Li Po and Tu Fu, who lived in the 8th century, are considered China's greatest poets. When their paths crossed, for less than two years in the 740's, a friendship was formed that has lasted, in the hearts of lovers of Chinese poetry, for over twelve hundred years.
These poets, and the poems in this book, express two sides of humankind, two kinds of longing and two kinds of life. The real Li Po was more like Tu Fu than the legend, and the real Tu Fu was enough like Li Po to idolize and perhaps love him. They are presented here together, separate but side by side, because, as twelve centuries of Chinese readers and nearly a century of Western readers already know, they belong together; they show the qualities of humankind, expressed as purely as men of the greatest genius can express them.
Each poem is presented with the original and the translation side by side -- in the original Chinese with an appropriate style of calligraphy on the right side and its English translation on the left side of the page. Notes and suggestions for further reading appear at the end of the book. [via]