Drinking alone beneath the moon by LiPo
Drinking alone beneath the moon by LiPo
Most poems provide important information to the readers while capturing the exact moment when they are written or read. There are very few poems that can be able to keep a reader’s attention for long, and this often does this through various stylistic devices that are often used in various literary works. Most ideas to the truth might change, but the literature that should always be used in such works should conform to the author’s feelings and surrounding. One important poem that covers this facet well is “Drinking alone beneath the moon” that was written by LiPo. The poem depicts him as he is drinking wine alone without any human companion. The poem presents various themes that are of interest to the readers and future generations (Morse 728).
The theme of pleasure is clearly indicated in the poem, as the poet starts by setting the scene where he takes his wine from together with other non-human companions. The poet clearly understands that he is alone in the scene, and no person is available to share with him the wine, and this makes him have his pleasure with the moon.
The idea of taking alcohol or wine is often thought to be one to induce pleasure to the drinkers, and this clearly has an effect to the speaker in the poem. In his fifth stanza, the poet talks of dancing and singing, and this are clear effects of the pleasure moments that have taken effect because of the drinking. On the other hand, subsequent stanzas makes an introduction to the bitter sweet impacts of drinking, which makes the reader understand the poet who forgets all his friends when he starts drinking and often happy when he is sober (Li 1).
There are various depictions of praise that have been made towards the wine in the poem, and this in its own is a form of pleasure coupled with the pleasure the speaker finds from his shadow and the moon. The wine drinking activity also helps the poet to clearly understand the world around him, and this increases his pleasure as he realizes that he can become more observant and understand its meaning. Pleasure is thus keenly observed from the poem, and this has been made possible by the reactions that are presented after its intake (Gardner 624).
Love for Wine
The poem has a poetic stance that indicates a detachment from the world to be happy. The speaker in the poem goes out and sits down alone to enjoy his wine together with the moon and his own personal shadow. Even though he is away from the world the poet is also very keen on all the occurrences around him, and such are attitudes that provide various elements of Zen Buddhism and Taoism, which are spiritual practices that are usually practiced in China.
The love of wine is not only seen in the speaker in the poem, but also most people during this time. The love for wine made him get into a solitude place, for purpose of acquiring freedom from disturbances and other interferences while drinking the wine. Solitude nature in China is often allowed because of meditation, and these are moments that are always treasured and revered by many. The situation in the poem clearly relates to mediation, because of the happy and solitude nature of the speaker (Jian 304).
The speakers already emphasis that he is drinking alone makes him raise his cup high to give the moon a toast. Such happy moments can only come about when an individual loves what he or is doing or having, the activity and possession are always important facets that allow for joy in a person. The love for wine and alcohol as a whole often make individuals happy and have various understanding that are not normally applicable when they are sober. The poet states that after drinking, he fully understands his environment and the things that are going on without any problem. The wine brings about critical thinking and clarity to the speaker, ideas that were not present when he was sober (Ardente 350).
There are various aspects of inspiration in the poem by LiPo. The speaker is inspired by the moon, which he actively gives a toast because he sees the moon as the only companion that can share with him the wine that is in his possession. During this time, the moon was considered important among many households in China and Japan, as it was considered to be feminine that served the earth that was masculine. This is a Taoist philosophy that believes that everything on planet earth has a companion and one of their pairs is often weak to serve the other masculine pair.
The speaker was also inspired by the wine itself because it allowed him to have different visions and understanding of his surrounding and environment better than when he was sober. After toasting with the moon the speaker realizes his shadow behind him, and this makes him understand that the moon is indeed inspiring because of its capability to provide human beings with other companions near when it is far and not able to provide the immediate comfort that is needed by that particular individual (Mendelowitz 1048).
The speaker is alone while drinking his wine and only accompanied by his shadow and the moon that is far away up the sky. Drinking during this time was done in groups, and people used to come together during various celebrations to share their wine with their visitors or family members. Wine drinking was never a one person idea or undertaking, but an activity that was done by many in the society. The topic itself indicates some form of solitude as it depicts the idea of “drinking alone”. The ancient society in China had social drinkers because of the various benefits that the drinkers got from sharing their drinks with each other. When drinking most of them used to converse and secure jobs while other made their marriage ties strong by hooking up their family members to get married (Donne 56).
The speaker in the poem however decides to drink alone to avoid the clumsy situations and circumstances that often follow after social drinking sprees. The drinker appreciates him and the environment and understands his situation better. He gains clarity and understanding, forms that are often achieved during meditation. In the ancient times in China, most proponents of the church directed people always to meditate in groups and also in solitude to master their prowess and invoke other powers that are often within an individual.
People never drink alone even in the contemporary society, and this is a culture that has been carried from past drinkers who discovered the various benefits of drinking together in groups. Many cultures often share drinks during important occasions, because wine and alcohol are often seen as a unifying factor that is always important for people who want to develop and share their skills and knowledge with others (Ryan 86).
While drinking alone, the speaker decided to bring about different companions that were not human to fulfill the conditions of the contemporary world and other cultures around the globe. The speaker was happy to have the moon with him, and his own shadow that presented itself later after tossing with them the moon. The creation of new companions in the poem brings about various aspects of egotism and creative pride that go beyond human thinking.
Being happy is always one effect after drinking wine or alcohol. The speaker became happy after his ordeal with his wine, and this made him sing. The joy that came through the drinking must have been because of his realization of the environment and the new companions that he had formed in the process of drinking. He was also happy because he vividly understood the meanings that were embedded in the environment and his achievement as a solitude drinker since this was commonly seen as a group activity due to its social bearings.
The author’s joy through the poem makes it lively and able to capture the attention of its readers. The poem could have been solemn without the depiction of the joy, a facet that is not only important in writing poems but also other literary works. The solemn nature of the poem could have resulted from the solitude drinking nature of the speaker, where he lacked other social beings that were able to keep him company during his drinking (Edwards 203).
The reader thus never feels sorry for him because he clearly indicates that he is happily drinking with the moon and his shadow. Through his joy, the speaker dances and sings with them because he is already intoxicated and later tells them that “Then let us pledge a friendship without human ties, and meet again at the far end of the Milky Way.” The speaker bids them goodbye and also informs them that they should also meet some other day in the Milky Way.
The speaker is joyful because he has made friends, and also desires that their friendship could continue to many other years. From a Taoist thought this is never a sad way of saying goodbye, but one that makes the people concerned to have the desire to meet again because of the joy they have, and other things they must have shared together, for example wine like in the poem in question. For one to understand the happy nature of the author, the person must fully put himself into his shoes and clearly get to understand the joy of making friend when drunk.
In the contemporary society, drinking occasions are always happy occasions where the participants always merry and make new friends whom they want to meet later in life. This is similar to the situation in the poem as the author desires to have the two friends his has made to meet with him in the Milky Way in future.
In overall, “drinking alone beneath the moon” in itself is a happy poem to read, which makes the reader happy after the realization that most aspects that are covered happen in real life. Most drunkards have been found talking to stones and things that are not human while making different promises to them due to the effects caused by the alcohol or wine.
Bonding with nature
The author bonds with nature in the poem and fully understands the meaning of various aspects of the environment after getting intoxicated. He fully attracts his new friend the moon and even shares a drink with the moon as a sign of newly formed friendship that should last forever. He informs the moon and his shadow that he looks forward to meeting with them again years to come so that they can revisit their last connection and continue with their drinking if possible. Such an impression is fully covered by the use of imagery, joyful tone and personification.
The author sets the pace for the poem and indicates that as the poem begins the speaker is already sited down with a pot of wine. He confirms this by saying “A pot of wine among the flowers / I drink alone, no kith or kin near.” This line creates a feeling of being peaceful and able to proceed with other activities that are important like drinking the wine. The bonding part with nature signifies the need to have often friends even when people are alone. He tries to bond with the environment so that he can be able to have different people who will provide him with company while he is drinking his wine.
The bonding nature has been clearly brought up by the prowess of personification, which makes the moon and shadow best friends to the speaker. The shadow is made the slave to the speaker while the moon becomes his best friend who he even shares a drink with through a toast. It is clearly indicated from the poem that ““I raise my cup to invite the moon to join me… And my shadow merely follows me around”. The various objects in the poem have been given life that is often important to make them have a clear connection and friendship that is true. The speaker only needs friends who are ready to join him in drinking and those that will be willing to meet him later in life.
It is vital to note that bonding with others is often important, and this only occurs through those things and people that are near and around. Such a clear thought fully reflects the provisions of the Taoist philosophy, which puts more emphasis on meditation and freedom.
The work by LiPo was attractive to the readers in mainstream China because he depicted their culture of meditation and companionship. The clearly seized the opportunity and ideas of poetry in the region and also provided different ideas that are almost seldom ignored by most members of the society. For one to understand and comprehend the clear meaning of the poem, he or she has to get the Taoist philosophy at hand, which often provides the important facets of detachment when in the process of meditation. The philosophical information has been given through concise use of different personification and imagery functions that are captivating in nature.
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