East Slope, Eight Quatrains, No. 2


 
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East Slope where Su Shi lived in exile in Huangzhou, Hubei

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East Slope, Eight Quatrains, No. 2
Su Shi 1036-1101

These neglected fields are now overgrown
But each plot, high and low, will have its use.
I'll plant rice on the lowland marshes
Jujubes and chestnuts on the eastern rise.
A Shu gentleman living south of the river
Has promised to send mulberry seeds. 
Good bamboo is not hard to transplant,
But watch it does not spread out of control.
Finally I must choose a good spot
On which to build my house.
My servant boy, burning dead grasses,
Runs to say he's found a hidden well.
I don't dare set a date for a hearty meal,
But at least my drinking gourd is assured!
 
Dōng Pō Bā Shǒu, Qí Èr
Sū Shì 1036-1101

Huāng tián suī làng mǎng,
Gāo kù gè yǒu shì.
Xià xí zhòng gēng tú,
Dōng yuán shì zǎo lì.
Jiāngnán yǒu shǔ shì,
Sāng guǒ yǐ xǔ qǐ.
Hǎo zhú bù nán zāi,
Dàn kǒng biān héng yì.
Réng xū bǔ jiā chù,
Guī yǐ ān wǒ shì.
Jiātóng shāo kū cǎo,
Zǒu bào àn jǐng chū.
Yì bǎo wèi gǎn qī,
Piáo yín yǐ kě bì.
 
Translator: Ron Egan 艾朗諾

Notes:
From Ron Egan's definitive book on Su Shi (Su Dongpo), Word Image and Deed In The Life Of Su Shi, Harvard University Press. Used with permission. Professor Egan teaches at the University of California, Santa Barbara, California.

 
 
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