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Chinese poem illustration: 江南逢李龟年/ Encounter Li Guinian at South of Yangtze by Du Fu

江南逢李龟年

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Anshi Turmoil(安史之乱) , is a huge tragedy just after the greatest time of Tang, perhaps the biggest turn over in the Chinese history per the people and country. It was believed that after this civil war of Tang (安史之乱), China has never reached the glory as of Tang dynasty.

This poem described 2 top elites, one is Du Fu(杜甫) himself, the other is the top musician Li Guinian(李龟年), the two encountered in a south city several years after civil war, very naturally reminded their most splendid youth time in Chang’an city, in the greatest world metropolis of the time.

This poem is a masterpiece among masterpieces of Du Fu, written in his last year of life. Not like Du Fu’s other poems , this one is simple, oral and seems with nothing expressed, anyhow it is of immense feeling beneath. People nowadays can hardly feel the same as of Du Fu and Li Guinian’s time, because none of us have ever been through such a deep and sudden falling down personally as well as nationally.

The writing techniques is typical: use a happy atmosphere to contrast the sadness(以乐景写悲情), left something as blank(留白), a very popular technique employed in classic Chinese painting. In this poem, the background of the two, the country, the personal story, the surrounding beautiful views of spring, the dinner and music etc., all were left blank.

江南逢李龟年
杜甫

岐王宅里寻常见,
崔九堂前几度闻。

正是江南好风景,
落花时节又逢君。

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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