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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, until Tang dynasty. As the Imperial Exam of Tang opened the social ladder to vast average people, encouraged a bunch of new types of poets. Their poem extended the horizon of Chinese poetry.

This simple poem is quite fresh for Tang people by writing about the daily life of an average people. It is very popular and intimacy for today’s Chinese as well: When the first flake of snow drops, sitting aside of the warm stove, how about invite 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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