Du Mu

  Male      Chinese      Poet

About Author

Du Mu (803–852) was a leading Chinese poet of the late Tang dynasty. His courtesy name was Muzhi and sobriquet Fanchuan

Regarded as a major poet during a golden age of Chinese poetry, his name is often mentioned together with that of another renowned Late Tang poet, Li Shangyin, as the Little Li-Du in contrast to the Great Li-Du: Li Bai and Du Fu. Among his influences were Du Fu, Li Bai, Han Yu and Liu Zongyuan.

Du Mu was born in Chang'an (modern Xi'an) into an elite family whose fortunes were declining. His grandfather was Du You, a minister at the Tang court and the compiler of the Tang Dynasty encyclopedia Tongdian. He passed the jinshi ("Presented Scholar") level of the imperial civil service examination in 828 at the age of 25, and began his career as a bureaucrat, first as an editor of at the Institute for the Advancement of Literature. A few months later, he joined the entourage of Shen Chuanshi, a surveillance commissioner, first to Hongzhou, then a year later to Xuanzhou. In 833 he was sent to join Niu Sengru in Yangzhou. In Yangzhou he began to mature as a poet. In 835 he was appointed investigating censor and returned to the capital where, possibly concerned about being drawn into a factional dispute involving his friend Li Gan who had opposed Zheng Zhu, he asked to be transferred to Luoyang. This was granted, and he avoided the purge that followed the Sweet Dew Incident which happened later in the year...

Quotes by Du Mu

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