Tu Fu

(712-770 / Gong County / China)

Alone, Looking For Blossoms Along The River - Poem by Tu Fu

The sorrow of riverside blossoms inexplicable,
And nowhere to complain -- I've gone half crazy.
I look up our southern neighbor. But my friend in wine
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Comments about Alone, Looking For Blossoms Along The River by Tu Fu

  • Terence George Craddock (5/10/2010 3:11:00 AM)

    Any Chinese poetry critics to help with the symbolism of this poem?
    The line ‘The sorrow of riverside blossoms inexplicable’ seems to be a lament for the dead during the An Lushan Rebellion. ‘A thick frenzy of blossoms shrouding the riverside, / I stroll, listing dangerously, in full fear of spring.’ Seems to easily fit a symbolic reference to a riverside battle or life as a river and the fear of spring arriving, implies the renewed Summer battles which will follow. The gentle breezes of spring do not explain the line ‘In this crush of peach blossoms opening ownerless, ’ but a crushing death toll of two thirds of the total tax roll population at the time, an estimated 36 milion people would. Linked with ‘Spring is a frail splendor’ these phrases can symbolically record the dead and missing due to suppression and famine.
    ‘To empty golden wine cups’ is symbolic of a longing for joy, the eternal symbol during this Tang Dynasty of love, friends, and happiness which like life is fleeting. Tu Fu transcends the ravages of his time by creating beautiful artistic poets and indicates social dishevel by incorretly drinking lone in a formal poem.
    A rebellion which spans the reigns of three emperors, impacting upon the last fifteen years of the life of Tu Fu, with almost constant unrest, could be poetically described ‘blossoms fill the paths: / Thousands, tens of thousands haul the branches down.’ The blooms ‘impetuous./ And they scatter gladly, by the branchful.’ Might imply the break down of traditional systems at this time of crisis while ‘Let's talk/ Things over, little buds -open delicately, sparingly’ is the wisdom of peace negotiations. To grasp the extent of suffering at this time, only World War II, nearly 1200 years later, surpasses this time of social crisis. (Report) Reply

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  • Ramesh T A Ramesh T A (5/10/2010 2:29:00 AM)

    The richness of natural surrounding with full of pageantry makes it a compelling reading! (Report) Reply

  • Daniel Partlow (5/11/2009 6:40:00 AM)

    I use Tu Fu's (aka Du Pu) greatest poem in this piece:
    http: //www.poemhunter.com/poem/on-route-from-the-capital-to-fengxian-to-damascus/ (Report) Reply

  • Is It Poetry Is It Poetry (5/10/2009 11:17:00 PM)

    I float as the blooms, happy to land in the river of wine...iip (Report) Reply

  • Michael Pruchnicki (5/10/2009 7:21:00 AM)

    Attention please! Tu Fu lives no longer in our prison of days, Karin and Sope, and hasn't lived for centuries! And he was more than a 'drunk (sic) poet' when he wrote alone, looking for blossoms along the river! (Report) Reply

  • Karin Anderson (sorry can't vote or comment) . (11/18/2008 1:08:00 AM)

    I really liked your poem. It had a lot of meaning and you took me on the journey. Thank you for letting me read it. Karin Anderson (Report) Reply

  • Michael Pruchnicki (5/10/2008 4:38:00 PM)

    Why should a lonely poet getting on in years dread the oncoming of
    spring? He shudders at the sight of blossoms shrouding the river banks
    with red and white flowers. He looks east to the flower-filled smoke over
    the wineshop, where he remembers drinking and enjoying the company
    of beautiful dancing girls in years past. Is he simply drunk? Hardly! The
    speaker (probably Tu Fu himself) is remembering former glories and the
    beauty of life as his own draws to a close. He knows that like the red
    and white blossoms along the river once death begins to set in, the
    process accelerates!

    Slow down, he says! Let's talk things over, little buds! Perhaps as we
    slowly sip what's left of life! (Report) Reply

  • Pha Thanh Gian (4/28/2005 1:12:00 PM)

    Great! A drunk poet... have the 'hots' for a widow in the vacinity (Madame Huang) .
    Who says it was any different in the 'good old days'?
    Exquisite work! (Report) Reply

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