Du Fu

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Du Fu enjoyed the same reputation as Li Bai, and was famed as the “sage poet.” Compared with Li Bai’s romantic style, Du Fu’s poems were realist, truthfully recording the social and political life of the Tang Dynasty, from prosperity to decline, and expressing his deep sympathy for the people’s sufferings. Many of his poems came to be known as “history through poetry.” His poems reflect different poetic styles, their meter and rhyme scheme precise and exact, the antithesis formed by lines matching in sound as well as in sense, and the language concise. His poems became the model for lüshi, a classical form of eight lines. More than 1,400 of his poems have been handed down.

Portrait of Du Fu