This paper examines the history of reception of Du Fu in the Anglophone world, with particular emphasis on the issue of ＂poetic transparency.＂ Along with significant improvement in both Du Fu studies and the translation of his poems in the middle of the twentieth century, scholars such as William Hung began to touch on this influential mode of reading poetry in traditional China. Since the 1980s, the issue of ＂poetic transparency＂ has become more controversial with further incorporation of comparative and theoretical approaches into Du Fu studies. Stephen Owen's comparative reading of Du Fu and Wordsworth highlights ＂poetic transparency＂ and the non-fictionality in traditional Chinese poetry as opposed to one dominant conception of poetry as a fictional product in Western tradition. Although Owen skillfully skirts certain interpretive dangers through a mode of paradoxical and complex reading, other scholars still identify the potential threat of cultural relativism in the practice of using poetic transparency to distinguish Chinese and European poetic assumptions. This paper initiates a cross-cultural dialogue on ＂poetic transparency＂ in the case of reading Du Fu and exposes the dynamics of this approach implied by the hermeneutics of Du Fu in traditional China. It argues that we should neither confirm poetic transparency merely as a historically true phenomenon in traditional China nor dismiss it as a defective interpretive practice. Instead, in order to do full justice to the complexity of ＂poetic transparency,＂ we should situate it into the specific historical and cultural context and explore various functions of such a mode of reading poetry in traditional China.