Born in 1036, Su Tung-po was a famous Chinese poet. He was also called Su Shih. Born in present-day Sichuan province, Su was from a literary family. During the Sung Dynasty he wrote very simple poems based on Buddhist Philosophy. Su occupied many official posts, rising to president of the board of rites (which regulated imperial ceremonies and worship). He designed the parks surrounding Lake Si in Hangzhou. Five emperors came to the throne during his lifetime.
Su’s poetry and art were inspired by Taoism and Buddhism, although his political views were founded in Confucian philosophy. Su is generally considered the greatest poet of the Sung dynasty. He is also noted for his ... more »
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Su Tung-po Poems
Battle of Red Cliff
The Yangtze flows east Washing away A thousand ages of great men West of the ramparts --
On the birth of his son
Families, when a child is born Want it to be intelligent. I, through intelligence,
Pu suan tzu
A fragment moon hangs from the bare tung tree The water clock runs out, all is still Who sees the dim figure come and go alone Misty, indistinct, the shadow of a lone wild goose?
Shui Tiao Ko Tou
Will a moon so bright ever arise again? Drink a cupful of wine and ask of the sky. I don't know where the palace gate of heaven is, Or even the year in which tonight slips by.
Shui lung yin
Like a flower, but not a flower No one cares when it falls And lies discarded at the roadside But though
Comments about Su Tung-po
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Edgar Allan Poe
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To what can our life on earth be likened?
To a flock of geese,
alighting on the snow.
Sometimes leaving a trace of their passage.