712 - 770 (aged 58)
Du Fu 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. His own greatest ambition was to help his country by becoming a successful civil servant, but he proved unable to make the necessary accommodations. His life, like the whole country, was devastated by the An Lushan Rebellion of 755, and the last 15 years of his life were a time of almost constant unrest.
Initially little known, his works came to be hugely influential in both Chinese and Japanese culture. Of his poetic writing, nearly fifteen hundred poems written by Du Fu have been handed down over the ages. He has been called Poet-Historian and the Poet-Sage by Chinese critics.
Gentle breeze on grass by the shore,
The boat's tall mast alone at night.
Stars fall; broad flat fields,
Moon rises; great river flows.
Have my writings not made any mark?
An official should stop when old and sick.
Fluttering from place to place I resemble,
A gull between heaven and earth.