The An Lushan Rebellion that broke out in 755 set in motion forces that led to the gradual decline of the splendid Tang Empire but helped create a great poet. In 759 Du Fu 杜甫 (712–770) left the capital region and began wanderings through west and southwestern China that would occupy the rest of his life. His post-rebellion poetry chronicled the life of a man and his family in a chaotic age. Arguably the greatest Chinese poet, he was certainly the most influential of all Chinese authors in any genre because of the long-lasting and far-reaching impact of his poetry....
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