Dialogue in a Mountain
You ask me why I live among the hills green,
I smile without reply, my heart serene.
Peach blossoms flow away with running streams.
It’s a world other than the earth of men.
Thoughts on a Still Night
Before my bed, the moon is shining bright,
I think that it is frost upon the ground.
I raise my head and look at the bright moon,
I lower my head and think of home.
Chinese history is long and complex—with records dating to around 1600 BC. Within this extensive period, many forms of art and philosophy were developed by the Chinese people. Poetry was an art form which was very important in Chinese history. One of the most famous Chinese poets was Li Bai. He lived nearly 2000 years ago, during the Tang dynasty. He grew up near Chengdu, in Sichuan Province, which is adjacent to Yunnan Province in the western part of China. Li Bai was influenced by Taoism which is one of the most influencing religions way back more than two millennia.(Robinet, 1997) It puts emphasis on the link between people and nature and much of Li Bai’s poetry portrayed nature and human interaction with it; this type of poetry was known as Jue Ju poetry. (Heifer International) The main themes of the above poems written by Li Bai are connected with Taoism, since inspiration is drawn from the Taoist belief that man has an intuitive connection to nature. The relationship of man to nature is the central theme of Li Bai’s poems. In the first poem, “Dialogue in a Mountain,” the persona represents a person who lives in seclusion from society. This is reflected in the first line, “You ask me why I live among the hills green.” A person asks the persona of his reasons for living in such an area. His response to this question is given by a facial gesture of a simple smile, “I smile without reply, my heart serene.” This shows that the persona finds solitude and a sense of peace in nature. Moreover, the persona is content on where he lives because the place is secluded...
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