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Chinese poem illustration: 丽人行/ Song of Beauties by Du Fu

Youtube above not applicable? watch full video at Bilibili: 丽人行1

This poem depicts most luxurious picnic in the famous garden Qujiang(曲江) at south suburb of Chang’an in lunar calendar of March 3rd(三月三), which is a traditional festival for outing(踏青). It vividly shows us the beauties, her costume and makeup, the food and atmosphere of the party, especially the premier minister and his sisters, which left us a very rare and valuable historical facts and daily life records not seen in the history studies.

Through the very detailed description, a prosperous and luxurious Tang’s life was revealed, the sign of peak hour could be smelled out as well . Du Fu ‘s precise and vivid narrative turned to be a blame to the most political powerful Yang family. The poet even could not keep his neutral observation finally, he condemned the Yang family in his last sentence directly , which sounds very unusual.

YouTube above not applicable? watch full video at Bilibili: 丽人行2

Had the time , place and beauties briefly introduced, in Part 2, Du Fu continued his snapshot on the beauties , the makeup ,costume etc. Gradually, Du Fu get to the key figures, which is the royal conferred Madam , Mrs. Guoguo (虢国夫人)and Mrs. Qinguo(秦国夫人), the real beauties.

I believe Du Fu was at the site and he saw all these with his own eyes, and he could not help out his fury toward the Yang family, as he felt that the Tang empire was in the worst hands now.

Du Fu was so called 诗史, The Poem of History, this poem definitely is one.

丽人行
杜甫

三月三日天气新,长安水边多丽人。
态浓意远淑且真,肌理细腻骨肉匀。
绣罗衣裳照暮春,蹙金孔雀银麒麟。
头上何所有?翠微盍叶垂鬓唇。
背后何所见?珠压腰衱稳称身。


就中云幕椒房亲,赐名大国虢与秦。
紫驼之峰出翠釜,水精之盘行素鳞。
犀箸厌饫久未下,鸾刀缕切空纷纶。
黄门飞鞚不动尘,御厨络绎送八珍。
箫鼓哀吟感鬼神,宾从杂遝实要津。


后来鞍马何逡巡,当轩下马入锦茵。
杨花雪落覆白苹,青鸟飞去衔红巾。
炙手可热势绝伦,慎莫近前丞相嗔!

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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