Study Guide

A Poem of Changgan Isolation

By Li Po (also known as Li Bai)

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The speaker of "A Poem of Changgan" is one lonely gal. She falls in love with a boy, gets married, and soon after she's hitched her hubby's off on a long journey from which she's not sure he's going to return. The poem's emphasis on the speaker's isolation points to the pain that we experience when we are separated from those we love. This poem may have been written over a thousand years ago, but the feelings of isolation and loneliness that it evokes are familiar even in the time and age that we live in.

Questions About Isolation

  1. In what ways do the speaker's feelings during her childhood contrast with her feelings during her adulthood? Is she happier or sadder as she grows older?
  2. How does the speaker express her feelings of isolation in this poem?
  3. What is the relationship between isolation and love in this poem?

Chew on This

This speaker is completely isolated after her husband departs on his long journey.

No, no—this speaker is not isolated. Even though her husband has left on a long journey, she's still connected to him.

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