Tu Fu

Tu Fu (712 - 770) was a brilliant poet during the Tang Dynasty. He was born in the Henan province in a small city called Gongxian. Tu Fu was a grandson of the poet Du Shenvan in the early period of the Tang Dynasty; so, since that time Tu Fu was well-educated in order to be the new poet of the family. In fact, Tu Fu received one of the best educations in China: the traditional Confucian education. When he was young, his major ambition was to serve China as a civil servant but he could not pass the imperial test in 736. After that, Tu Fu decided to travel around the country and start a career as a humanistic poet.

Tu Fu is considered as one of the most influential poets in China nowadays after Li Bai because his literary work not only was popular in China; Japan also admired the Chinese poems of Tu Fu.

Some Chinese critics say that Tu Fu was an innovator. That is why many critics called Tu Fu the Poet Sage or the Poet Historian. In fact, Tu Fu is compared many times with other western famous writers such as Shakespeare, Horace, Virgil, Hugo and Baudela to mention a few. There are well-preserved fifteen hundred poems of this Chinese writer nowadays. Here are two poems that talk about his personal experience:

Tu Fu Poems










Facing Snow

After the battle, many new ghosts cry,

the solitary old man worries and grieves.

Ragged clouds are low amid the dusk,

Snow dances quickly in the whirling wind.

The ladles cast aside, the cup not green;

the stove still looks as if a fiery red.

To many places, communications are broken,

I sit, but cannot read my books for grief.









Climbing High

Swift wind, heaven high, an ape's cry of grief,

At the islet of clear white sand, birds circle round.

Endlessly, trees shed leaves, rustling, rustling down,

Without cease, the great river surges, surges on.

Ten thousand miles in sorrowful autumn, always someone's guest,

A hundred years full of sickness, I climb the terrace alone.

Suffering troubles, I bitterly regret my whitening temples,

Frustratingly I've had to abandon my cup of cloudy wine.

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