A Lake With A View (1)

Before rain, dark clouds like spilled ink

writing off half the hills

Since rain, pearly drops like splattered beads

dancing around boats

Gusts of rolling wind suddenly come

blasting them to a scrum

Under Lake View Pavilion, the water looks like the sky

~ Translated from Su Shi’s “On June 27 Getting Drunk At Lake View Pavilion,” written in the Song dynasty

黑云翻墨未遮山,白雨跳珠乱入船。
卷地风来忽吹散,望湖楼下水如天。

~ 蘇軾 (宋代) <<六月二十七日望湖樓醉書>>

While Still Young

The spring not yet old, with gentle wind and dainty willows

On the Sublime Pavilion I gaze afar, beyond a moat half brimmed is a town in full bloom

Misty rain drapes over the hues, where every light dims


After the Cold Food Fest in early April, I wake up feeling drunk

No sense indulging in nostalgia for old dreams

Let me ignite a new fire for fresh tea

You must try some new brew, while still young

~ Translated from Su Shi’s “Gazing South – On the Sublime Pavilion,” written in the Song dynasty

春未老,风细柳斜斜。试上超然台上看,半壕春水一城花,烟雨暗千家。
寒食后,酒醒却咨嗟。休对故人思故国,且将新火试新茶,诗酒趁年华。

~ 蘇軾 (宋代) <<望江南 超然台作>>

Up and About at Night

One night in autumn, right when I was about to go to bed, the moonlight sneaked into the room with an invite, which I accepted with delight.

To share the fun, I went to Cheng Tian Temple and knocked on my friend Zhang Huaimin’s door. He’s not yet asleep either, so we took a walk in the courtyard. The ground was a pool of moonbeams, crisscrossed with the shadows of bamboos and cypresses, swaying like freshwater algae.

Which night doesn’t come with a moon? What place doesn’t have bamboos? Only that nobody else is as leisurely as us.

~ Translated from Su Shi’s “A Nightout at Cheng Tian Temple,” written in the Song dynasty

元丰六年十月十二日夜,解衣欲睡,月色入户,欣然起行。念无与为乐者,遂至承天寺寻张怀民。怀民亦未寝,相与步于中庭。庭下如积水空明,水中藻、荇交横,盖竹柏影也。何夜无月?何处无竹柏?但少闲人如吾两人者耳。

~ 蘇軾 (宋代) <<記承天寺夜遊>>