Chinese poem illustration: 九日蓝田崔氏庄/ Double Nine Festival in Cui’s House in Lantian by Du Fu


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Drunk in a friend party in Double Nine festival, this poem reflected a sense of shame and self mocking in the 1st paragraph, a sense of negative projection in the second paragraph.

In all the explanations I searched, this poem was considered written after the civil war(安史之乱), most probably in the year 758. In reality , Du Fu never stayed in Chang’an city in autumn after the civil war broke. He served in Huazhou(华州) in 758AC which is 110km away, and more important, to go to the party would beyond area of his duty.The most possible writing time is 755AC, when Du Mu was awarded a low position in the Tang government. In fact, he refused the first position because of the position is not in Chang’an city. Then he was assigned another position in the capital city. The first low rank position is a bit shame for Du Fu already, not to say the following downgrading with no reason. Another poem 官定后戏赠 clearly reflected how shameful he felt.

The ten more years living in Chang’an totally changed Du Mu, from a proud and ambitious person to a humble old man, even he was only 44 years old in 755, Du Fu called himself as an old man. This is also reflected in the poem 官定后戏赠 with the words 老夫怕趋走. I would rather take the civil war as the redemption to Du Fu, from the humble and shameful life to dedicate himself to the vast endangered people in the war, by which Du Fu generally known today. This poem reveals some other aspects of Du Fu that hardly to be noticed.




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