Ancient Chinese Poems- Su Shi “Ding Feng Bo” – Bilingual Chinese and English (seven translated versions)







Translation of the one

Xu Yuan chong translation

Calming the Waves

Caught in Rain on My Way to the Sandy Lake

On the 7th day of the 3rd month we were caught in rain on our way to the Sandy Lake. The umbrellas had gone ahead, my companions were quite downhearted, but I took no notice. It soon cleared, and I wrote this.

Listen not to the rain beating against the trees.

I had better walk slowly while chanting at ease.

Better than a saddle I like sandals and cane.

I’d fain,

In a straw cloak, spend my life in mist and rain.

Drunken, I am sobered by the vernal wind shrill

And rather chill.

In front, I see the slanting sun atop the hill;

Turning my head, I see the dreary beaten track.

Let me go back!

Impervious to rain or shine, I’ll have my own will.


Translation of the two

Zhuo Zhenying translation

Taming the Waves and Winds

On 7th of the third moon, I was caught in rain on my way to Sandy Lake. As the rain-gear had been sent to the place in advance, all the company felt awkward except me. I composed this ci-poem when the rain stopped.

What matters if on the woods and leaves splatters th’ rain?

I may well recite poems while pacing on the cane

And in sandals, which than horse back make me more eas’d.

Howe’er could one with dread be seiz’d,

Who’s known in th’ eventful life rain and wind and pain?

I feel the chill when th’ breezes sober me from wine,

But then a soothing sun atop the hill does shine.

I glance back at the place that I am to return:

There’s th’ seclusion for which I yearn:

’Tis secure and quiet, be th’ weather rough or fine!


Translation of the three

Translation written by Yang Xianyi and Dai Naidi

Ding Feng Bo

On the seventh day of the third month we were caught in the rain on our way to Shahu. The umbrellas had gone ahead, my companions were downhearted, but I took notice. It soon cleared, and I wrote this.

Forget that patter of rain on the forest leaves,

Why not chant a poem as we plod slowly on?

Pleasanter than a saddle this bamboo staff and straw sandals.

Here’s nothing to fear.

I could spend my whole life in the mist and rain.

The keen spring wind has sobered me,

Left me chilly,

But slanting sunlight beckons from high on the hill;

One last look at scene behind

And on I go,

Impervious to wind, rain or sunny weather.


Translation of the four

Zhao Yanchun translation

Be Still

Don’t listen if a rain does the leaves sway;

You’d better walk lightly singing a lay.

Sandals outdo saddles, cane as your aid,

Who’s afraid?

A cape against mist and rain, come what may.

A spring wind blows me sober, blows away.

A chill day.

The sun uphill slants to me with a ray,

I turn around and feel a gentle sough,

Go back now.

No wind, no rain, nor shining light to stay.


Translation of the five

A translation of qin dachuan

A Coir Cloak to Brave All Weathers in My Life

(to the tune of Ding Feng Bo)

Care not about spattering rain in the woods,

I may as well walk at leisure and chant the lines.

It’s agiler to trek the mount in straw shoes,

Who fears? A cloak braves all weathers all the time.

Vernal chill sobers me up, a bit cold, whoof!

Yet the setting sun o’er the hill greets me fine —

Looking back at the bleak and rustling nook,

O, come away home, it’s neither rain nor shine.


Translation of six

Ren Ji translation

A deaf ear to the grove-piercing and leaf beating rain,Might as well chant and sing at a leisurely pace.Bamboo sticks and straw sandals lighter than a horse,Who cares?A rush cape to weather a life of mists and rains.Chilly breeze of spring sobers one from wine,Though cold.Mountaintops in the evening glow a welcome extend.Looking back to where the swishing had been,On our way home,No wind, no rain, nor sunshine.


Translation of seven

Translated by Xu Zhongjie

Who among us is afraid of the rain?

Don a thatched coat every day, one well can.

How use doth breed a habit in a man!

Spring breeze has sobered me up for a chill:

The after-effects of drinking ones fill.

Slanting rays o’er the hills have come our way

Give hopes of the end of a perfect day.

I look back where there were patter and sough.

On our way home, tis neither fair nor rough.

Author: listenerxu
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