Su Shi: Dream Recall

Su Shi: Dream Recall

⸺ Love was when loved each other


Translated by Yiyan Han (c) 2020-12-17


Ten years since thou passed away, in my memory thou forever stay,

though avoiding thinking of thee and the worlds of life and death separate us.

As thy lonely tomb is thousand mile away,

to whom could I express my grief and misery?

Wouldn’t recognise each other even if we met,

with our dusty faces, and hairs that turned grey from black.


In my dream back to the home town, saw thee sit

facing the small window, and dressing up.

We were staring at each other without words,

only with tears gushing out from our eyes.

Imagine thou will be bitterly weeping and longing for me,

year after year, in a moonlit night, on the deserted ridge of pine shrubs.



Su Shi (蘇軾, 8 January 1037 – 24 August 1101), courtesy name Zizhan (子瞻), pen name Dongpo (東坡), was a great poet in Song Dynasty. (1)


This is a poem he wrote in 1075, nearly a thousand years ago, to commemorate his beloved wife who died 10 years earlier (2). I translate this into English in an attempt to show the world that love is eternal, and a great poem lives forever ever. The subtitle is added by the translator.



(2) Appreciation in Chinese, for instance,