Du Mu (Tu Mu) 803-852

Leading Tang (618-907) poet Du Mu is best remembered for his lyrical and romantic quatrains. The grandson of the eminent historian and Grand Councillor Du You §ł¦ö (735-812), Du Mu was well read in the Confucian and military classics. After gaining his jinshi degree in 828, he held a series of minor posts, but did not reach high office”Špartly due to fallen family fortunes and partly, perhaps, because of the political intrigues of the time. His frustration is reflected in his poetry. He also wrote frequent letters to those in power, criticizing government policy and military strategy. A few months before his death, he was promoted to the post of Drafter in the Secretariat. Like most scholar-officials, he was adept in the art of calligraphy and painting as well as essays and poetry.

Works available in English:

  • Plantains in the Rain: Selected Chinese Poems (R. F. Burton). London: Wellsweep Press, 1990.

    Studies and Biographies:

  • Wen-kai Kung, Tu Mu (805-852): His Life and Poetry. San Francisco: Chinese Materials Center, 1990.
  • Ching-song Gene Hsiao, Semiotic interpretation of Chinese poetry: Tu Mu's poetry as example. Ann Arbor, Mich.: UMI, 1988.
  • Wen-kai Kung, Tu Mu: the poet. Ann Arbor, Mich.: UMI, 1985.
  • Gail Ellen Sukys, :Formerly in the service of Emperor Wen, 32 rhymes" by Tu Mu (803-852): translation and interpretation. Ann Arbor, Mich.: MUI, 1985.          close