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This web site is dedicated to the preservation of the spirit of Tang poetry.

Li Bai and Du Fu

More Tang Poets

Read poems by the greatest masters of Tang poetry translated by Lan Hua

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The Adventures of Monkey King

Have you ever heard of the Adventures of Monkey King? A great classic now available in a new translation from Lan Hua

The Gan Yu

Chen Zi'ang is one of the early masters of Tang poetry. Now you can read some of his poems translated for the first time into English by Lan Hua

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Li Bai -- the Exiled Immortal

The poet Li BaiLi Bai has perhaps the purest lyric voice of any poet who ever dipped quill or feather or brush into ink well. He wrote in the manner of a great nature poet. And he wrote with the easy self-confidence of a great spiritual being, enough so that he earned nicknames from his contemporaries, such as the Exiled Immortal and the Transcendent from Heaven. As I hope you can tell in some of the translations of his poems below, he could easily wrap the natural and spiritual together in a few brief stanzas better than any other man of his or any other time.

Let me start by giving you a portion of Li Bai's biography taken from the New History of the Tang Dynasty, which was written in the 11th Century. I am borrowing here from the translation of this text by the great sinologist Arthur Waley, which is excerpted from his monograph, The Poet Li Bai. Li Bai's biography

Selection of poems by Li Bai

Li Bai wrote many poems, more than 1,000 of which have been passed down to us today. Here's a small selection, which I hope illustrates how his voice still calls out lout and clear through a range of moods and lyrics, whether composed at night in a mountain temple, or stumbling drunkely upstream in search of the moon.