Su Dongpo: April Eleventh, My First Time to Eat Lizi

April Eleventh, My First Time to Eat Lizhi

四 月 十 一 日 初 食 荔 支
南 村 诸 杨 北 村 卢
白 花 青 叶 冬 不 枯。
垂 黄 缀 紫 烟 雨 里
特 与 荔 支 为 先 驱。
海 山 仙 人 绛 罗 襦
红 纱 中 单 白 玉 肤。
不 须 更 待 妃 子 笑
风 骨 自 是 倾 城 姝。
不 知 天 公 有 意 无
遣 此 尤 物 生 海 隅。
云 山 得 伴 松 桧 老
霜 雪 自 闲 楂 梨 粗。
先 生 洗 盏 酌 桂 醑
冰 盘 荐 此 赪 虬 珠。
似 闻 江 鳐 斫 玉 柱
更 洗 河 豚 烹 腹 腴。
我 生 涉 世 本 为 口
一 官 久 已 轻 莼 鲈。
人 闻 何 者 非 梦 幻
南 来 万 里 真 良 图。

 

Si Yue Shi Yi Ri Chu Shi Li Zhi

Nan cun zhu yang bei cun lu
Bai hua qing ye dong bu ku.
Chui huang zhui zi yan yu li
Te yu li zhi wei xian qu.

Hai shan xian ren jiang luo ru
Hong sha zhong dan bai yu fu.
Bu xu geng dai fei zi xiao
Feng gu zi shi qing cheng shu.

Bu zhi tian gong you yi wu
Qian ci you wu sheng hai yu.
Yun shan de ban song gui lao
Shuang xue zi xian zha li cu.

Xian sheng xi zhan zhuo gui xu
Bing pan jian ci cheng qiu zhu.
Si wen jiang yao zhuo yu zhu
Geng xi he tun peng fu yu.

Wo sheng she shi ben wei kou
Yi guan jiu yi qing chun lu.
Ren wen he zhe fei meng huan
Nan lai wan li zhen liang tu.

 

April Eleventh, My First Time to Eat Lizi

Southern villages have yangmei,  northern villages have lu tangerines
Their white flowers and green leaves stay fresh through winter.
Ripe drooping yellow fruit decorates purple mists and rain
These fruits earlier to ripen than the lizi.

Lizi are the ocean immortals dressed in crimson blouses
Inside this red gauze, a thin skin of whitish jade.
Do not need the endorsement of someone like Yang Guifei to enjoy them
They naturally turn heads like beautiful city ladies.

Did not know if the Ruler of Heaven had the intent or not
To send this remarkable fruit to flourish in this corner of nowhere.
Clouds and mountains also give companionship to old pine and juniper trees
Frost and snow thick on hawthorn and pear trees.

Friends give me a clean cup of osmanthus wine
Introduced to these red pearls on a white plate.
Heard them say they are like pearls inside skate
Better than stir-fried puffer fish organs.

My life spent working for society and to feed the family
For a long time as a government official missed my hometown delicate perch.
Human experiences could be dreams and illusions
Now many miles into the south, finally get something good.

 

Notes:
Lizi: Tropical fruit tree of southern China.  Inside a crusty red skin, the fruit is translucent, sweet and with a touch of citrus.

Yangmei: Red bayberry.

Yang Guifei: (719-756)  Consort of Emperor Xuanzong.

Osmanthus tree: A fruit -bearing evergreen tree native to eastern Asia.

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