Ten classic lines from the prolific Song poet, who was born 982 years ago today
Today is the birthday of Hangzhou poet Su Shi (苏轼), better known as Su Dongpo—and well-known to food lovers for his namesake dish of “Dongpo” pork (东坡肉).
The Song dynasty poet is widely recognized as one of the most accomplished in history. Even today, over 900 years after his death, his words still have great influence on Chinese people. Today, TWOC selected ten of his most philosophical lines to share. Enjoy!
Men have sorrow and joy; they part and meet again. The moon is bright or dim; it waxes and wanes. Nothing in history has ever been perfect.
It’s cold to be up so high.*
*It’s lonely at the top.
Hometown is where my heart settles down.
One who is filled with knowledge always behaves with elegance.
The true happiness of life is a kind of mild joy.
Is there anywhere in the world where you can’t find fragrant grasses?*
*Today this expression is often used to comfort people nursing broken hearts, meaning “There are plenty of fish in the sea.”
A duck in the river is the first to know the warmth of spring.*
*It’s easier for an insider to sense upcoming changes
A joyful moment on a spring night is worth a thousand taels of gold.
What is life like? It should be like wild geese stepping on snow and mud. Their footprints are occasionally left on the mud, but how can the wild geese know where they are flying?
From the front it looks like a range; from the side, a single peak. Far, near, high, low, no two perspectives are alike.Why can’t I tell the true shape of Mount Lu? It’s because I am in the mountain.