To a poet enjoying the spring with a friend, the spring scenery south of a river is marvelous. Clouds and sunset shine against the light spreading over the sea and the wild-plum and river-willow release the spring energy from both riversides. The quiet sounds of a nightingale and green water plants over the river enjoy the spring light. The unusual spring scene south of a river must have been a wonder that the poet from the north. The friend first recites a poem marveling at the landscape. However, the friend’s poem carried in an old tune fills the poet’s eyes with tears. Did the poet think of a place he wishes to return as his admiration quickly changed to grief? Looking at the place far away from his origin, he might have been reminded of his home or wished to go back to the Royal Court as a local official.
Du Shenyan, who is known as the grandfather of the famous poet Du Fu, was a talented poet himself and built the foundation for classical Chinese poetry with five or seven syllables per line during his time. He had served in the lowest position of the government for almost two decades and returned to the Royal Court with the recognition of Wu Zetian. He is part of the reason Du Fu proudly said poetry is his family business. Unfortunately, there are several anecdotes about Du Shenyan’s arrogant and frivolous personalities.