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Li Shangyin

The poems of Li Shangyin (AD 813-858) further build on the artistictraditions of Chinese classical poetry.

Li Shangyin's poems broadlyencompassed four areas: politics, history, landscapes and lyrics, andlove. Among his political poems, Passing the Western Suburb and GateTower at An'ding are splendid, suffused with his effervescent spirit. Hishistoric poems jia Yi and The Palace of the Sui Dynasty are exquisitelyschemed and profound, while his Climbing Pleasure Plateau is of bleakand heroic demeanor But the most popular of his poems were lovepoems, which he often titled "No Title." These later "No Title" poemsare generally regarded as love poems. These poems tended to be oftwo types, the first being obscure and vague-unable to make his lovepublic, he could only express his yearning for his lover through hazyverses. The second were emblematic poems in which he called on loveto help express his indignation over the unfairness of fate.

Learning extensively from the mastery of poets before him, LiShangyin inherited the depth and cadence of Du Fu's seven-characterlushi, meshing into his own poems the ornate and flowery style of poetrycreated during the Qi and liang periods. He emulated the strange fantasyin Li He's poems, and was good at using apt literary quotations to expresssentiments heretofore inexplicable.

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