A Political Perspective of the Poetry by 9th Century Chinese Poet Li Shang-yin

Li Shang-yin (813-858, A.D.) is one of the most prominent poets during the late Tang Dynasty of China. He has a long lasting impact in Chinese literary history and his poetry is often recognized as a reflection of the scholars’ mindsets during the years of turmoil. Renowned for his delicate love poetry, Li Shang-yin holds a very important position in the history of Chinese literature. Nevertheless, after reading many of his poems, I discovered that Li’s works  in fact concentrated mostly on political criticisms, though many times he also mourned for his lack of opportunity to bring substantial changes to the country.

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