Su Shi 1037-1101

Song-dynasty poet and painter, often known as Su Dongpo. Born in Meishan, Sichuan province Su—together with his father Su Xun and his younger brother Su Che—were known as the "Three Sus". After passing the jinshi examination in 1061, Su was appointed notary in Fengxiang, but his official career was marked by a series of political setbacks which included appointments to remote minor posts, including to the then barbarous Hainan Island from the years 1097-1100. From a literary point of view, however, such tribulations served to enrich his writing. Su was a master of all literary forms, including shi poetry, ci poetry, fu and prose essays. 2400 shi poems by Su survive, many of them vivid evocations of the poet's own experiences. Although he wrote only 350 ci poems, these played an important role in enlarging the scope of this genre and made Su famous as the founder of the haofang [heroic abandon] school. English translations of Su's work can be found in Ronld Egan's 1994 study, Word, Image, and Deed in the Life of Su Shi.

Works available in English:

  • A Golden Treasury of Chinese Poetry (John A. Turner).Hong Kong : Research
       Centre for Translation, Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1989.
  • Blooming Alone in Winter: poems of Su Dong-po (Gordon Osing). Zhengzhou,
       China: Henan ren min chu ban she, 1999.
  • Chinese Classical Prose: the eight masters of the Tang-Sung period (Shih
       Shun Liu). Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 1979.
  • Selections from the Works of Su Tung-po (A.D. 1036-1101) (Cyril Drummond
       Le Gros Clark). New York: AMS Press, 1974.
  • Selected Poems of Su Tung-po (Burton Watson). Port Townsend, WA: Copper
       Canyon Press, 1994.
  • Su Dong-po: a new translation (Xu Yuan-zhong ). Hong Kong: Commercial
       Press, 1982.
  • Su Tung-p'o: selections from a Sung dynasty poet (Burton Watson). New
       York: Columbia University Press, 1965.
  • The prose-poetry of Su Tung-po. New York: Paragon Book Reprint Corp.,
  • Selected poems and prose of Su Tungpo (Lin Yu-tang). Taiwan: Zheng zhong
       shu ju, 1994.