Abandoned field in Huangzhou
East Slope, Eight Quatrains, No. 1
Su Shi 1036-1101
An abandoned camp that no one tends,
Toppled walls overgrown with grasses.
Who would waste his muscles on it?
At year's end the effort won't be repaid.
Only a lone wanderer
Whose fate of hardship has no escape.
So he comes to gather up the broken tiles,
A year of drought, the soil poor.
Hard-pressed amid weeds and brambles,
He hopes to scrape off an inch of crop.
Putting down the plough, he sighs,
"When will my grain be piled high?"
Dōng Pō Bā Shǒu, Qí Yī
Sū Shì 1036-1101
Fèi lěi wú rén gù,
Tuí huán mǎn pénghāo.
Shuí néng juān jīnglì,
Suì wǎn bù cháng láo.
Dú yǒu gū lǚrén,
Tián qióng wú suǒ táo.
Duān lái shí wǎlì,
Suì hàn tǔ bù gāo.
Qíqū cáo jīn zhōng,
Yù guā yí cùn máo.
Wèirán shì lěi tàn,
Wǒ lǐn hé shí gāo?
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.