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3 pages/≈825 words
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MLA
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Literature & Language
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English (U.S.)
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Culture Through the Poetry of Li Bai Research Assignment (Essay Sample)

Instructions:

Learning Culture from Literature: choose 1 poem by Li Bai, and analyze it for a picture of the culture in which Li Bai was writing. What is one piece of information about that culture that we can infer from the poem, and what does Li Bai seem to be saying about that information? Support your argument by discussing only passages from the poem you chose. I cannot just choose one poem that reflects the culture of the time. I love them all! please help! .
300-600 word essay MLA format

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Culture Through the Poetry of Li Bai
Li Bai (also known as Li Bo in some translations) lived in China between the years 701 and 762. His work in traditional poetry forms was acclaimed when he was alive for being the best of its time, and he still enjoys popularity and status today for the same reasons. The Tang dynasty, during which Li Bai lived, was often called the golden age of Chinese poetry, and his poetry is useful for us today because it sheds light on various aspects of the culture and values of the time which would otherwise still be something of a mystery to us. The poem Changgan Memories is particularly interesting in that respect, as it shows us how Li Bai saw the world around him in great detail.
Changgan Memories is unusual in that Li Bai seems to be imagining himself, at least partially, as a woman in a marriage. Who she is married to, of course, is something which is up for debate, and this is where Li Bai's fantastic imagery comes in. Li Bai was known to be an adherent of Taoism (Li Bai), and it is possible that his use of such unusual imagery was as a means of showing how Taoism was intermingled with Tang culture as a whole.
At 15 I began to lift my brows,
And wished to be with you as dust with ashes.
You always kept your massive pillar faith, (Li Bai English Translation)
This Taoist bent is something which perhaps explains at least part of Li Bai's longevity in the literary world – poems such as Changgan Memories have a timeless feel to them, as the imagery is not that which could be pinned down to any particular time or place, but instead could mean multiple things. The fanta

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