Li He is the bad-boy poet of the late Tang Dynasty. A Song dynasty critic once described Li He’s poetry as written in the “language of a demonic immortal” and filled with hallucinatory evocations of goddesses, beautiful courtesans, Buddhist visions, drunken nights, and corruption. As the scholar Anne M. Birrell, writes, “Of all the Tang poets, even of all Chinese poets, he best speaks for our disconcerting times.” Modern critics have compared him to Rimbaud, Baudelaire, and Keats. In the crystalline translations by the noted scholar J. D. Frodsham, the 1983 edition of this book has been out of print for decades.
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