Ancient Chinese poems were simple as compared to the ornate poetries written by such Western poets as Shakespeare or Milton. For the ancient Chinese poets, poems were the simple tool for communicating with common people and connect to their suffering. As such myriad love poems as well as sad poems along with the friendship poems became the instruments in their hands to connect to common humanity that cares for other humans.
According to the literary experts, the Shih Ching, a collection of 305 poems is the earliest collection of Chinese poetry. However, it was during the latter years of Tang dynasty in ancient China, that Chinese poetry entered the phase of its real glory. The three eighth-century Chinese poets belonging to this era …Wang Wei, Li Bai (or Li Po), and Du Fu (or Tu Fu)— are particularly remembered to this date for the beautiful love poems, sad poems and friendship poems they wrote.
While the poetic genius of all these three poets originated from their innate spirituality— Wang Wei was Buddhist, Li Bai Taoist, and Du Fu Confucian—their genre of poetries were different from each other.
Li Po, the lyrical poet is immortalized by the thousands of sad poems he wrote in his life time. His poems were infused with the brevity of life and a suppressed tone of tragic aspects of human living always illustrated his poems.
Li Bai is regarded as the most expressive of all the poets of ancient China. Famous for writing so called love poems; his writing style too was simple and humanistic. His vast experience about the beauty of life got reflected in his love poems.
The poems written by Du Fu and Bai Juyi can be categorized as true friendship poems for the simple reason that their poetries reflected fullest empathy for the poor and suffering fellow countrymen.