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Du Fu was titled "The Sage of Poetry".
Starting at age 20, Du fu travelled widely to many places and lived a free life. He has ambitions to become highly ranked in the nation, maybe even higher than the emperor. However, at age 35, he failed the entry exam for a high post. After many years of travel and bribes, Du Fu finally was able to gain a small post.
During the Treason of Anshi, he tried to travel to where Tang Suzong was but was unfortunately captured by the traitors. After escaping barely, his talents finally found a place of use and he gained a high position in the government. But later his words angered the emperor and he was banished to become a solider. Not happy with his current situation, Du Fu refused to be exiled and went home to build a thatched cottage, from where many of his masterworks came. AD 770, Du Fu died on a ship during a trip.
Du Fu reads a massive number of books and has talents in poetry. Becaus eof his failure in the political world, he lived a poor and turbulent life. His poems are often large in form and of various nature. They not only reflect the misforutnes he encountered but also the corruption of the current society. There are about 400 poems that survived to date. Du Fu was able to use all of the poetic forms of the day and creatively pushed them to their pinnacle. His poems were later set as examples for years to come.
Practically everybody in the Chinese-speaking world knows Li Bai because his works had important and long-lasting influences on the development of Chinese poetry.
From young, Li Bai had talents in many areas and had many interests. During Tang Zhongzong's rein, Li bad prestige and his talents were recognized. However, when Xuanzong succeded the throne, he neglected these talents and reduced Li's rank to a mere literary assistant. Unable to bear such humiliation, he left Chang'an 3 years later and lead a vagrant life. He could only travel and drink to let out his anger. But even so, he never gave up ambition to become a legendary figure.
During the Treason of Anshi, he was hired into the household of the king of Yong. He thought that his talents were finally re-recognized. But when the household of Yong was taken down by Tang Suzong, he was imprisoned for connections with the traitors. Later, at the age of 61, he tried to apply for a military post but failed again. From then on, he was never officially hired into the govenrnment again.
There are about 990 poems that survived to date. Among these, there were a large number of political lyrical poems that reflected the poet's extraordinary ambition, untremmeled enthusiasm and gallant spirit, and collectively reflected the spirit of the Tang poetry. Li bad strong self-understanding as well as fevered political enthusiasm. But all of these, when encountered with his terrible years at Chang'an and his misfortunes, had turned into an indignant outcry. Many of his poems reflect such anger.
Artistically, Li's poems were creative, everchanging, and interweaving in form and sentense structure. All of these give Li's poems a special appeal.