Guest poem submitted by Rohit Jaisingh:
(Poem #1470) Caught in the Rain on My Way to the Sandy Lake
Listen not to the rain beating against the trees. Why not 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.
Translated by Xu Yuan-zhong. I came across Su Shi, most unexpectedly, in a equity research report. Not the sort of place one routinely bumps into good poetry, but there it was. Many thanks to Y. K. Fu, the author of that report. Su Shi's versatility is quite amazing. While he is best know for his satirical poems in which he takes broad swipes at the administration, some of his other work is remarkably beautiful. This poem struck a strong personal chord. How many times have we taken the road less travelled, the less popular alternative and had to contend with tremendous adversity? Suddenly, friends give you a wide berth and you feel less than welcome. It tests your resolve, it is so easy to fall in line. Su Shi himself faced a near-fatal beating, exile, two jail sentences and poverty in harsh backwaters for his outspoken views. Eventually, integrity and strength in one's convictions is all that matters. And when life later proves you right, it tastes very sweet indeed. Rohit. Links: 1. Biography [broken link] http://www.geocities.com/WallStreet/Floor/2391/essays/essay29.htm 2. Su Shi (1037-1101) and the Humor of Resistance, David McGraw [broken link] http://mcel.pacificu.edu/aspac/papers/scholars/mcgraw/mcgraw.htm