At the end of the reign of T’ien Pao (755) he traveled to a distant county, Fênghsien, to see his wife and family:
自京赴奉先縣詠懷五百字 杜甫

It was in sorrowful circumstances like this that he sharpened his powers of observation and widened his care of the family into a grave concern for the state. Pouring out his mind without reservation he wrote a long poem of a hundred lines entitled, “On My Way from the Capital to Fênghsien County”—a poem in which he frankly unfolded the gloomy picture of the hard facts of life below the veneer of the so-called K’ai Yüan and T’ien Pao prosperity. Even before the ink of this poem had dried, general disorder accompanying the great rebellion had reached the state of absolute despair. Toward the end of the year Loyang had fallen, By the following summer in 756 the strategic pass of T’ungkuan was captured by the rebels. The emperor had no sooner left Ch’angan in great haste than the capital itself capitulated. A month later, a crown prince ascended the throne in Lingwu County to be known to posterity as Emperor Su Tsung. After resettling his family in a more secure place, the poet hurried to the emergency capital but was kidnapped on his way so that he kek not arrive at Fêng-hsien until the following year. Thenceforth, he busied himself partly by following the court in flight until it was back at Ch’angan, and partly by filling appointments away from the capital. He visited Loyang in ruins in 758 where he stayed for a while and wrote numerous poems—some strongly emotional—recording historic facts of the age.

After relocating himself in county after county as a result of rapid official transfers, he seemed to have been suspended by his superiors, which fact aggravated his problems of poverty even more. In 760 he traveled southward from Shensi Province in the north to present-day Szechuan Province where he lived in Chengtu from 760 to 765. It was during this short period of comparative rest that his talents were appreciated by the military commissioner, Yen Wu, who recommended Tu Fu’s appointment as his staff adviser with the accompanying rank of counselor of the department of works, a position which gave rise to a popular appellation by which the poet is frequently indentified--Tu Kungpu or Tu of the Ministry of Public Works. From 765 to 770 he again found himself busy with constant relocation in different parts of Szechuan Province and along the Yangtze River eastward to the present-day Honan Province, where he died in Hêngchow at the age of 58.
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