East Slope today, where Su Shi lived in exile in Huangzhou, Hubei
East Slope, Eight Quatrains, No. 3
Su Shi 1036-1101
There used to be a small stream
That came from behind the distant peak.
Flowing through the city and past the settlement,
It carried filth away, made wormwood thick.
It continued on to Ke Embankment,
Ten mu of fish and shrimp.
In the drought this year the stream dried up,
Dead duckweed stuck to cracked clods of earth.
Last night clouds came from teh southern hills,
Rain soaked the soil deeper than a plowshare.
Trickling along, it found the old streambed,
Knowing I mean to cultivate this weedy plot.
Muddy celery still had its dormant roots,
See there, a single inch-long stalk appears.
When will the snowy sprouts poke through
So I can prepare braised spring dove?
Dōng Pō Bā Shǒu, Qí Sān
Sū Shì 1036-1101
Zì xī yǒu wēi quán,
Lái cóng yuǎn lǐng bèi.
Chuān chéng guò jù luò,
Liú wù zhuàng péng ài.
Qù wèi Kēshì pí,
Shí mǔ yú xiā huì.
Suì hàn quán yì jié,
Kū píng nián pò kuài.
Zuó yè nán shān yún,
Yǔ dào yì lí wài.
Xuànrán xún gù dú,
Zhī wǒ lǐ huāng huì.
Ní qín yǒu sù gèn,
Yí cùn jiē yóu zài.
Xuě yá héshí dòng,
Chūn jiū hé kě kuài?
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.