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Life of tribulations

Posted October. 07, 2022 07:34,   

Updated October. 07, 2022 07:34


The poet holds onto his leather coat late into the night, looking at the fallen leaves coming down in the cold wind, set against the backdrop of a pavilion by a river in the southern region, where the autumn rain pours. This indicates his full confidence that he can answer the court's call at any time, thus reaffirming his will to build merits for the country by looking at himself in the mirror frequently. However, the poet's anguish deepens because what is reflected in the mirror is not the cheerful image of his youth but the present “frail and weak” self. This is because the weak and patriotic egos conflict with each other.

On this night, when the void in the heart caused by this conflict cannot be filled at all, the poet “leaning alone on the pavilion” is struggling. This is the part where he feels the frustration that he can no longer demonstrate what he can achieve for the country himself, but he regrets not being able to own up to this frustration. It may be because it would have been difficult to endure the bitter experience of being buried in the distant memories of the brilliance of his youthful days full of overzealous ambition and aspiration.

The above poem was written by poet Du Fu at age 55, towards the end of his life. Although he, as a young man, traveled to many places and picked up the wisdom of his life through extensive reading and interactions, he had to live a life of hardship in the face of obstacles such as endless job search, wandering, war, and diseases.