Li Bai and Du Fu – Assignment Example

The paper "Li Bai and Du Fu" is a wonderful example of a literature assignment. Andrey Levy wrote: "Li Bai and Du Fu form a pair at once complementary and opposed- the first a fantastic genius, tempted by esoteric Taoism, who allowed himself to follow spontaneity and inspiration; the second classical and practical, animated by a Confucian concern for society and tormented by the problems of his personal relationships."  Li Bai’s example:
Spring Night in Lo-yang Hearing a Flute
In what house, the jade flute that sends these dark notes drifting,
scattering on the spring wind that fills Lo-yang?
Tonight if we should hear the willow-breaking song,
who could help but long for the gardens of home?
This is a more realistic poem than the fantasy Li Bai is known for. Li Bai is known for fantastical poems that transcends earthly concerns. Since he was reportedly a drunk, some of these fanciful poems might have been written influence.
Du Fu’s example:
Autumn Meditations (3)
A mountain suburb of a thousand homes in the quiet morning light,
All day I sit by the river in my tower on the green hill.
For two nights the fishermen have stayed there floating, floating,
In the clear autumn still, the swallows fly and fly.
Kuang Heng submitted memorials; I've won little praise,
Liu Xiang passed on the classics; my wishes are not realized.
The schoolmates of my early years mostly are not poor,
In the five tomb towns their furs and horses light and fat.
This poem, unlike many of Du Fu’s writings, does not concern the poor of society or even his own misery. This poem is more of an observation than a social condemnation.