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Posts Tagged Li Bai

Chanting of Li Bai’s Two Poems by Professor Chao Yuen Ren (Changzhou dialect)


Li Bai (701–762) was one of the greatest poets of the Tang Dynasty. He was both a prolific and a profound poet. He was brilliant, romantic and uninhibited.

Li Bai Drinking Alone with the Moon
Translated by Witter Bynner (1929).

From a pot of wine among the flowers
I drank alone. There was no one with me —
Till, raising my cup, I asked the bright moon
To bring me my shadow and make us three.
Alas, the moon was unable to drink
And my shadow tagged me vacantly;
But still for a while I had these friends
To cheer me through the end of spring….
I sang. The moon encouraged me.
I danced. My shadow tumbled after.
As long as I knew, we were boon companions.
And then I was drunk, and we lost one another.
…Shall goodwill ever be secure?
I watch the long road of the River of Stars.

Li Bai A Farewell to Secretary Shuyun at the Xietiao Villa in Xuanzhou
Translated by Witter Bynner (1929).

Since yesterday had to throw me and bolt,
Today has hurt my heart even more.
The autumn wildgeese have a long wind for escort
As I face them from this villa, drinking my wine.
The bones of great writers are your brushes, in the School of Heaven,
And I am a Lesser Xie growing up by your side.
We both are exalted to distant thought,
Aspiring to the sky and the bright moon.
But since water still flows, though we cut it with our swords,
And sorrows return, though we drown them with wine,
Since the world can in no way answer our craving,
I will loosen my hair tomorrow and take to a fishingboat.

Chao Yuen Ren (1892-1982)
Famous linguist, philosopher, composer, best known for his contributions to the modern study of Chinese phonology and grammar.

Private school tune chanting goes back 3,000 years. It has been passed down through private schools and family tutors from generation to generation. Similar to singing, there is a scale, but the scale is not pre-set.

Chanting of Li Bai A Song of Changgan by Professor Florence Chia-ying Yeh (in Mandarin)


Private school tune chanting goes back 3,000 years. It has been passed down through private schools and family tutors from generation to generation. Similar to singing, there is a scale, but the scale is not pre-set.

Li Bai A Song of Changgan
Translated by Witter Bynner.

My hair had hardly covered my forehead.
I was picking flowers, paying by my door,
When you, my lover, on a bamboo horse,
Came trotting in circles and throwing green plums.
We lived near together on a lane in Ch’ang-kan,
Both of us young and happy-hearted.
…At fourteen I became your wife,
So bashful that I dared not smile,
And I lowered my head toward a dark corner
And would not turn to your thousand calls;
But at fifteen I straightened my brows and laughed,
Learning that no dust could ever seal our love,
That even unto death I would await you by my post
And would never lose heart in the tower of silent watching.
…Then when I was sixteen, you left on a long journey
Through the Gorges of Ch’u-t’ang, of rock and whirling water.
And then came the Fifth-month, more than I could bear,
And I tried to hear the monkeys in your lofty far-off sky.
Your footprints by our door, where I had watched you go,
Were hidden, every one of them, under green moss,
Hidden under moss too deep to sweep away.
And the first autumn wind added fallen leaves.
And now, in the Eighth-month, yellowing butterflies
Hover, two by two, in our west-garden grasses
And, because of all this, my heart is breaking
And I fear for my bright cheeks, lest they fade.
…Oh, at last, when you return through the three Pa districts,
Send me a message home ahead!
And I will come and meet you and will never mind the distance,
All the way to Chang-feng Sha.

李白 長干行







Chanting of Zhang Yu Silkworm Women, Li Bai A Farewell Poem to Wang Lun by Professor Chang Song-hing (Quanzhou dialect)


張俞 蠶婦


李白 贈汪倫




Chanting of three poems of Li Bai by Professor Dai Jun-ren (in Mandarin)


李白 清平調 招祥麒博士朗誦


Lecture on Li Bai In the Quiet Night by Teacher Fong Kan Hei