Countries may fall


Poem by Du Fu (712-770 CE).

Countries may fall,
but their rivers and mountains remain;
when spring comes to the ruined castle,
the grass is green again.

Chinese landscape

Du Fu (Wade–Giles: Tu Fu; Chinese: 杜甫; 712–770 CE) was a Chinese poet and politician of the Tang dynasty. Along with his elder contemporary and friend Li Bai (Li Po), he is frequently called the greatest of the Chinese poets. His greatest ambition was to serve his country as a successful civil servant, but he proved unable to make the necessary accommodations. His life, like the whole country, was devastated by the An Lushan Rebellion of 755, and his last 15 years were a time of almost constant unrest.

Although initially little-known to other writers, his works came to be hugely influential in both Chinese and Japanese literary culture. Of his poetic writing, nearly fifteen hundred poems have been preserved over the ages. He has been called the ‘Poet-Historian’ and the ‘Poet-Sage’ by Chinese critics, while the range of his work has allowed him to be introduced to Western readers as “the Chinese Virgil, Horace, Ovid, Shakespeare, Milton, Burns, Wordsworth, Béranger, Hugo or Baudelaire.”

Image attributed to Qu Ding; “Summer Mountains”, ca. 1050, handscroll; ink and color on silk, 17.9 x 45.4″, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Thanks to Nirbija

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