Su Tung-po

(1037 - 1101 / China)

Battle of Red Cliff


The Yangtze flows east
Washing away
A thousand ages of great men
West of the ramparts --
People say --
Are the fabled Red Cliffs of young Chou of the Three Kingdoms
Rebellious rocks pierce the sky
Frightening waves rip the bank
The backwash churns vast snowy swells --
River and mountains like a painting
how many heroes passed them, once ...

Think back to those years, Chou Yu --
Just married to the younger Chiao --
Brave, brilliant
With plumed fan, silk kerchief
Laughed and talked
While masts and oars vanished to flying ash and smoke!
I roam through ancient realms
Absurdly moved
Turn gray too soon --
A man's life passes like a dream --
Pour out a cup then, to the river, and the moon




Translation 2


The endless river eastward flows;
With its huge waves are gone all those
Gallant heroes of bygone years.
West of the ancient fortress years
Red Cliff where General Zhou Yu won his early fame
When the Three Kingdoms were in flame.
Jugged rocks tower in the air
And swashing waves beat on the air
Rolling up a thousand heaps of snow.
To match the hills and the river so fair,
How many heroes brave of yore
Made a great show!



Translation 3


The great river surges east,

Its waves have scoured away

Since time began all traces of heroic men.

The western side of the old fort

Was once, so people say,

Known as the Red Cliff of Zhou of the Three Kingdoms.

With piled-up rocks to stab the sky

And waves to shake them thunderously

Churning the frothy mass to mounds of snow,

It's like a masterpiece in paint.

Those ages hide how many a hero!

Think back to those old days;

that first year when Zhou Yu had just married the Young Qiao.

Then, what a hero he became!

With waving fan and silken cap

He talked and laughed at ease

While masts and oars were blotted out in smoke and flame!

My wits that stray to realms of old

Deserve the scorn of all who feel;

Years pass, and hair grows white so soon.

Though a man's life is like a dream,

One toast continues still -- the River and the Moon!

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: river, hero, snow, red, moon, dream, people, sky, hair, life

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Battle of Red Cliff by Su Tung-po )

Enter the verification code :

Read all 1 comments »

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Yes, Mother Nature Teaches Bards..., Dr John Celes
  2. Tonic Pain, Soumita Sarkar Ray
  3. In the Absence of Light, F. J. Thomas
  4. Give me a drink, Diana Rosser
  5. White Power, F. J. Thomas
  6. Sweet Dreams, Sambanath Denis
  7. My unjust God, Nalini Chaturvedi
  8. continue counting me, Mandolyn ...
  9. the tail of poet, ademola oluwabusayo
  10. the way of the world, ademola oluwabusayo

Poem of the Day

poet Edmund Spenser

Of this worlds theatre in which we stay,
My love like the spectator ydly sits
Beholding me that all the pageants play,
Disguysing diversly my troubled wits.
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]