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Tu Fu lived through a period of political and social unrest in China where there was warfare and constant threat of displacement. “Song of P’eng-ya” depicts an episode of running from violent rebellion. What do you think about this poem? What kind of values does this poem speak of? This poem touches the reader in a very real and very sad way. This poems main theme was about a family sticking together through very hard times and having nobody to rely on but each other. Aside from family, I think that the most important value Tu Fu shows is goodness. He shows the importance of this when his friend helps out in his time of trouble. He is very grateful for the goodness that still lies within people. What is the short poem, “Moonlit Night” (836) about? Who do you think “she” is in the poem? What is the general atmosphere and feeling of this poem? What in the poem contributes to these feelings? This poem is about two lovers who are living apart for the time being. “She” refers to his wife and/or lover. They aren’t together at the time and there is definitely a sad feeling because of the separation. He is lonely and misses her. He describes her in detail in line 5 which shows how much he cares for her and also verifies that he is not with her right now but wishes he was. This poem raises the question of when he will see her again. Like Tao Chien, Tu Fu also mentions is “Thatched Roof” (837). What is the difference in their descriptions of their homes? What does lines 38-46 (838) of this poem mean? Why did he start the poem talking about his own situation and ended up talking about a “towering roof” for “poorest gentlemen of all this world”? A hint—focus on the word “gentleman”. In general what do houses stand for in poems, either in Tao Chien’s or Tu Fu’s? Tao Chien's reaction to the situation was more related to Taoism and Tu Fu's was more related to Confucianism. Tao Chien more or less reacted without much thinking and went with the flow of nature. Tu...
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