Li Bo And Du Fu: A Literary Analysis

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Li Bo and Du Fu are probably two of the most influential Chinese poets who ever lived. Their styles were opposites of each other, one resembling a freeing, calming atmosphere where the other expresses alarmingly sensitive ideas, overflowing with misery. However, these two writers were success during their lifetime unlike some of their predecessors. Both of these poets lived simultaneously during a period where China was unstable. Even though Li Bo and Du Fu lived during the same time, they represented two different spectrums and styles of literature During the time that Li Bo and Du Fu lived, the Tang Dynasty was beginning to decline. In 755 to 757, An Lushan attempted to over throw the Chinese government. Lushan succeed in…show more content…
This might be because he infused Daoist principles in his writing and offered many views of nature. Also his writing was unrestrained which can be seen in his life because he said what was on his mind with no filter and this got him exiled from a position once. Li Bo’s writing style went back and forth seamlessly to traditional writing and more modern themes. In his writing he was trying to convey actions of “live and let live”—meaning if something happens that you have no control of, you shouldn’t worry about why it happened but accept the conditions and live your life. In “Bring in the Wine”, Li Bo uses many analogies involving nature to make his point. The point of this poem was to live how you wanted, this is made evident when he says “While there is pleasure in life, enjoy it… [H]eaven gave me my talents, they shall be used;” From this passage, you can also infer that Li Bo was satisfied with the way he live, he lived how he wanted and wasn’t restrained or forced to be or do anything. Along with all these principles, Li Bo was known for being a drunkard and this is proven again and again in his…show more content…
This poet used a Chinese sonnet style with Confucianist, Buddhist, and Daoist thoughts and mainly wrote about politics at that time. He entrenched his writings with emotions mainly heightened sorrow and misery, which was a reflection of what he was living through. Du Fu tried to take the civil service exam to follow in his family’s footsteps, however, he ended up failing because his viewpoint wasn’t in the mold that they were looking for. In the Lushan Rebellion he was taken captive but was eventually freed and one of his children died of starvation because of the times they were living in. Du Fu’s poems mirror this despair that he lived through and told a story on the surface but there was more meaning underneath. In “A Song of My Cares When Going from the Capital to Fengxian”, Du Fu describes a journey where he is trying to escape the destruction of the rebellion only to find that it was everywhere. Through the poem, he uses the harshness of the journey as an analogy of the ruin of his country that he once thought could protect him and was wealthy but ultimately ended up failing him. In the poem he says, “Sorrow’s source is as huge as South Mountain, a formless, whirling chaos that the hand cannot grasp.” From this passage, we find out that he believes the ruin of the government is too large to fix that all is left is chaos that they can’t
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