A Homeless Man's Departure
After the Rebellion of 755, all was silent wasteland,
gardens and cottages turned to grass and thorns.
My village had over a hundred households,
but the chaotic world scattered them east and west.
No information about the survivors;
the dead are dust and mud.
I, a humble soldier, was defeated in battle.
I ran back home to look for old roads
and walked a long time through the empty lanes.
The sun was thin, the air tragic and dismal.
I met only foxes and raccoons,
their hair on end as they snarled in rage.
Who remains in my neighborhood?
One or two old widows.
A returning bird loves its old branches,
how could I give up this poor nest?
In spring I carry my hoe all alone,
yet still water the land at sunset.
The county governor's clerk heard I'd returned
and summoned me to practice the war-drum.
This military service won't take me from my state.
I look around and have no one to worry about.
It's just me alone and the journey is short,
but I will end up lost if I travel too far.
Since my village has been washed away,
near or far makes no difference.
I will forever feel pain for my long-sick mother.
I abandoned her in this valley five years ago.
She gave birth to me, yet I could not help her.
We cry sour sobs till our lives end.
In my life I have no family to say farewell to,
so how can I be called a human being?
Du Fu's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (A Homeless Man's Departure by Du Fu )
- Like A Gentle Rain, Spiritwind Wood
- The paradox of becoming a Man, Nancy Handabile
- Quran, The Ways of Ascent, Mohja Kahf
- 'My Persuasion' Over 'Her Coyness'., Prabhat Priyadarshi
- rain, Erin Daly
- I Hope, Michael McParland
- Holding Fatima in the Light, Mohja Kahf
- Manifesto for the Chaste Wanton, Mohja Kahf
- Doves, Mohja Kahf
- Return of the Friend, Mohja Kahf
Poem of the Day
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Touched by an Angel, Maya Angelou
- Mid-Term Break, Seamus Heaney
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(17 July 1674 – 25 November 1748)
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919)
John Greenleaf Whittier
(17 December 1807 – 7 September 1892)
- Christina Georgina Rossetti
James Whitcomb Riley
(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916)
Edgar Lee Masters
(23 August 1868 – 5 March 1950)
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Victor Marie Hugo
(26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)