Water Song by Su Shi (translation)

a lovely translation of a Su Shi poem by Mary Tang on her blog Life is But This

Life is But This 命

Water Song is a poetic form that accompanies a set musical structure:  95 characters of two sections, nine and ten lines respectively, each with 4 end rhymes.  The characters are arranged in a set tonal sequence.

Many Chinese poets have used this structure as the basis of their work: think sonnets.  My English translation does not conform to the Chinese rules due to my lack of scholarship.  I am but a bilingual poet who wishes to share her love of poetry in her native tongue.  I enjoy translating but I loath writing notes so this long-winded one is an exception.  I apologise for imposing it on readers who just want to read a poem.

This poem was written in 1076: Su Shi (Su Dong Po 蘇東坡) had prefaced it with a date and remarked that it was mid autumn (when families gather) and he was missing his brother (whom he…

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