Du Fu Poems: Recapture of the Regions North and South of the Yellow River – 杜甫《闻官军收河南河北》

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Recapture of the Regions North and South of the Yellow River

’Tis said the Northern Gate is recaptured of late;

When the news reach my ears, my gown is wet with tears.

Staring at my wife’s face, of grief I find no trace;

Rolling up my verse books, my joy like madness looks.

Though I am white-haired, still I’d sing and drink my fill.

With verdure spring’s aglow, ’tis time we homeward go.

We shall sail all the way through Three Gorges in a day.

Going down to Xiangyang, we’ll come up to Luoyang.



The poem “Recapture of the Regions North and South of the Yellow River” is a poem by Du Fu, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. The poem was written in the spring of the first year of Emperor Daizong’s reign (763). In the first month of that year, Shi Chaoyi hanged himself, ending the An Shi Rebellion. When Du Fu heard the news, he was so surprised that he danced and sang this poem. The first half of the poem is about the surprise of hearing the good news; the second half is about the poet dancing and preparing to return to his hometown, highlighting his eagerness to return to his hometown. The whole poem is full of emotions, and the word “joy” permeates everywhere, expressing the author’s infinite joy and excitement. The poem has been called “the first fast poem of Du Fu’s life”. Except for the first line, which is a narrative point, the rest of the lines express the poet’s surprise after suddenly hearing the news of victory. The poet’s thoughts and feelings come out of his chest and pour out straight. The last six lines are all in couplets, but they are as clear and natural as speech, with a wonderful sense of water coming to fruition.

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