Du Fu Poems: Unbent Mind – 杜甫《狂夫》


















Unbent Mind

West of the Bridge there stands my thatched hall,

Beside a pool where water plays with flowers.

The breeze caresses bamboos green and tall;

Pink lotus blooms moistened sweeten the bowers.

But unprovided for by my old friend,

My hungry children look haggard and drear.

Could I bow before I come to my end?

I laugh and hold my unbent mind as dear.



The poem “Unbent Mind” is a seven-line poem written by Du Fu, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. The first couplet describes the environment in which he lives, a place of peace and relaxation after a long period of mourning. The beautiful scenery of the Ruanhua River in the first couplet contrasts with the bleak situation in the neck couplet, in which the family is starving once they have lost contact with their deceased friend. The last couplet of the poem shows that this man, who has been through a lot of hardships, has never been overwhelmed by the trials and tribulations of life and has always treated the blows of life with a stubborn attitude, which shows the profound meaning of the word “madman”. The poem unites the pleasing scenery and the sadness with the image of the “madman”, which is a great success as it is artistically subservient to the needs of the content.

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