DU FU - How Helpless I Am

China was deep in civil war.  the An-Lu Shan Rebellion had fractured the nation which the Emperor had governed in relative peace. Du Fu was exiled.  In just a few words of eight lines in English, he creates the utter despair of war and his own condition.  Still, the picture he paints is filled with detail upon detail, building proof to his images until we are drawn into his view.  We are there on the cliff with him, and it matters not if 1,200 years have passed in time.

Du Fu Writing Poetry while drunk.

 

    As evening ascends these mountain trails

    I reach a lookout high above the river.

    Clouds hang lightly to the edge of cliff.

    Moon moves in isolation through the waves.

     

    In silence fly a single line of cranes.

    Preying wolves scream into a void.

    Thoughts of war doom me to insomnia,

    Knowing how helpless I am to change the world.

     

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