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Chinese poem illustration:丽人行 Beauties by Du Fu

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

Not like Du Fu’s other poem, this one depicts the most elite people in March 3rd Festival at the famous garden QuJiang 曲江, the premier minister杨国忠 and his royal conferred sisters.

The poem vividly shows us the beauties, her costume and makeup, the food and atmosphere of the party, especially the premier minister and his sisters.

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 Yang’s family, as the poet can not avoid his neutral observation anymore, he condemned the Yang family in his last sentence directly by point out his name , which is quite different from the Chinese tradition, from the Book of Songs, 讳言 or talk indirectly.

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

Had the time , place and beauties briefly introduced, in Part2, Du Fu, the poet, continued his snapshot on the beauties , the makeup ,costume , ,decoration.

Gradually, Du Fu get to the key figures, which is the royal conferred Madam , 虢国夫人and 秦国夫人.Then, the most luxurious dinning with rare food and rare plate ware, the crowded noble guests was depicted lively.

At the last stage, the focal point, premier minister Yang 杨国忠 show up and imply his having an affair with his own sisters.

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 that the social moral was forgotten by the most elite group of people , as well as the royal power was lost to the bad hands.

Part2 also give analysis why this colorful, grand, and luxury poem is a poem of blaming, rather than praising.

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



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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