Du Fu

(712 - 770 / Henan Province / China)

Jiang Village - Poem by Du Fu

Red evening clouds are mountainous in the west
and the sun's feet disappear under the horizon.
Sparrows noisy over the brushwood door.
I am a traveler home after a thousand miles.
My wife and children are startled to see me alive.
The surprise ends but they can't stop wiping tears.
In the chaotic world I was tossed about;
I've found my way home, alive by accident.
Neighbors crowd over our garden walls.
They are moved, sighing and even weeping.
In deep night we hold candles,
facing each other as if in dream.

I live my late years as if I've stolen my life.
Very few joys after I returned home.
My little son never lets go of my knees,
afraid I will go away again.
I remember I liked to chase cool shade,
so I walk under trees by the pond.
Whistling, the north wind is strong,
I finger past events and a hundred worries fry in my mind.
However, the crops are harvested,
wine spurts from the mouth of the flask
and I have enough to fill my cups
and console me in my dusk.

A group of chickens make chaos
and fight each other as guests arrive.
I drive them up bushes and trees,
before I hear knocking on my brushwood gate:
four or five village elders greet me
and ask about my long absence.
Each of them brings a gift in hand.
Their wines pour out, some clear, some muddy.
They apologize for their wine, so watery,
as there was no one to grow millet.
Weapons and horses can't rest yet;
the young men are gone on the expedition east.
I offer a song for my old village folks,
feeling deep gratitude.
After singing, I sigh and throw back my head
and tears meander down our faces.


Comments about Jiang Village by Du Fu

  • Fabrizio Frosini (6/11/2016 2:35:00 PM)


    '' I live my late years as if I've stolen my life.
    Very few joys after I returned home. ''

    Indeed, in his later years, Du Fu was very poor...
    He also wrote a famous poem about a gale that blew the thatched roof off his cottage, over the river and into the tree-tops, allowing rain to fall on his children in their beds.
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 13, 2012



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