Oxen and sheep were brought back down
Long ago, and bramble gates closed. Over
Mountains and rivers, far from my old garden,
A windswept moon rises into clear night.
Springs trickle down dark cliffs, and autumn
Dew fills ridgeline grasses. My hair seems
Whiter in lamplight. The flame flickers
Good fortune over and over — and for what?
Born: 12 February 712, Gongyi, Zhengzhou, China
Died: 770, Tan Prefecture, China
Du Fu was a poet and politician of the Tang dynasty. Along with his older contemporary Li Po he is considered one of the greatest Chinese poets. Du Fu’s ambition to serve his country as a civil servant proved unsuccessful as he was unable to make the necessary accommodations. Like the whole of China, Du Fu’s life was devastated by the An Lushan Rebellion of 755, and the last decade or so of his life was a time of constant unrest. Initially unknown to other writers, Du Fu’s work became a huge influence in Both Chinese and Japanese literature and literary culture. Referred to as the ‘Poet-Historian’ and the ‘Poet-Sage’ by Chinese critics, his range of work has allowed Du Fu to be introduced to Western readers