Jun 14, 2011 Nick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Romantics and Musicians
What great poetry. I am not a scholar of ancient Chinese literature, and how accurately David Hinton captures the essence of Li Po is not really for me to decide. But the English verse overflows with the process of change that Hinton describes in his introduction: "[Li Po] belongs to the earth in the most profound way, for he is also free of attachments to self, and that allows the self to blend easily into a weave of identification with the earth and its process of change: the earth perpetually ...more
Feb 27, 2012 Rae rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Li Bai's poetry is absolutely amazing and provides such a unique perspective of ancient China. His poetry, although in translation, is truly very beautiful regardless of the topics he chooses to write about. Although several of his poems are about drinking or other "immoral" behaviors, he captures these moments so beautifully. The Taoist overtones to his poetry are very stirring and encourage you to slow down and ride the flow of life by enjoying every minute. His imagery is very powerful, espec ...more
Sony Jose
Feb 20, 2013 Sony Jose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
God Poems .. Trying for independent translations

The poem " Amusing Myself "

Facing my wine, I did not see the dusk,
Falling blossoms have filled the folds of my clothes.
Drunk, I rise and approach the moon in the stream,
Birds are far off, people too are few.

Li Po

and the Translation in Malayalam

മദിരാ ചഷകതതിനപപുറം
പൂതതുലയും വസനതം !
കിളി യൊചചയും,
നിലചച രാവില
അരുവിയില വീഴും
ചാനദരമുഖം തിരഞഞു
വേചചു പോകുനനു ഞാന
മദിരോനമതതം !!
Nov 24, 2008 Derek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
SF residents who know about the Li Po Lounge may not know that the bar is named after this brilliant poet. It's tough to articulate just why, but it seems like nothing this guy wrote was less than perfect.

Many of his poems are about drinking/getting drunk, which may be why I like him so much.
Patti K
Oct 11, 2013 Patti K rated it really liked it
This 8th century Chinese poet and wandering monk writes clear and
fresh deep images of his travels and thoughts. The reader feels as if
she is in the midst of the pine-covered mountains and streams. Li Po
is not above wine-drinking with fellow travellers and he then uses
wit and humor in those verses. A book of refuge and refreshment.
Nov 25, 2008 Stuart rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Li Po's legend is big on booze, so I guess I was expecting some kind of Tang Dynasty Bukowski. But while wine is definitely a theme for this Daoist proto-hippie, the overall effect is more Byron than Barfly. Lots of paeans to nature and Lao-Tzuish mysticism, and an earthy Dionysian vibe. Three and a half stars: good stuff, elegantly translated.
Barbara D.
May 01, 2015 Barbara D. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Li Bai, He really touches me.
Jun 24, 2007 Lucas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
best of the T'ang.
Dec 31, 2007 RandomAnthony rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite poetry collections ever. Li Po's work is so deceptively peaceful, so beautifully centered...thanks for the brilliant translation, too. I never tire of this book.
CX Dillhunt
Mar 26, 2009 CX Dillhunt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
NOTE: trans by David Hinton
Jul 24, 2009 Pedro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
It would be pointless describing or reviewing any poem of Li Po !!! They're simply perfect in their simplicity ... You must read them to know what i mean ...
Dec 04, 2015 Markus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorites
Jan 14, 2009 Cynthia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably my favorite poet of all time. A recent reread when I was stuck at home with a cold.
Mar 07, 2012 Craven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Full of. A noble sadness. Serene. Wonder at nature. And the warm, humble joy of getting tubed with your homies. Wonderful.
Secret Gril
Feb 04, 2016 Secret Gril rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

the best poems , which I leidop are in this book
Oct 01, 2011 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Lovely, lovely.
Dec 01, 2011 Stacy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite poet of all time. One of the very few bits of literature that actually makes me simmer down for a while.
Laura (ローラ)
Laura (ローラ) rated it really liked it
May 30, 2013
Claire Duong
Claire Duong rated it it was amazing
Jul 15, 2016
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Date of Birth: ca. 701 A.D.
Date of Death: ca. 762 A.D.

This is a Chinese name. The family name is Li.

Li Bai (Li Pai; Chinese: 李白; pinyin: Lǐ Bái; Wade–Giles: Li Pai), also known as Li Bo (or Li Po; pinyin: Lǐ Bó; Wade–Giles: Li Po) was a Chinese poet. He was part of the group of Chinese scholars called the "Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup" in a poem by fellow poet Du Fu. Li Po is often regarded, al
More about Li Bai...

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