Du Fu - Spring in the Ruined City — Selected Poems


Du Fu - Spring in the Ruined City — Selected Poems

Paperback, 112pp, 8.5x5.5ins 
Download a PDF sampler from this book here.

Translated from Chinese by Jonathan Waley

The Tang dynasty (618–907 AD), is celebrated as the greatest moment  in Chinese poetry, a time when poetry was highly rated, and some of China's most famous poets were writing. Du Fu  (712–770 AD) is widely regarded as the greatest of these. He himself wrote that he aimed to startle his readers, and  in some of his more avant-garde poems he combines and contrasts images in a way that almost has a modernist feel to it. On the other hand,  he also enjoyed and  celebrated the simple pleasures in life, and his (apparently) lighter poems about friendship and his  natural surroundings  show this clearly.

The rebellion which devastated the lives of ordinary people and nearly toppled the Tang dynasty is present in many of these poems. Du Fu faces up to this crisis  by probing the wounds of his age in painful detail. At the same time, we experience his own sufferings, such as  famine and family bereavement, as well as his disabling sense of uselessness, as he came to realise he would never gain high office and so influence events.

It is this huge variety in topic and texture that have made Du Fu's poetry so popular in China over the last thirteen hundred years.


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