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Chinese poem illustration:哀江头/ Sadness at lakefront by Du Fu

哀江头

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An elegy for the emperor and Tang dynasty, this poem was written in the second year since civil war broke, the great capital Chang’an city was taken by the rebellions. Du Fu was trapped in town, and this poem was written when he revisit the famous touring spot Qujiang(曲江) and the royal garden Furong Yuan(芙蓉园). Qujiang(曲江) is a lake but in the name of river, that is how the poem title came from.

This poem is about the same place as another Du Fu’s poem The Beauties(丽人行) with same spring season. The contrast is huge, the beauties dead, the emperor lost his throne, garden and palace ruined, the crowds and happiness gone. Another Du Fu poem Spring Watching(春望) could be a reference, which was written in the same time frame.

This poem is about the same place as another Du Fu’s poem 丽人行, same spring season. The contrast is huge , the beauties dead, the emperor lost his throne , garden and palace ruined, the crowds and happiness gone. Another Du Fu poem 春望 could be a reference for this poem , which was written in the same time frame.

The nick name(少陵野老) by Du Fu himself is from this poem. Mencius was introduced and explained a bit to help better understanding of the sentence(天地不仁) .

哀江头
杜甫

少陵野老吞声哭,春日潜行曲江曲。
江头宫殿锁千门,细柳新蒲为谁绿?


忆昔霓旌下南苑,苑中万物生颜色。
昭阳殿里第一人,同辇随君侍君侧。
辇前才人带弓箭,白马嚼啮黄金勒。
翻身向天仰射云,一笑正坠双飞翼。


明眸皓齿今何在?血污游魂归不得。
清渭东流剑阁深,去住彼此无消息。
人生有情泪沾臆,江水江花岂终极!
黄昏胡骑尘满城,欲往城南望城北。

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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