Du Mu - Major Poet During The Golden Age of Chinese Poetry
Du Mu (杜牧) (803–852) was a leading Chinese poet of the late Tang Dynasty. His courtesy name was Muzhi (牧之), and sobriquet Fanchuan (樊川).
He was born in Chang'an (modern Xi'an) into an elite family whose fortunes were declining. He passed the jinshi ("Presented Scholar") level of the imperial civil service examination in 827 at the age of 25, and went on to hold many official positions in various locales through the years. However, he never achieved a high rank, perhaps due to enemies made in a factional dispute in 835. He was appointed to the office of Secretariat Drafter shortly before his death.
Du Mu was skilled in shi, fu and ancient Chinese prose. He is best known as the writer of sensual, lyrical quatrains featuring historical sites or romantic situations, and often the themes of separation, decadence, or impermanence. His style blends classical imagery and diction with striking juxtapositions, colloquialisms, or other wordplay. He also wrote long narrative poems, as well as a commentary on the Art of War and many letters of advice to high officials.
Regarded as a major poet during a golden age of Chinese poetry, his name is often mentioned together with that of another renowned Late Tang poet, Li Shangyin, as the Little Li-Du (小李杜), in contrast to the Great Li-Du: Li Bai and Du Fu. Among his influences were Du Fu, Li Bai, Han Yu and Liu Zongyuan.
In 1968, Roger Waters of the rock band Pink Floyd borrowed lines from his poetry to create the lyrics for the song Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun from the band's second album A Saucerful of Secrets. "Lotuses lean on each other in yearning" (多少绿荷相倚恨)