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Su Dongpo: Comparing the Poems of Zhang Andao to Those of Du Fu

Comparing the Poems of Zhang Andao to Those of Du Fu



次 韵 张 安 道 读 杜 诗
大 雅 初 微 缺
流 风 闲 暴 豪。
张 为 词 客 赋
变 作 楚 臣 骚。
展 转 更 崩 坏
纷 纶 阅 俊 髦。
地 偏 蕃 怿 产
源 失 乱 狂 涛。
粉 黛 迷 真 色
鱼 虾 易 豢 牢。
谁 知 杜 陵 杰
名 与 谪 仙 高。
扫 人 收 千 轨
争 标 看 两 艘。
诗 人 例 穷 苦
天 意 遣 奔 逃。
尘 暗 人 亡 鹿
溟 翻 蒂 斩 鳌。
艰 危 思 李 牧
述 作 谢 王 褒。
失 意 名 千 里
哀 鸣 闻 九 皋。
骑 鲸 遁 沧 海
捋 虎 得 绨 袍。
巨 笔 屠 龙 手
微 官 似 马 曹。
迂 疏 无 事 业
醉 饱 死 游 遨。
简 牍 仪 刑 在
儿 童 篆 刻 劳。
今 谁 主 文 字
公 合 把 旌 旄。
开 卷 遥 相 忆
知 音 两 不 遭。
般 斤 思 郢 质
鲲 化 陋 鯈 濠。
恨 我 无 佳 句
时 蒙 致 自 醪。
殷 勤 理 黄 菊
未 遣 没 蓬 蒿。


Ci Yun Zhang An Dao Du Du Shi

Da ya chu wei que
Liu feng xian bao hao.
Zhang wei ci ke fu
Bian zuo chu chen sao.

Zhan zhuan geng beng huai
Fen lun yue jun mao.
Di pian fan yi chan
Yuan shi luan kuang tao.

Fen dai mi zhen se
Yu xia yi huan lao.
Shei zhi du ling jie
Ming yu zhe xian gao.

Sao di shou qian gui
Zheng biao kan liang sou,.
Shi ren li qiong ku
Tian yi qian ben tao.

Chen an ren wang lu
Ming fan di zhan ao.
Jian wei si li mu
Shu zuo xie wang bao.

Shi yi ge qian li
Ai ming wen jiu gao.
Qi jing dun cang hai
Lu hu dei ti pao.

Ju bi tu long shou
Wei guan si ma cao.
Yu shu wu shi ye
Zui bao si you ao.

Jian du yi xing zai
Er tong zhuan ke lao.
Jin shei zhu wen zi
Gong he ba jing mao.

Kai juan yao xiang yi
Zhi yin liang bu zao.
Ban jin si ying zhi
Kun hua lou tiao hao.

Hen wo wu jia ju
Shi meng zhi zi lao.
Yin qin li huang ju
Wei qian mei peng hao.


Comparing the Poems of Zhang Andao to Those of Du Fu

Early, highly refined poems followed by a period of no written poetry
Poets of extraordinary powers were quieted by the winds of discord and fighting.
After this period, prose poems were developed and written
Then came the Chu poems composed in the style of Li Sao.

The next change ended the poems of elegance and refinement
Numerous and chaotic styles followed.
This gave birth to the arcane and bizarre
The pure, clear water was lost to large waves.

Palace ladies began to apply white powder and made distinctly
colored eyebrows
Sacrificial animals shrank to just shrimp and small fish.
From here Du Fu and Li Bai emerged as immortals.
They synthesized many styles and swept away the rest.

These two were like two large boats in a river of small fry
Yet these poets had lives that were poor and bitter.
During the An Lushan rebellion they had to quickly escape with their lives as penniless, homeless drifters
As Xuanzong fled, the empire began its collapse.

His son was able to vanquish the rebellious traitors
During these perilous times, palace only valued the likes of general Li Mu.
Du Fu, Li Bai, and the literati were all sent home as worthless
Disappointed they scattered in a thousand directions.

They wrote of their grief and sorrows that were then heard far and wide
Li Bai took his own sweet time traveling into exile.
Du Fu’s benefactor and patron turned on him like a hungry tiger
Like Zhuangzi’s butcher who was not wanted after becoming a master.

Du Fu’s palace job was just to feed a few horses
He did not really care about this job.
Drunk until satisfied, passed out, to travel and roam about
Then he wrote on cheap bamboo strips his poems of pain.

In comparison, others like children, carved on wood
Now today, who are the masters of literature.
I think you, Zhang Andao, are carrying these ancient flags and banners
Open your scrolls, then I read your work.

It reminds me of Du Fu, too bad you two are so many years apart
You are like the sculptor who can dust off someone’s nose
from the wind off of your hammer.
Your poems like an enormous legendary fish, mine are like small minnows
in a moat
Resent that my lines are not good enough, yet you treat me to the finest wine.
I best go home, work hard to plant yellow chrysanthemums
And not let tangles of wormwood take over.



Du Fu (712-770): Famous Tang Dynasty poet. See his biography and poems on this website

Highly refined poems: Refers to the Book of Songs

Li Sao: A poem from the Warring States period  (third century BC) written by Qu Yuan. A major and early landmark poem with poetic themes used often by Li Bai.

Li Bai (701-762): Famous Tang Dynasty poet. See this biography and poems on this website.

Xuanzong (685-762) (reigned 712-756): Long reigning emperor during the Tang Dynasty.

Li Mu (died 229 BC): One of the four great army generals during the Zhou Dynasty

Zhuangzi (370-287 BC): Famous Daoist philosopher, counterpart and complement to Laozi. His famous work, The Inner Chapters.

Zhang Andao: Local poet and friend of Su Dongpo.

Plant yellow chrysanthemums: Refers to the famous poem, Drinking Wine No.5, by Tao Yuanming. Refer to this poem posted on this website.

A very good summary of the history of Chinese poetry up to Su Dongpo’s time.

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