East Slope, Eight Quatrains, No. 4


 
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Bamboo grove on East Slope

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蘇軾

























便









East Slope, Eight Quatrains, No. 4
Su Shi 1036-1101

I plant rice before the Qingming Festival
The happy event to come--I can count the days.
Fur in the sky will darken the spring marsh,
Needless in the water will bring shouts of joy.
Transplanting will last until the start of summer,
Happily I'll watch the wind-blown leaves rise.
In bright moonlight I'll see dew climb the plants,
pearls strung one by one on a silken thread.
In autumn when the stalks are heavy with frost,
They'll bend low and knock against each other.
All I'll hear, from among the dikes and paths,
Will be grasshoppers whirring like a storm.
Freshly husked rice will go right into the steamer,
Jade kernels will glow in the wicker bin.
For years I've eaten from the government granary,
Reddish rotting rice no better than dirt.
Finally I'll know a new taste,
I've already promised my mouth and belly.
 
Dōng Pō Bā Shǒu, Qí Sì
Sū Shì 1036-1101

Zhòng dào Qīngmíng qián,
Lè shì wǒ néng shǔ.
Máo kōng àn chūn zé,
Zhēn shuǐ wén hǎo yǔ.
Fēn yāng jí chū xià,
Jiàn xǐ fēng yè jǔ.
Yuè míng kàn lù shàng,
Yīyī zhū chuí lóu.
Qiū lái shuāng suì zhòng,
Diāndǎo xiāng chēng zhǔ.
Dàn wén qí lǒng jiān,
Zhàměng rú fēng yǔ.
Xīn chūn biàn rù zèng,
Yù nì zhào kuāng jǚ.
Wǒ jiǔ shí guān cāng,
Hóng fǔ děng nítǔ.
Xíng dāng zhī cǐ wèi,
Kǒu fù wǔ yǐ xǔ.
 
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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