Du Fu Poem: The Mourning Day – 杜牧《清明》









[1] 清明:二十四节气之一,在阳历四月五日或六日。

[2] 断魂:伤心的样子。

The Mourning Day

Du Mu

A drizzling rain falls like tears on the Mourning Day;

The mourner’s heart is going to break on his way.

Where can a wine shop be found to drown his sad hours?

A cowherd points to a cot amid apricot flowers.

On the Mourning Day early in the third moon, the mourner’s tears mingle with the drizzling rain. This picture shows the commotion of man with nature.


“The Mourning Day” is a poem written by Du Mu, a writer of the Tang Dynasty. This poem is about what we see in the spring rain of Qingming. The first line gives an account of the scene, environment and atmosphere; the second line describes the characters, showing their miserable and confused state of mind; the third line proposes a way to get rid of this state of mind; the fourth line writes a reply with action, which is the highlight of the whole piece. The whole poem is light in color and bleak in mood, using the technique of rising gradually from low to high, with the climax at the end, which has a long and intriguing aftertaste.

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