The Poetry of Du Fu and Li Bai

Michael Wood, Ha Jin

Tu Fu / Du Fu and Li Bai/ Li Po/ Li Bo are two famous late Tang poets.

Li Po (701-762 AD) is what he is called in the West. In China he is known as Li Bai.

Du Fu (722 -70 AD) is considered the greatest of the poets. Some, like my accountant Chong CT, find his poems too sad and prefer the more uplifting poems of Li Bai.

One can’t blame Du Fu. His greatest poems were written when the Tang dynasty was in chaos, and he was forced to wander from south to west China eking a living.

Here are 2 books on Du Fu and one on Li Bai.

Wood’s 2023 book is an excellent introduction. Ha Jin’s 2019 book is a gem.

The late David Hawkes’ A little primer of Tu Fu published in 1965 is a must.

David Hawkes

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