The thatched hut
For Dao the heart must be firm
A firm heart achieves a magnificent Dao
Complete a grand meritorious work
Build a thatched hut
Work on a true moral character
One day you ascend to the list of famed immortals
This poem is about Du Fu, a humble poet with a kind heart, who rose to fame after his death.
Du Fu, 712-770
Du Fu was one of the greatest poets of China. Despite his literary knowledge, and because of bad luck, he failed the examinations twice.
His greatest ambition was to serve his country as 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 his last 15 years were a time of almost constant unrest.
Although initially he was little-known to other writers, his works came to be hugely influential in both Chinese and Japanese literary culture. Of his poetic writing, nearly fifteen hundred poems have been preserved over the ages. He has been called the “Poet-Historian” and the “Poet-Sage” by Chinese critics.
In order to get away from the An-Shi Rebellion breaking out in 758, he fled to Chengdu in 759. With the help of friends, a thatched cottage was built in 760 beside the Flower Bathing Brook on the western outskirts of Chengdu.
The “thatched hut” period was the peak of Du Fu’s creativity, during which he wrote two hundred and forty poems, among them “My Thatched Hut was torn apart by Autumn Wind” and “The Prime Minister of Shu”.
The poems he wrote during his four years stay there, are considered to be precious national treasures.
After his departure from Chengdu, the thatched cottage of Du Fu was abandoned for a long time and became dilapidated.
Hundreds of years later in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) a new temple was built on the original site to commemorate this outstanding person in Chinese literature.
Du Fu Thatched Cottage is now a popular destination for Du Fu enthusiasts around the world to pay tribute to the poet.
Du Fu's bed