Du Fu

dufu   Du Fu (712–770) was a prominent Chinese poet of the Tang Dynasty. Along with Li Bai (Li Po), he is one of the greatest classical Chinese poets. His poetry stands as a great record to Chinese history, life and his own view of morality, which is closely linked to the more formal morality of Confucianism.



Born into a scholarly family Tu Fu received a Confucian education but failed in the Imperial examination. As a result he spent much of his youth travelling, during which he met the famous poet Li Tai-po. While Li Tai-po was Taoist in spirit Tu Fu remained devoutly Confucian. Tu Fu was deeply moved by the sorrow of his troubled times. His poems speak of the sad fate of the people, and his deep hatred of war.


Tu Fu Poems


Roads not yet glistening, rain slight,
Broken clouds darken after thinning away.
Where they drift, purple cliffs blacken.
And beyond — white birds blaze in flight.

Sounds of cold-river rain grown familiar,
Autumn sun casts moist shadows. Below
Our brushwood gate, out to dry at the village
Mill: hulled rice, half-wet and fragrant

– Tu Fu.