The Banished Immortal: A Life of Li Bai (Li Po) by Ha Jin

“The Banished Immortal: A Life of Li Bai (Li Po) by Ha Jin

A highly readable narrative of a famous Late Tang poet, Li Bai. The text is a tale of the poet’s life, and travels. The biography gives you context to better appreciate the poetry that the author puts in along the way. I like how Ha Jin inserts the poetry into the narrative, so you can see where Li Bai was in his life, and how that affected his poetry. The poetry is written in Mandarin Chinese characters, and with an English translation.

My White Hair Long, long is my whitening hair; Long, long is it laden with care. I look into my mirror bright. From where comes autumn frost in sight?

Sadly it is very hard to find Li Bai’s poetry online in a bilingual format. I would like to read the Chinese poetry with pinyin/zhuyin and then the translation to better appreciate it.

I wish I truly read, and spoke more Chinese so I could dive into these classics. It’s amazing that a culture still reveres poets from a thousand years ago. Also, the characters are still readable to the common Chinese speaker. Simply incredible to think about it. It’s like reaching across time when you read a poem 1000 years old.

Also, I read my 100th book this year! I still have a few months to go too. I have smashed my goal.

Rating: ★★★★★ Book #100 in my My 2020 Reading Challenge #BookReview #Books #Poetry #ChinesePoetry #Biography #HaJin”,

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