Du Fu (杜甫) 's poetry
Posted 26 September 2006 - 07:26 PM
(a four line poem with seven characters each line) by Du Fu
two yellowbirds chirp in the green willow
one row of egret fly into the blue sky
outside the window, a thousand years of snow lies on the western mountains
in front of the door, ten thousand miles of boats float in the "Dong Wu"* harbour
*Dong Wu -- an area in China. "dong" means "eastern", so it is opposite of "western" in the third line. And "wu" matches "mountains" in the third line.
Note how this poem is like two couplets joined together, this is one of the structures of a traditional four line poem. This poem paints a vivid picture of early spring where the poet is on a boat and describes the scenery outside.
Posted 26 September 2006 - 07:44 PM
Du Fu 杜甫 (子美) , was born in 712AD in Henan Province into a Confucian family. He wrote a lot of poems about the suffering of poor people and also some on small object and topics. He was especially talented at five character, seven character long poems. He has lefted over 1400 poems. Du Fu died in 770AD.
Posted 26 September 2006 - 10:14 PM
Posted 27 September 2006 - 05:20 PM
yeah, he could be seen as the best and most influential poet, so he's quite famous...
In Vietnamese, he is Do (Vietnamese last name) Phu, and his poems were somewhat known and popular in Vietnam literature.
Posted 27 September 2006 - 05:46 PM
prime minister of Shu* by Du Fu
Where do you find the prime minister's ancestral temple
Outside the JinGuan* city walls cypress thickly grew
Green grass of the spring colours the steps
Yellow birds chirp by themselves inside the leaves
Three calls he took over the entire state's affairs
For two generations he gave his true heart
But before he claimed victory he was dead
This frequently made heros weep with tears all over their garments
*prime minister of Shu -- this is meant to be for Zhu GeLiang, for those of you who haven't read the Romance of the Three Kingdoms or San Guo Zhi, he was the "prime minister" of Shu
*JinGuan -- place where his temple is
Again notice how the middle two lines are like couplets. This is the structure of a "regular verse" (律诗).
Posted 28 September 2006 - 05:55 PM
Spring outlook by Du Fu
Although the country's torn apart, rivers and mountains still stand there
The spring arrives and shrubs and grass grow around the city walls
Where touched flowers shed tears
And lonely bird's break their heart
The war-fires have carried on for three months
And a letter from home is worth tons of gold
My white hair have been scratched so short
That it can not bear a hairpin anymore
The poet wrote this poem in 757AD after the An LuShan rebellion broke out. This was written in Chang'an, in the rebels' camps. This is a regular verse with five characters in each line. Again the for middle lines form couplets.
Posted 30 September 2006 - 05:08 PM
Hearing the government reoccupy Henan and Hebei by Du Fu
Outside Jianmen* suddenly delivers the message that Jibei* is reoccupied
When I first heard it I had tears all over my garment
And look at my wife, all her worries are gone
Casually roll up my books, so happy I'm nearly mad
In the daytime sing and drink wine
The spring can accompany us to travel back to our hometown
From Ba gorge* through to Wu gorge*
Then from Xiangyang* to Luoyang*
* Jianmen, Jibei, Ba gorge, Wugorge, Xiangyang, Luoyang -- are all places in China
Posted 02 October 2006 - 09:04 PM
View of Mt. Tai by Du Fu
What shall I say of the Great Peak?
The ancient dukedoms are everywhere green
Inspired and stirred by the breath of creation
With the Twin Forces balancing day and night
My chest holds layers of clouds
I strain my sight to see the birds flying home
Once I get to the very top
All the other mountains will look very small
Posted 07 October 2006 - 05:30 PM
Ascend by Du Fu
In a sharp gale from the wide sky apes are whimpering
Over the clear lake and white sand birds are flying homeward
Immensity of leaves rustling fell
The never-ending Yangtze river rolling on
I have come thousands of miles miles away, sad now with autumn
And with my hundred years of woe, I climb this height alone.
Ill fortune has laid a bitter frost on my temples，
Heart-ache and weariness are a thick dust in my wine.
This is a regular verse with seven characters in each verse. Again the middle lines form two very strict couplets.
Posted 10 October 2006 - 11:28 PM
The eight-sided fortress by Du Fu
The Three Kingdoms, divided, have been bound by his greatness
The Eight-Sided Fortress is founded on his fame
Beside the changing river, it stands stony as his grief
That he never conquered the Kingdom of Wu
Posted 21 November 2006 - 12:14 AM
My Cottage Unroofed By Autumn Gales by Du Fu
In the eighth moon the autumn gales furiously howl;
They roll up three layers of straw from my thatched bower.
The straw flies across the river and spreads in shower,
Some hanging knotted on the tops of trees that tower,
Some swirling down and sinking into water foul.
Urchins from Southern Village know I'm old and weak;
They rob me to my face without a blush on cheek
And holding armfuls of straw, into bamboos sneak.
In vain I call them till my lips are parched and dry;
Again alone, I lean on my cane and sigh.
Shortly the gale subsides and clouds turn dark as ink;
The autumn skies are shrouded and in darkness sink.
My cotton quilt is cold; for years it has been worn;
My restless children kick in sleep and it is torn.
The roof leaks o'er beds, leaving no corner dry;
Without cease the rain falls thick and fast from the sky.
After the troubled times troubled has been my sleep.
Wet though, how can I pass the night so long, so deep!
Could I get mansions covering ten thousand miles,
I'd house all scholars poor and make them beam with smiles.
In wind and rain these mansions would stand like mountains high,
Alas! Should these house appear before my eye,
Frozen in my unroofed cot, content I'd die.
Posted 19 December 2006 - 01:42 AM
"Walking Along the Riverside Searching for Flowers"
In front of the Huangshi Pagoda the river flows to the East,
The Spring sun makes one lazy and tired,
relying on the subtle spring wind.
The Peach blossoms in a bunch as though there is no (root?)
Which are best the deep or light red flowers?
Hahaha, this is my first time trying to translate a poem, any help appreciated!!! Tried to look for a translation but couldn't find one.
This poem is known as one of some of the poems written after the AnLuShan Rebellion. They are known for their light heartdness in nature and his enjoyment in the wild or natural surroundings.
Posted 02 February 2007 - 07:05 PM
Night in the moonlight by Du Fu
Tonight's Fu Zhou* moon
Is lonely watched in the boudoir
Pity my young children
Doesn't understand to miss Chang'an*
Fragrant mist dampens her thick hair
Bright moonlight cools her pale skin
When can we sit under the moon together
And let the moonlight dry her tears.
*Fu Zhou is the place where Du Fu's wife and his children were
*Chang'an is where Du Fu is kept after being captured by the rebellions
This poem was written just after the An Lushan rebellion, when Du Fu left his family at Fu Zhou and went to join the Emperor Li Heng. He was captured by the rebellions on his way there and was kept in Chang'an. This poem was written to express his yearning for his family.
The poem is cleverly crafted -- not beginning with himself but describing a woman watching the moon (missing her husband) by herself. Why herself? Hasn't she got her children? Then it tells the reader -- "the children are still young, and doesn't understand to miss their father." The third couplet describes the woman, watching the moon. Then the last sentence finishes it off nicely, creating an atmosphere.
The whole poem is about the longing for family, yet every sentence still keeps itself on the title of the poem -- "Night in the moonlight".
Posted 03 February 2007 - 08:32 PM
Vivid and beautiful poetry,
"Wait for the wisest of all counselors...Time"
- Pericles, 5th century BC Athenian statesman and strategos
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