Simple Joy

Drizzle entrained in slanting wind and morning chill

Light clouds bypass weeping willows and after-rain beach

A boundless expanse comes into scene, where the Luo River joins the sea

Pearly bubbles floating in afternoon tea

Onboard my dinner plate are mountain greens

The divine delicacy in earthly life

mild flavor and simple glee

~ Translated from Su Shi’s “Drizzle In Slanting Wind and Morning Chill,” verses written on December 24, 1084 while hiking in Mount Zhong Nan

细雨斜风作晓寒,淡烟疏柳媚晴滩。入淮清洛渐漫漫。
雪沫乳花浮午盏,蓼茸蒿笋试春盘。人间有味是清欢。

~ 蘇軾 (宋代) <<浣溪沙 細雨斜風作曉寒>>

元丰七年十二月二十四日,从泗州刘倩叔游南山

Moon Gazing

When will the full moon come again?

I raise my winecup asking the sky

In heaven’s terms, what year is it right now up there?

I wish to ride the wind back to where I came from

Yet I dread the cold at the height

Instead I dance in the shade of my dream

Which seems to be much warmer than the flight

The moon lingers near the red eaves tonight

Peeking through my fringed window

Robbing me of sleep

I shouldn’t feel resentful

Yet at times while we’re apart, why does the moon have to be so full?

This earthly life is made up of joy and sorrow, reunion and farewell

And the moon keeps cycling through four phases as well

Since beginningless time it has been this way

May you live long and well

And gaze at the same moon thousand miles away

~ Translated from Su Shi’s “Lyrics To the Melody of Water,” written on a full-moon night in the Song dynasty

明月几时有?把酒问青天。不知天上宫阙,今夕是何年。我欲乘风归去,又恐琼楼玉宇,高处不胜寒。起舞弄清影,何似在人间。
转朱阁,低绮户,照无眠。不应有恨,何事长向别时圆?人有悲欢离合,月有阴晴圆缺,此事古难全。但愿人长久,千里共婵娟。

~ 蘇軾 (宋代) <<水調歌頭>>

Year End

Gone with the snow

the remaining days of sorrow

Before you know, the weather has turned warm

Lining my pathway are willows

With plums blooming on one side alone

I can’t help but begin to sing

You say my song and the wine are perfectly in sync!

Don’t know what it really means

But the mountains must know

some songs are meant to be sung

Translated from Tao Yuanming’s “La Ri,” a poem about the traditional Chinese holiday La Ba, written in the Six Dynasties period

风雪送余运,无妨时已和。
梅柳夹门植,一条有佳花。
我唱尔言得,酒中适何多!
未能明多少,章山有奇歌。

~ 陶淵明 (東晉末至南北朝) 《蜡日》(亦即蜡八,指年終蜡祭八神之日)