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Su Dongpo: Early Morning Meet Ziyou at Ba Hekou

Early Morning Meet Ziyou at Ba Hekou

晓 至 巴 河 口 迎 子 由
去 年 御 史 府
举 动 触 四 壁。
幽 幽 百 尺 井
仰 天 无 一 席。
隔 墙 闻 歌 呼
自 恨 计 之 失。
留 诗 不 忍 写
苦 泪 渍 纸 笔。
余 生 复 何 幸
乐 事 有 今 日。
江 流 镜 面 净
烟 雨 轻 羃 羃。
孤 舟 如 凫 繄
点 破 千 顷 碧。
闻 君 在 磁 湖
欲 见 隔 咫 尺。
朝 来 好 风 色
旗 脚 西 北 掷。
行 当 中 流 见
笑 眼 清 光 溢。
此 邦 疑 可 老
修 竹 带 泉 石。
欲 买 柯 氏 林
兹 谋 待 君 必。
Xiao Zhi Ba He Kou Ying Zi You

Qu nian yu shi fu
Ju dong chu si bi.
You you bai chi jing
Yang tian wu yi xi.

Ge qiang wen ge hu
Zi hen ji zhi shi.
Liu shi bu ren xie
Ku lei zi zhi bi.

Yu sheng fu he xing
Yue shi you jin ri.
Jiang liu jing mian jing
Yan yue qing mi mi.

Gu zhou ru fu yi
Dian po qian qing bi.
Wen jun zai ci hu
Yu jian ge zhi chi.

Zhao lai hao feng se
Qi jiao xi bei zhi.
Xing dang zhong liu jian
Xiao yan qing guang yi.

Ci bang yi ke lao
Xiu zhu dai quan shi.
Yu mai ke shi lin
Zi mou dai jun bi.


Early Morning Meet Ziyou at Ba Hekou

Last year in prison
every move touched one of the four walls.
Very deep one hundred foot well
Look up at the sky without one sleeping mat.

Through the walls hear the neighbor’s sighs
Hate myself for not planning ahead.
In jail did not have the heart to write poetry
Floodwaters of bitter tears on paper and brush.

Thought the rest of my life could not regain any joy
But today happiness has arrived.
River flows with surface reflections clean and pure
Mist and rain lightly drizzle.

Solitary boat like swimming wild ducks
Drops ripple outward across the bluish-green expanse.
Heard you are at Ci Lake
We are so near to each other, yet too far away.

Dawn arrives, good winds begin to blow
Flags flying towards the northwest.
We can meet together in the middle of the river
My eyes shed tears of joy.

Maybe I can stay in this place through old age
Have xiu bamboo and springhead rocks.
Hope to buy land in the Keshi forest
This year we can talk about my plan.



Ba Hekou: Perhaps in southern Yunnan Province.

Xiu bamboo: Refers to the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove.



Su and his brother, Ziyou, were very close.  Su Dongpo was thrown into an imperial prison on the 18th of August 1079.  He was arrested and jailed by his political enemies in the capital after sending a letter of thanks to the emperor.  His trial lasted six to seven weeks.  He was finally released on the following New Year’s Eve (about five months later) to serve an assignment in exile.  A more complete story can be found in his biography on this website.

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