Chinese poem illustration: 行路难 其一/ Journey Is Difficult, Number One by Li Bai
YouTube above not applicable? watch full video at Bilibili: 行路难 1
A title borrowed from Musical Department(乐府) of Han dynasty, normally depict the hardness on the road. The harsh road simulate the hardship of one’s career path or life. Even today, journey is still frequently used as a comparison to career path, or the pursuit of lifetime.
With references to a former poet Bao Zhao(鲍照) roughly 300 hundred years ahead of him, Li Bai wrote 3 poems with this title. The 3 poems was written in different time period most probably. For this poem, there are two conjectures about the writing time.
By digging into the poem and Li Bai’s life background, I made my conjecture on writing time, you can have yours as well.
Part2 continues illustration since the 4th pairs of sentence 闲来垂钓碧溪上.
With all the poem illustrated, I give out the reason why this poem was mostly likely written during Li Bai’s 30s, before being summoned by the emperor.
At the very end, the other 2 poems with this title 行路难 was posted but not illustrated. In my own opinion, the 1st and 2nd was written during Li Bai’s 30s and the 3rd was most likely written when Li Bai was with the emperor. You can use the methodology know the person, know his background(知人论世) to analysis the possible writing time and make your own conclusion as well.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.