Du Fu - Sage of Poetry
Du Fu (712 - 770A.D.), a famous poet of the Tang Dynasty, is crowned as "Sage of Poetry" by later generations.
Du Fu was a patriot. Under the constant influence of Confucianism, he hated and tended to criticize the corrupted imperial court and the dark side of the social life. In the meantime, he had great compassion for the general public, and was willing to make self-sacrifice to rescue people from their tribulation. For this reason, his poems are themed with his concern about the country and the people. For instance, his famous "Sanli Sanbie" (Three Poems on Petty Officials and Three Poems on Separations) fully displays common people's sufferings in turbulent times. With abundant social content, intensive era features and sharp-cut political proneness, his poems present in a real and profound way the political affairs and expansive social life during the Anshi Rebellion in the Tang Dynasty, thus being awarded the title "Poetic History".
Du Fu wrote altogether over 1400 poems during his lifetime. Accomplished in poems of various types and good at employing diversified artistic techniques, he is an undisputable giant of the ideology and art of Tang poetry. Du Fu had a profound friendship with Li Bai, another great poet in the Tang Dynasty. Though their poetic styles were different, they admired each other for their respective talent and personality. Therefore, they are jointly named "Li Du" by later generations. Du Fu's poems have a tremendous influence on later generations. Many renowned poets and writers like Bai Juyi, Han Yu, Li He, Li Shangyin, etc had learnt from him.
In comparison with his poetic style, Du Fu's ideological sentiment seems more influential. His patriotism, compassion for the general public, and self-sacrifice spirit have been respected and admired by generations of intellectuals. The influence has been lasting until present day. His former residence, "Du Fu's thatched cottage" in Chengdu, Sichuan Province is still soundly preserved and acts as a place available for people to visit and show respect.
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