Su Shi

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Life passes like a spring dream without a trace.

Su Shi (苏轼; 8 January 103724 August 1101), also known as Su Dongpo, was a Chinese writer, poet, painter, calligrapher, pharmacologist, gastronome, and a statesman of the Song dynasty.

Quotes[edit]

The brimming waves delight the eye on sunny days;
The dimming hills give a rare view in rainy haze.
The West Lake looks like the fair lady at her best
Whether she is richly adorned or plainly dressed.
  • 水光潋滟晴方好,山色空蒙雨亦奇。
    欲把西湖比西子,淡妆浓抹总相宜。
    • The brimming waves delight the eye on sunny days;
      The dimming hills give a rare view in rainy haze.
      The West Lake looks like the fair lady at her best
      Whether she is richly adorned or plainly dressed.
      • "The West Lake, the Beauty" (《饮湖上初晴后雨》) (1073), in Song of the Immortals: An Anthology of Classical Chinese Poetry, trans. Yuanchong Xu (Beijing: New World Press, 1994), p. 200
  • 横看成岭侧成峰,远近高低各不同。
    不识庐山真面目,只缘身在此山中。
    • From the side, a whole range; from the end, a single peak;
      far, near, high, low, no two parts alike.
      Why can't I tell the true shape of Lu-shan?
      Because I myself am in the mountain.
      • "Written on the Wall at West Forest Temple" (《题西林壁》) (1084), in Selected Poems of Su Tung-p'o, trans. Burton Watson (Port Townsend, Wash.: Copper Canyon Press, 1994), p. 108
For ten long years the living of the dead knows nought.
Though to my mind not brought,
Could the dead be forgot?
  • 十年生死两茫茫。不思量,自难忘。
    • For ten long years the living of the dead knows nought.
      Though to my mind not brought,
      Could the dead be forgot?
      • "Dreaming of My Deceased Wife on the Night of the Twentieth Day of the First Month" (《江城子·乙卯正月二十日夜记梦》), in Song of the Immortals: An Anthology of Classical Chinese Poetry, trans. Yuanchong Xu (Beijing: New World Press, 1994), p. 202
  • 事如春梦了无痕。
    • Life is like a spring dream which vanishes without a trace.
      • As quoted in Six Records of a Floating Life by Shen Fu, Chapter 1: 'Wedded Bliss'; translated by Lin Yutang in The Wisdom of China and India (1942), p. 968
      • Variant translation:
        • Life passes like a spring dream without a trace.
          • Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living (1937), p. 156

Quotes about Su Shi[edit]

  • There had to be one Su Tungpo, but there could not be two.
  • The mention of Su Tungpo always elicits an affectionate and warm admiring smile in China.

External links[edit]