Entertaining Oneself

You ask me, why I live in the Mount Bi

I smile with no answer, while my heart is free

Peach blooms in season, creeks flow out of sight

Here in the mountains, life departs from earthly plight

~ Translated by Dot, from Li Bai’s “Q & A in the Mountain,” written in the Tang dynasty

問余何意棲碧山,笑而不答心自閒。
桃花流水杳然去,別有天地非人間。

~ 李白 (唐朝) <<山中問答>>

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 by Dot, from Su Shi’s “Drizzle In Slanting Wind and Morning Chill,” verses written on December 24, 1084 while he was 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 moon come full again?

I raise my winecup asking the sky

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

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

Yet I dread the cold at the height!

So I dance in the shade of my dream instead

Which seems to be much warmer than the flight


The moon lingers near the red eaves tonight

Peeking through my fringed window and robbing me of sleep

I know I shouldn’t be resentful

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

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

And the moon keeps cycling through phases as well

It has been this way since forever!

May we all live long and well

And gaze at the same moon thousand miles away

~ Translated by Dot, 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>>