Du Fu Poems: Journey to the South – 杜甫《南征》
















Journey to the South

Peach blossoms in full bloom by riverside,

Cloud-like sails pass by maples far and wide.

To earn a living I have to change place,

Coming from afar, tears stream on my face.

On southern journey, old and ill I sigh;

Looking northward, I long for royal sky.

Why should I torture myself for so long?

Where is the connoisseur who knows my song?



“Journey to the South” is a poem in five lines written by Du Fu, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. The poem is both a reflection of Du Fu’s sad life and his concern for the country and the people in his later years, and a self-assessment of the poet’s self-confidence and self-conceit in his own poetry. The first couplet is about the scenery of the Spring River on the way to the south, depicting a beautiful natural landscape; the third couplet is about the poet’s sad life in his later years of displacement and wandering in the world, when he could only weep in the face of the beautiful scenery; the neck couplet expresses the poet’s zeal to serve the court despite his adversity; the last couplet is a summary of the poet’s thoughts and tragic fate in his later years, when it is difficult to find a soulmate but he always believes that there will be one who really understands him. The last line is a summary of the poet’s thoughts and tragic fate in his later years. The poem is light-hearted and cheerful, while the lyricism is profound and painful.

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