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Tu Fu (Du Fu)

Born: 712 AD
Died: 770 AD, at 58 years of age.

Nationality: Chinese
Categories: Poets, Writers


712 - Tu Fu or Du Fu, born in China. He was a prominent Chinese poet of the Tang Dynasty. Along with Li Bai (Li Po), he is frequently called the greatest of the Chinese poets.

730 - He travelled in the Jiangsu/Zhejiang area; his earliest surviving poem, describing a poetry contest, is thought to date from the end of this period.

744 - He met Li Bai (Li Po) for the first time, and the two poets formed a somewhat one-sided friendship: He was by some years the younger, while Li Bai was already a poetic star.

746 - Moved to the capital in an attempt to resurrect his official career. He participated in a second exam the following year, but all the candidates were failed by the prime minister (apparently in order to prevent the emergence of possible rivals).

754 - He began to have lung problems (probably asthma), the first of a series of ailments which dogged him for the rest of his life.

755 - His life, like the whole country, was devastated by the An Lushan Rebellion, and the last 15 years of his life were a time of almost constant unrest.

     - He finally received an appointment as Registrar of the Right Commandant's office of the Crown Prince's Palace.

756 - Emperor Xuanzong was forced to flee the capital and abdicate. He, who had been away from the city, took his family to a place of safety and attempted to join up with the court of the new emperor (Suzong), but he was captured by the rebels and taken to Chang’an.

757 - He escaped from Chang'an the following year, and was appointed Reminder when he rejoined the court in May.

760 - Arrived in Chengdu (Sichuan province), where he based himself for most of the next five years.

762 - He left the city to escape a rebellion.

764 - he returned in the summer and was appointed military advisor to Yen, who was involved in campaigns against the Tibetans.

766 - In autumn Bo Maolin became governor of the region: he supported him financially and employed him as his unofficial secretary.

768 - In March, he began his journey again and got as far as Hunan province.

770 - He died in Tanzhou (now Changsha) in November or December, in his 59th year.


Page last updated: 2:27am, 11th Jun '07