Introduction: Li Po is one of the best-loved poets in all the long course of Chinese literature. He was born
and lived most of his life in the age of the Tang Emperor Hsuan-tzung (Ming Huang, the Illustrious), which
was a golden age of the "shi" (poetry) which was shaped by hands like Li and his contemporaries such as
Du Fu and Wang Wei into an scholarly and exquisite perfection. There has been a rich body of legends of
Li Bai's ancestry and his birth. It is generally agreed that whether he was born in Gansu, Central Asia, or
some other region, Li grew up and spent his boyhood in Sichuan.His writings indicate that in when he was
19, he left home for Central and East China, partly to travel, partly to gain recognition for his talent. But
fame did not come his way until many years later. Later he went to Changan, the capital then, where he was
presented to Emperor Hsuan-tzung, and given a position in the Hanlin Academy. Li Bai, however, was not
destined to enjoy the imperial favor for long. In 744 he fell victim to court intrigues and was allowed to
leave the capital to "return to the hills". He died in 762 in the province of Anhui (Anhwei).
Many of Li's writings are about nature, his Taoist inclination, his drinking bouts, and his seeming
casualness toward wealth and fame. This is a reflection of High Tang culture milieu and is shared by many
of his contemporaries According to traditional Chinese literary criticism standards, Li's poems possess a
river-like quality and poetic power; the gushing energy, the tumbling fall, and the majestic flow. In a
critical terminology Li' poems have a smooth, continuous, and powerful flow which is called "chi" (breath).
THE RIVER-MERCHANT'S WIFE
While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead
I played about the front gate, pulling flowers.
You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse,
You walked about my seat, playing with blue plums.
And we went on living in the village of Chokan:
Two small people, without dislike or suspicion.
At fourteen I married My Lord you.
I never laughed, being bashful.
Lowering my head, I looked at the wall.
Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back.
At fifteen I stopped scowling,
I desired my dust to be mingled with yours
Forever and forever and forever.
Why should I climb the look out?