Su Dongpo: Following Wang Anshi’s Four-Part Poem

Following Wang Anshi’s Four-Part Poem

次 荆 公 韵 四 绝
Ci Jing Gong Yun Si Jue
青 李 扶 疏 禽 自 来
清 真 逸 少 手 亲 栽。
深 红 浅 紫 从 争 发
雪 白 鹅 黄 也 斗 开。


Qing li fu shu qin zi lai
Qing zhen yi shao shou qin zai.
Shen hong qian zi cong zheng fa
Xue bai e huang ye dou kai.


Green well-spaced plum trees, red buds arrive
You and your seedlings like Wang Xizi.
Developed competition between the deep reds and light purples
Snow whites and geese yellows also contend and compare.


斫 竹 穿 花 破 绿 苔
小 诗 端 为 觅 桤 栽。
细 看 造 物 初 无 物
春 到 江 南 花 自 开。


Zhuo zhu chuan hua po lu tai
Xiao shi duan wei mi qi zai.
Xi kan zao wu chu wu wu
Chun dao jiang nan hua zi kai.


Cut bamboo penetrates the flowers and split’s the green moss
The source of small poems seeks alder seedlings.
At first, things without substance do not appear
But spring arrives in Jiangnan bringing flower blossoms.


骑 驴 渺 渺 人 荒 陂
想 见 先 生 未 病 时。
劝 我 试 求 三 亩 宅
从 公 已 觉 十 年 迟。


Qi lu miao miao ren huang bei
Xiang jian xian sheng wei bing shi.
Quan wo shi qiu san mu zhai
Cong gong yi jue shi nian chi.


Vast distances on my donkey, enter the wild mountain slopes
Last time we met, your influence was still strong.
You advised me to buy some land and a house near you
Feels like I am always ten years behind you.


甲 第 非 真 有
闲 花 亦 偶 栽。
聊 为 清 净 供
却 对 道 人 开。


Jia di fei zhen you
Xian hua yi ou zai.
Liao wei qing jing gong
Que dui dao ren kai.


A fancy house can be lost like falling flowers
Some of your flowers bought during your travels.
This place provides clarity and purity
At death you will bequeath it all to the Daoist monks.



Wang Anshi: (1021-1086): Statesman and poet of Song Dynasty. He attempted major socioeconomic reforms similar to Mao Zedong.  The relationship between Su Dongpo and Wang Anshi is discuss on this website under “Su Dongpo Life and Times”.

Wang Xizi:  Writer and government official during the Jin Dynasty (265-420). Master of calligraphy, and often considered the greatest of this art form.

Jiangnan: The area south of the river. The river is the Changjiang, and the area south of its mouth. Modern day Zhejiang Province.

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