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Chinese poem illustration: 问刘十九/ Asking Mr. Liu Nineteenth by Bai Juyi

问刘十九

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Chinese classic poetry used to be limited to a few group of people, the aristocracies. Thus the content and view of poetry was limited as well until Tang dynasty. As the Imperial Exam provided the social ladder to vast average people, encouraged a bunch of new types of poets. Their poem extended the horizon of Chinese poetry greatly.

This simple poem is fresh for Tang people not only by writing about the daily life of an average people, It fundamental changed the classic poetry spirit that poem is to record(诗言志). Obviously this poem is a simple letter, not for recording someone or something. The scenario is very popular and intimacy for today’s Chinese as well: When northwest wind blows down the first flake of snow, sitting aside of the warm stove, think about inviting my buddy for a toast?

问刘十九
白居易

绿蚁新醅酒,
红泥小火炉。
晚来天欲雪,
能饮一杯无?

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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