Paper Republic: Chinese Literature Matters

Celebrate Du Fu's 1300th birthday! Proposing 12 December as Du Fu Day!

By Helen Wang, published

Du Fu was born in 712, and would have been 1300 years old in 2012! Rather than let this momentous occasion slip by unnoticed, I checked with Du Fu aficionado Brian Holton if there had been any celebrations. We haven’t heard of any, so we’d like to propose that we squeeze in a celebration before the end of the year. We don’t know his actual birthday, so have plumped for 12.12.12 as it’s easy to remember, and propose that we designate this day (12 December) hereafter as Du Fu Day.

If you like this idea, please raise a glass or a cup to Du Fu on the 12th. And read a poem or two. If you need a few ideas, have a look at Brian’s recent work on Du Fu, translating his poems into English and into Scots:

  • Try Brian’s chapbook 'Quickent i the Hairst Time' – beautifully produced and available via his website

  • Or his translation 'Spring Sun on the Watterside Clachan' which recently received a special commendation

  • Or listen to BBC Radio 4’s recent 15-min programme on Du Fu and Li Bai

Du Fu Day – December 12th


# 1.   

What a great idea. What a pity we Londoners can't share it with Brian in his home up North.

Nicky Harman, December 7, 2012, 3:03p.m.

# 2.   

Ah well, you're all welcome to visit the civilised side of the Wall any time. I often think of all of you in London as like Du Fu in Kuizhou, cut off from all civilised discourse. Here's me in Scott's country, in the Vale o Melrose by the Water o Tweed, whaur fowk still speaks right, ken? An you puir sowls hes ti dree out yir days in Lonburgh.....aaaawww

Brian Holton, December 8, 2012, 1:47p.m.

# 3.   

Weymouth actually...where the sowls are definitely all puir!

 Nicky Harman, December 8, 2012, 2:24p.m.


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