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Tang Poetry

Tang Poetry

Tang Dyasty witnessed a peak in Chinese culture. Especially for ancient poetry, it had its flowering in Tang Dynasty. In more than 300 years of history of Tang Dynasty, some 48,900 poems were handed down and remain widely knows today.

So many works also made more than 2,300 poets famous in history.

As far as the writing technique is concerning, Tang poetry combined realism and romanticism. In form, poetry of Tang Dynasty contained four-line and eight-line verse with five or seven characters in each line. Moreover, "modern style" poetry, which is regular and polished , also appeared in Tang Dynasty.

The best well-known poets of Tang Dynasty were Li Bai and Du Fu, who are very prestigious in the whole world. Therefore, people of later generations have praised both of them as "Li Du" collaboratively.

Being widely praised as the "Immortal of Poems", Li Bai was a poet who abounded with passion and talent. With lofty sentiments and a powerful imagination, he created many poems in praise of magnificent mountains and mighty rivers of the motherland. Over 900 poems of Li Bai have been preserved, of which the most famous are Invitation to Wine, The Szechuan Road, and Watching the Waterfall at Lushan, intonated by people for generations.

Du Fu is revered as "Sage of the Poems" by the posterity. When he was young, Du Fu visited many scenice spots and places of historical interest. But his later life was full of frustrations, which enabled him to gradually have a clear idea of the peopl's suffering. In his poems, Du Fu boldly exposed the corruption of the feudal society and profoundly portrayed people's miserable lives. More than 1,400 of his poems have been preserved till today, and the best well-known ones are Spring Outlook, Ballad of the Army Carts, The Conscripting Officer at Shihao, The Conscripting Officer at Tongguan, The Conscripting Officer at Xin'an, Farewell to My Husband, Farewell to My Old Wife and Farewell of a Lonely Soul.

The noted poets in Tang Dynasty also include Wang Wei, Bai Juyi, Le He, Li Shangyin and Du Mu, etc.

Even today, Chinese are still very fond of the Tang poetry, many of which can be recited even by children, for example, Thoughts in the Silent Night written by Li Bai, Welcome Rain One Spring Night written by Du Fu, etc. Famous verses like "We widen our view three hundred miles by ascending one flight of stairs", "Do you not see Yellow River come from the sky" are often quoted by most people. The book Three Hundred Tang Poems is a bestselling at home and abroad. Currently in China, the tag "If you have recited 300 poems of Tang Dynasty, you will be able to intonate them even though you can't produce them" has been popular. Thus, it can be seen how Chinese are fond of Tang poetry.

Reference data

  1. The Three Conscripting Officers include The Conscripting Officer at Shihao, The Conscripting Officer at Tongguan and The Conscripting Officer at Xin'an.
  2. The Three Farewells include Farewell to My Husband, Farewell to My Old Wife and Farewell of a Lonely Soul
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