This volume is published in commemoration of the 1,250th birthday of Tu Fu, one of China's greatest poets who lived in the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.). Tu Fu was a contemporary and equal of Li Po, widely known in the West. In the minds of many Chinese people he is even greater. Both glorified their days, the golden age of classical Chinese poetry, with writings of unmatched brilliance. It was a lime of great turmoil, a time when the Tang rule was declining and wars of aggression swept the country. Tu Fu, born of an intelligentsia family, sank to the lowest rung of the social ladder. He shared the lot of the common folk and therefore had a deep insight into the calamities and sufferings in which they were involved. He hated wars of aggression and longed for peace. He made his poetry a vehicle for the expression of his sympathy for the people, as well as a faithful account of his own tragedy. His poems have been cherished with ever-growing admiration. In 1962, Tu Fu was commemorated as one of the World's Cultural Giants. Feng Chih, the compiler of this book, is a professor of Peking University and the outstanding specialist on Tu Fu's works. His other collection of Tu Fu's works, containing 264 poems, is popular reading among Chinese lovers of poetry. The translator Rewi Alley, himself a poet from New Zealand, has been in China for more than thirty years. He has travelled widely in northwestern and southwestern China and has personally seen the mountains, rivers, cities and countryside mentioned by Tu Fu. He is most qualified for the translation of Tu Fu's poems. The present volume contains 140 of Tu Fu's poems written at various periods of his life, some of them already widely read. Additional features include the reproductions of the rubbing of a stone carving of Tu Fu's portrait, facsimiles of Tu Fu's works printed in the Sung and Yuan Dynasties, and paintings inspired by the poems.
Release date NZ
December 1st, 2004
Compiled by Feng Chih
Country of Publication
University Press of the Pacific
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