These two poems share the same title, "By the Winding River"; and when I was rereading them this week, I found myself thinking about Shakespeare's sonnets--154 poems in the same form about more or less the same subject.
Poets tend to obsess, mull over, second-guess, perseverate, so it's no surprise to me that Tu Fu was rehashing his subject matter. But the fact that they share a title makes me wonder if he was trying to work something out in this pair of poems.
How did copying out these poems affect your ability to recognize their similarities and differences?
Did each poem take you into a different emotional or imaginative place? Or did you feel as if both poems brought you to the same place?
What elements of language (word choice, syntax, etc.) seem individual to each poem? Or shared by both poems?
How have you, as a writer, as a human being, dealt with subjects that you can't seem to get out of your system?