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

九日蓝田崔氏庄

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Drunk in a friend party in Double Nine festival, this poem strangely reflected a sense of shame and self mocking in the 1st paragraph, a sense of negative future and death 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( Mount Hua) 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 awarded another position in the capital city with a lower rank. 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 dedicating himself to the vast endangered people in the war, thus became the Du Fu generally known today. This poem reveals some other aspects of Du Fu that hardly to be noticed.

九日蓝田崔氏庄
杜甫

老去悲秋强自宽,
兴来今日尽君欢。
羞将短发还吹帽,
笑倩旁人为正冠。

蓝水远从千涧落,
玉山高并两峰寒。
明年此会知谁健?
醉把茱萸仔细看。

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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