Du Fu Poems: Departure from Changsha – 杜甫《发潭州》
















Departure from Changsha

Drunken at night in Southern town,

I sail on vernal stream at dawn.

Fallen petals bid me adieu,

Swallows’ songs retain me anew.

A talent exiled long ago,

A good hand banished in woe.

What good to win a wide-spread fame?

Looking back, nothing’s left to blame.


The first couplet of the poem is a poem written by Du Fu, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. The first couplet of the poem is tightly focused on the subject, and it points out the meaning of the poem, implying the sorrow and hardship of being on the move and living in a difficult situation; the jaw couplet describes the scene when departing; the neck couplet is an allusion to the poet’s feelings and thoughts while boarding the boat; the last couplet draws on ancient people to express his feelings, directly expressing the poet’s feelings of being in another country and unable to realize his ambition. The poem is a masterpiece of Du Fu’s later years, with its expressive techniques, such as using objects to convey meaning, or using allusions to express emotions, or expressing his feelings directly.

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