Question and Answer in the Mountain

by Li Bo

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How is the mountain depicted in the poem “Question and Answer in the Mountain”?

Quick answer:

In the poem “Question and Answer in the Mountain,” the speaker says the mountain is green and has water with a peach blossom floating in it. He also suggests it is a heavenly refuge from the human world.

Expert Answers

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In Li Bo’s short poem “Question and Answer in the Mountain,” the speaker does not describe the mountain in great detail. His focus is more on how he feels on the mountain and how the mountain serves as an escape from the human world. In the first line, however, he says, “You ask for what reason I stay on the green mountain.” This tells the reader that the mountain is green, which suggests that it is full of nature. Then the speaker says he does not answer, because his “heart is at leisure.” This tells the reader that the mountain is a relaxing place that makes him feel calm and content.

Next, the speaker provides a little more detail about what the mountain actually looks like. He says, “Peach blossom is carried far off by flowing water.” This line provides the reader with a beautiful, vivid image of nature on the mountain. The “peach blossom” creates a mental image of a flower with a soft orange color. The vision of the blossom floating down water makes the mountain seem even more tranquil and relaxing.

Finally, the speaker ends the poem by saying, “Apart, I have heaven and earth in the human world.” The word “apart” suggests that the mountain is isolated, and it is thus a refuge from the rest of the world. This line also suggests that the mountain is so beautiful it transcends the human world, and the speaker is thus alone in a little piece of heaven on earth. While this line doe not contain specific descriptive details about the mountain, it underscores how unique and lovely the mountain is.

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