TaoYuanming, born in 365 AD and died in 427 AD, is a major figure in China’s long history of poetry. Being disappointed with the political reality in his era, he decided to withdraw from public service and spent much of his life in reclusion, writing poetry to reflect on the beauty of countryside and simple life. He is considered the pioneer of recluse poetry, and his works a paragon of the ‘Fields and Gardens’ genre, an important poetic movement in classical Chinese literature.
The water is warm, and ducks on the River of Spring
Must be the first to know
Lush greens and sprouted reeds, strewn all over the shore
It’s time for pufferfish from the sea
Geese in pairs eager to elope
So are homecomers from the north
It’s told the deserts are still laden with snow storms
Why don’t you stay here half a month in the south
Alongside the River of Spring in hometown
~ Translated by Dot, from Su Shi’s “Scenery Alongside The River of Spring,” written in the Song dynasty
~ 蘇軾 <<惠崇春江晚/曉景>>
Su Shi, also known by his art name Su Dongpo, born in 1037 and died in 1101, is regarded as one of the most prominent figures in classical Chinese literature. He was prolific and all-around versatile – a brilliant essayist, lyricist, calligrapher, painter, poet,politician, meditator … all in all an extremely interesting and inspiring character, widely admired by all people in China since the Song dynasty.