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Chinese poem illustration: 月下独酌/ Drinking Alone Under the Moon by Li Bai

YouTube above not applicable? watch full video at Bilibili: 月下独酌 其一

Another masterpiece on wine drinking by Li Bai, it wrote about Li Bai’s fantasy and illusions when he was drinking alone, with immense sadness and loneliness that nobody can bear with.

A typical Li Bai’s vision or imagination was created: he took the moon and his own shadow as pals in his drinking party. With that setting up, Li Bai wrote the real situation vividly as you are seeing a real movie. Contrasting sad feelings with happy atmosphere (以乐景写悲情) is perfectly employed . The magic in this poem is : there is no happy situation at all, so Li Bai create it with his own will and creativity. With the created virtual party, he employed the writing technique that no one can up to: 以乐景写悲情.

The vivid pictures revealed his huge sadness and loneliness, when a well known chinese philosophy by Zhuangzi is applied to interpret the pictures. The story told by Zhuangzi is 庄生梦蝶. The story is like this: Mr. Zhuang saw a butterfly in his dream. When he waked up, he raised the question which is the real world: either the butterfly in his dream or he was the dream of that butterfly. This story is not very precisely told in the video.

This poem could be a good reference to another wine drinking poem by Li Bai: 将进酒.

月下独酌四首·其一
李白

花间一壶酒,独酌无相亲。
举杯邀明月,对影成三人。


月既不解饮,影徒随我身。
暂伴月将影,行乐须及春。


我歌月徘徊,我舞影零乱。
醒时同交欢,醉后各分散。


永结无情游,相期邈云汉。

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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