The Chinese poet Li Bai is to China what Shakespeare is to the UK. Every Chinese student has to study his poetry as part of their national curriculum and a lot of his poems are about being able to enjoy the beauty around you.
This poetry/calligraphy focused box gives your family time to practice, learn and display your Li Bai knowledge.
One of Li Bai’s most famous poems is about the BREATH-TAKING mountains in my middle-daughter’s home town in An Hui province.
Here’s the poem and a translation:
zhòng diǎo gāo fēi jìn
gū yún dú qù xián
xiāng kàn liǎng bú yàn
zhǐ yǒu jìng tíng shān
Sitting Alone in Jingting Mountain by Li Bai
Flocks of birds fly high and vanish;
A single cloud, alone, calmly drifts on.
We never tired of looking at each other—
Only the Jingting Mountain and me.
Re-usable water calligraphy sheet
This sheet is perfect for practicing Chinese characters. It uses water, not ink, so when it dries out it can be used again an again!
The calligraphy sheet featured in your box features one of Li Bai’s poems!
Chinese traditional Inkstone.
This item is incredibly cool but might be completely unfamiliar to Western eyes.
It’s a traditional inkstone and solid ink stick – the most famous of China’s ‘four treasures of study’.
To make the ink, drop a small amount of water onto the inkstone (seriously, you only want a drop or two, else you’ll end up with too much, very light grey ink) then place the bottom end of the inkstick on the grinding surface [rough bits of the inkstone] and ground some powder, add to the water and mix with your calligraphy brush to make the ink.
Other [more self explanatory items] in this box include:
- Book with the selected poems of Li Bai, in English and Chinese. It’s beautiful.
- Character brush and mountain style brush rest – so you don’t get ink where you don’t want it.
- Parchment fan to produce your family’s own version of one of his poems…or just use it to as the canvas for a creative, Chinese inspired ink painting!
- Chinese culture card – learn one of Li Bai’s most beautiful poems.
- Chinese vocabulary; this shows the word for ‘plum’ (the translation of Li Bai’s surname). Not only was he a lover of nature, but his name fitted in with his preferred environment!
We hope your family loves learning all about Li Bai, his poetry and the art of Chinese calligraphy together !