As I Wash you, Child by Su Shi (translation)

Three days after a child is born, sometimes a month later, friends and family gather at a ceremony to wash the child.  This was the custom during the Song Dynasty in China.

Recently I watched a TV series on the poet Su Shi (also know as Su Tung Po) and the turbulence of his political career.  A brilliant writer, poet, painter, calligrapher and statesman, Su was sent down numerous time by the Emperor and died on the way back to the capital.

As I wash you, Child by Su Shi (1037 – 1101)

Everyone wishes for a clever son

My life was ruined by cleverness

I wish my child to be guileless with

No obstacles to achieving fulfilment

(c) Mary Tang 鄧許文蘭 2017

洗兒。蘇軾

人皆養子望聰明,我被聰明誤一生。
惟願孩兒愚且魯,無災無難到公卿。

 

About Mary Tang

An urban orchardist everyday, a volunteer regularly, a poet sometimes and a blogger since March 2015. I travel when I can. Food is a constant.
This entry was posted in Poetry, Poetry Translation and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to As I Wash you, Child by Su Shi (translation)

  1. taphian says:

    wonderful words, dear Mary and very true. I hope you’re fine, have a lovely day, kind regards Mitza

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh wait! Is it the “Su Dong Po” with Lu Yi? Youtube seems to have the whole thing… :)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So many reasons to love Su Shi; this poem — and your translation of it — is right near the top. What’s the title of the series? I could really stand to practice my listening skills…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. arlingwoman says:

    So little people change, wishing things about a child that reflect more on the wisher than the child.

    Liked by 1 person

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