浣溪沙 . 簌簌衣巾落枣花（其三）
Blossoms of date trees rain down on shirts and kerchiefs （Poem One）
- to the tune of Huanxisha
written by: Su shi ( 11th century)
translated by: Gordon Osing and Julia Min
Blossoms of date trees rain down on shirts and kerchiefs,
and everywhere in the village hears the spinning wheels; -
An old man in hemp sells cucumbers by an old willow tree.
And me, drinking wine along the way drowsing in fatigue.
The sun is high and I feel dry, really, for a cup of real tea; -
Good as home is the first door here in the hills I can see.
In the spring of 1078, there was a drought around Xuzhou area where Su Shi, as the governor, led local people in prayers before altars for rains – a traditional service in China even in some remote countryside today. By early summer, the land was relieved by rains and followed with a harvest, so it was time to show gratitude to the gods.
A series of five short poems were composed there and then to the simple but intense lives of the villages he experienced during his stay there, a glimpse of the lives of common subjects are depicted in artistic works for a change from the Tang’s ‘Glorious Grace’. It’s also a major shifting trend during this Renaissance of the East.
For your information, the smell of the cocoons’ being boiled actually is anything but inviting, but it is fragrant to the people in times of good harvest after the long dry spell is lifted.
2. All pictures are selected from google search.