Comparison of Li Po and Tu Fu's Poetry
During the Tang Dynasty, Li Po and Tu Fu have reigned the literary world with their poetry. Their writing techniques and themes in their poetry allow them to stand out amongst other poets at the time. With the unique aspects and images these poets write about, they distinguish the similarities between themselves and contain different intensities in their poetry. While Li Po has a more relaxed tone to his poetry, Tu Fu deals with the serious aspects of life such as war, poverty, and suffering.
Li Po's writing style is conventional and contains no new innovations. Much of his poetry contains older styles such as lu-shih, chueh-chu, and especially the ku-shih. Li Po also tends to look upon the past more than the future. In his poem, " At Su Terrace Viewing the Past", Li Po states, "Old gardens, a ruined terrace, willow trees new…and now there is only the west river moon, that shone once on a lady in the palace of the king of Wu." Throughout this poem, Li Po shows a longing for the past, the longing of that lady who lived in that palace. Now he is looking back upon the past and the wonderful experiences he had. Although Li Po suffered through exile and complicated political connections, he rarely expresses his grief through his poetry. Usually, his poetry contains the happier aspects of life and avoids being too personal and less revealing on his inner emotions.
Perhaps one of the more notable aspects of his writing is his fondness of nature,
especially with mountainous landscapes and celestial scenery. In the poem, "Poem #19 in the Old Manner", Li Po expresses the beauty of nature. "West ascending Lotus Flower Mountain, far far away I saw the Bright Star maid; with pale hands she plucked lotus blossoms; with airy steps she walked the great clear void," the poem continues combining the mountain landscape and the heavenly body of the "Bright Star maid". Alcohol became another common theme of Li Po's poetry. "Scholar Tan-ch'iu! Bring the wine and no delay! For you I'll sing a song- be pleased to bend your ears and hear; bells and drums, foods rare as jade- these aren't worth prizing; all I ask is to be drunk forever, never to sober up!" This excerpt from the poem "Bring the Wine", is only one of the many hundreds of poems that portrays Li Po's love of wine and its affects. "I take my wine jug out among the flowers to drink alone, without friends. I raise my cup to entice the moon. That, and my shadow, makes us three", is an excerpt from his "Drinking Alone" poem. It displays his love of wine and the enjoyment of the beauty of the moon.
Tu Fu's poetry illustrates more serious topics and contains more serious themes. It contains more creation, tu-tsao, and his writing styles have a modern twist to them. He also brought the chin-t'i form to popularity, making it a poetic statement. One characteristic of Tu Fu poems is that he incorporates and...