Chinese poet Li Bai seated.

Li Bai

(701 - 762)

Called the “banished immortal,” the poet Li Bai declined to take the civil-service examination and, after a period of seclusion in the mountains, spent much of his life wandering through Tang dynasty China. Known for his love of drink, Li was reputed to have written a “hundred poems per gallon of wine” and to have explained to a governor to whom he failed to give proper respect, “Wine makes its own manners.” One popular legend holds that he drowned when, drunk one evening in a boat, he tried to grasp the moon’s reflection.

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