Su Shen, happy birthday_ When is Su Shi’s birthday?

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Su Shi is not an atheist. He met many gods and ghosts in his life. When he met them, he went to reason with them and negotiate with them.

Once, on the way back to Bianjing (Kaifeng), I passed through a mountain road. One of the entourage suddenly began to take off his clothes like an evil spirit until he was naked. Su Shi hurriedly asked someone to help him put it on again, and then tied him up. As a result, his clothes fell off somehow. Everyone said that this man must have offended the mountain god.

Su Shi then went to the mountain temple and began to reason with the mountain god.

Su Shi said that this man is just like ants and lice in the world. He is so small. Why should the God of Lao Mountain give him great power? Even if he is negligent or petty thief, there is no need for you to punish him personally. After all, your jurisdiction is so broad. Within your jurisdiction, powerful people openly commit crimes every day. You don’t dare to be angry with them. Now you want to be angry with a small man. Is it really unreasonable?

After praying, Su Shi walked out of the mountain temple, and a gust of wind blew from the mountain, “shaking the sky and the earth, and shaking the sand and stones.”.

Su Shi said, is the mountain god more angry after hearing this? But I’m not afraid.

So the party braved the strong wind and continued to move forward. The wind grew stronger and stronger until the man and the horse could not walk. The followers all urged Su Shi to go back to the mountain temple to beg for mercy, but Su Shi replied: “good or bad, heaven also. God’s anger is anger, and I will not stop.” The mountain god wants to be angry. That’s his business. I’d better go ahead and see what he can do to me!

Before long, the wind stopped and the evil follower was awake. Calm as before, as if nothing had happened.

Su Shi’s life was a journey of “God’s anger is anger, and I do not stop”. It is not that he has never experienced darkness, but that he will never be swallowed up by darkness. After his death, his unique personality charm gained historical tolerance and preference.

January 8 this year marks the 985th anniversary of Su Shi’s birth. Although the world is a big dream, I still wish you a happy birthday, forever male god!



? portrait of Su Shi


The Su Shi family lived in Meizhou (now Meishan, Sichuan). In the spring of 1037 A.D., penglao mountain in Meizhou was full of flowers and withered vegetation. A beautiful mountain suddenly became a barren land. Many years later, the villagers in Meizhou suddenly realized that this year, a Tianzong wizard was born in the local area, and the spirit of the mountains and rivers was unique to him, and all of them were sucked away. This is a folklore about Su Shi’s birth. In history, apart from the endless auspicious omens of the birth of an emperor, it is very rare for a literati politician to receive such treatment.

The Su family is a well-to-do farmer and reader.

Su Xu, Su Shi’s grandfather, planted corn. After the harvest, he did not shell it. He built a large warehouse and stored it directly. Over the years, threeorfour thousand stones have been preserved. No one knows what his intention is. Until one year, when there was a famine in Meizhou, Su Xu opened a warehouse to collect millet. He first gave relief to his family and relatives, and then to tenants and the poor. Some people asked him why he had to use millet to save the famine? He said that corn is strong in nature and can stand long-term storage. It will not rot if used in case of grain shortage.

Su Shi had an uncle named Su Huan, who was the key to the transformation of the whole family. At the age of 24, Su Huan was admitted to the imperial examination, breaking the situation that “three generations of the Su family are not obvious” and becoming the first person in this civilian family to rise to the official family. Su Shi later said in his memorial to Su Huan that his uncle was an honest and upright official, ran around the world, and left his family behind. Now he has died, but his family is as poor as a rag. This is the custom of the Su family in Meizhou.

Su Xun, Su Shi’s father, was considered a libertine when he was young. When the Su Shi brothers were very young, their father went out all the year round without seeing anyone. The two brothers’ Enlightenment was completed by their mother, Mrs. Cheng.

Mrs. Cheng was born in a famous family in Qingshen County, Meizhou. Her father, chengwenying, was born as a Jinshi and was an official of Dali temple. Mrs. Cheng, who grew up in a good family, has a rich life. She likes reading poetry and books since childhood, and has developed a reasonable, dignified and virtuous character.

Mrs. Cheng had personally served as a teacher for the Su Shi brothers, teaching them to read. One day, she taught her son to read the history of the Eastern Han Dynasty. When she read fan Pang’s biography, she was filled with emotion. Fan Pang was a famous scholar in the Eastern Han Dynasty. His knowledge and morality were respected by the people of the time. When the disaster of Party imprisonment occurred, he was involved. When he said goodbye to his mother, fan Pang said that life and death were in their own right. He hoped that his mother would not be sad. Mrs. fan replied that if a person wants both moral character and fame, as well as wealth and longevity, how can he have both? I want you to give up your life and realize your ideals.

Reading this, Mrs. Cheng and her son were deeply moved by this history. For a long time, 10-year-old Su Shi said to Mrs. Cheng, “if I become fan Pang, will my mother agree?” After hearing this, Mrs. Cheng said calmly, “if you can become a loyal and righteous man like fan Pang, can’t I become fan Pang’s mother?” Since then, Su Shi has been forging ahead, reading books and thinking about the world.

Later, Su Xun sent his two sons to Zhou to study. Liuju, a professor of state studies, was a famous local scholar in Meizhou. He taught Su Shi and his brothers the skills of sound, rhyme and antithesis. On one occasion, Liu Ju wrote a poem in class to praise the heron. He read the last two sentences: “the fisherman suddenly started up, and the snow flakes slanted in the wind.” Su Shi immediately said that the teacher’s poem was good, but how about changing the last sentence to “snow flakes fell on the Jianjia”? After hearing this, Liu Ju said, I can’t be your teacher.

Su Xun took part in the imperial examination three times in his life, and all of them failed, so he no longer attached himself to his fame, but placed his hopes on his two sons. He compiled thousands of books for his two sons as teaching materials, and said to his sons, “reading is enough to cure the body inside and people outside.” That is to say, after reading these, it is more than enough to cultivate one’s moral integrity, govern the country and level the world. He did not teach his sons according to the outline of the imperial examination. Instead, he used the articles of Mencius, Han Yu and Ouyangxiu as models to let them learn to write ancient Chinese.



? portrait of Su Xun

Meizhou is located in a corner of the Empire, but it has a long history and is full of talents. In the year Su Shi and his younger brother took the imperial examination in Beijing, Meizhou won 13 Jinshi, attracting the attention of the country. In this small southwest city which was later called by Luyou as “Yuran poetry and Book City for thousands of years”, Su Shi felt the daily historical and cultural edification from childhood.

At the age of 7, Su Shi and his friends heard a 90 year old nun talking about the old affairs in the houshu palace. When she was young, the old nun followed her master to do things in the houshu palace. On a summer night, she saw mengchang, the emperor of houshu, and his favorite concubine, madam Huarui, enjoying the cool by the Maha pool, singing poems and lyrics. Decades later, the old nun could recite the words she heard that night.

When the old nun told these stories, she deeply influenced Su Shi in her childhood. The words recited by the old nun were printed in his mind. 40 years later, he can still remember the first two sentences: “ice flesh and jade bones, cool and sweat free. The wind in the water hall is full of fragrance.” At this time, Su Shi was already a versatile literary talent. He concluded that the title of this long lost Shu palace CI should be “Dongxian song”, so he began with these two words and continued to write a complete chapter:

Ice flesh and jade bones, cool and sweat free. The water hall is full of fragrance in the wind. The embroidered curtain is open, and the moon is shining. People are not sleeping, and the pillow and hairpin are in disorder.

Get up and join hands with Su. The court is silent. Sometimes I see the sparse stars crossing the river and the Han Dynasty. How about the night? It is already three o’clock in the night. The golden wave is light and the jade rope turns low. But when will the west wind come, and do not tell fleeting years secretly change.

——Dongxian song by Su Shi

When he was a teenager, Su Shi once went out with his younger brother. When he passed a small yard, he saw two poems written on the wall: “the night is cool and rainy, and the yard is quiet like a monk.” The brothers pondered for a long time and thought it was interesting, but they didn’t know who wrote it. Many years later, Su Shi was demoted to Huangzhou and stayed at the Zen wisdom temple in Huangzhou. The monks in the temple were not there. It suddenly rained in the middle of the night and made a noise on the bamboo. Facing this situation, Su Shi thought of the two poems he had read when he was young and sighed with emotion:

As the Buddha lamp fades and hungry rats come out, the mountain rain suddenly comes and the bamboo chirps.

Know who is the old poem, should know my feelings at this time.

At that time, his hometown of Meizhou had long been gone, but he often remembered his childhood. In the dark, many fortunes were buried in the preset ending of the young man who was wandering in the small town.



? picture source of Sansu temple in Meishan, Sichuan / picture insect creativity


The imperial examination held in the spring of 1057 A.D. brought forth a large number of talents, which will shine through the ages. Su Shi, 21, and his brother Su Zhe, 19, both came out second.

Su Shi’s on-the-spot composition on the loyalty of punishment reward almost made him the No. 1 scholar in the imperial examination that year. At that time, the system of pasting names was implemented. Ouyangxiu, the examiner, suspected that this good article was written by Zeng Gong, his student. In order to avoid suspicion, he lowered the rank of this article. It was not until the announcement that it was Su Shi’s masterpiece.

However, after the Su Shi brothers were listed on the list, the public opinion was very controversial. Unlike Zeng Gong, who was also on the list, the Su Shi brothers had no reputation before. Many scholars expressed dissatisfaction and began to protest. At the critical moment, Ouyangxiu, the leader of the literary world, came out.

Ouyangxiu praised Su Shi on various occasions, saying that the waves behind him were fierce. I should avoid him (Su Shi) and let him go. He also said that after 30 years, no one will remember him Ouyangxiu, and the literary world will be Su Shi’s world.

When Su Shi went to meet and thank Ouyangxiu, Ouyangxiu asked, your article said that in ancient times, when Emperor Yao was a judicial officer, Gao Tao committed a personal crime. Gao Tao proposed to kill him three times, and Emperor Yao pardoned him three times. Where did this allusion come from?

Su Shi replied, in the notes to the annals of the Three Kingdoms, the biography of Kongrong.

After Su Shi left, Ouyangxiu hurriedly came to reread the annals of the Three Kingdoms · Kongrong biography, but he did not find this allusion. He was very depressed. Next time we meet, we will ask Su Shi again.

Su Shi replied that after Cao Cao destroyed Yuan Shao, he rewarded Yuan Shao’s daughter-in-law to his son Cao Pi. Kongrong was very dissatisfied with this and said: “in those days, King Wu attacked Zhou and rewarded Daji, the favorite concubine of King Zhou of Shang Dynasty.” Cao Cao hurriedly asked what book it came from. Kongrong said, “there is no basis. It is just a matter of course to speculate about the ancient situation from today’s events.” The students also speculated on the benevolence of Emperor Yao and the strictness of gaotao’s law enforcement. It’s just a matter of course.

It was an allusion made up by Su Shi, but he explained it so fresh and refined that Ouyangxiu admired it very much. Afterwards, he repeatedly praised Su Shi for his good reading and use of books, and his articles will be unique in the future.



? Ouyangxiu statue source / photo network

Three years later, in order to prepare for the system examination presided over by songrenzong, the two brothers moved to a post station to review. One night, when it rained heavily, they happened to read a poem by Wei Yingwu, a poet of the Tang Dynasty: “better know the stormy night and sleep in this bed.” They were very impressed with each other. They knew that the two brothers were inseparable at present, but once they embarked on their official career, they would travel in official circles and face a long separation. That night, the two brothers agreed that they would return to their hometown Meishan as soon as possible after their success.

In the years to come, they never forget the agreement on this stormy night. However, people can’t help themselves in their official career, and they can’t realize this simple dream.

The examination of the two brothers was relatively smooth. Songrenzong returned to the palace after taking the exam. Unable to hide his joy, he proudly said to empress Cao, “today I have two prime ministers for my descendants!”

Su Shi brothers began to enter the official career. Su Shi’s first official position was to evaluate affairs in Dali. He was going to sign a judgment in Fengxiang mansion. Su Zhe applied to serve his father in Bianjing. On a cold winter day in 1061, Su Shi set out with his wife, monk Wang Fu, and his infant son. Su Zhe followed him on horseback and did not return until he was tens of miles away. For the first time in more than 20 years, both of them were sad.

Passers by sing and live happily, and the servants blame me for my misery.

I also know that life should be different, but I’m afraid the years will drift away.

The cold lamp remembers the past relatively. When does the night rain sound bleak.

You should not forget this idea. Be careful not to love high office.

Su Shi looked at his younger brother’s back and remembered their rain and wind appointment more than a year ago. He wrote poems in the hope that both of them would not forget their original intentions in order to pursue their official positions.

Su Shi’s first official superior was song Xuan, the prefect of Fengxiang. The Song Dynasty was diligent in electing officials, and paid attention to major and minor matters, which gave Su Shi the earliest demonstration of the ability of officials. Su Shi passed by Fengxiang when he went to Beijing for the examination. He wanted to stay at the official post station. Who knows, it was shabby and could not live at all. Now, when he became an official in Fengxiang, he found that the post station had been renovated under the leadership of the new governor Song Xuan. Su Shi was inspired by this small matter and wrote an article specifically saying that it is a common fault of the world that he only wants to do big things and disdains to do small things. Only by removing disdain and starting from small things can the world be cured.

Su Shi learned the pragmatic spirit of being an official from the song election. Since then, he has served as an officer in many places, and he can benefit the people.

However, for Su Shi, who has just entered the officialdom, he has felt a deep sense of powerlessness. He always performed his official duties with compassion for the people, but felt that many things could not be solved within his authority. Facing the institutional difficulties of the whole country, he often felt ashamed of himself as an official.

In March 1063, the eighth year of Jiayou, songrenzong died. In order to build the imperial mausoleum, Fengxiang mansion was responsible for providing a large number of timbers. This incident alone cost Su Shi more than five months. At that time, there was a severe drought, the river dried up, and the wood could not be transported out at all. Su Shi was in great pain. In his poem, he said that the construction period of the imperial mausoleum was approaching, and the people were being persecuted in the prefecture and county. No one dared to object to what happened after the emperor, but “people should be ashamed of their officials”. Being an official can not benefit the people, but make the people overburdened, that should be ashamed – he is warning other officials, but also blaming himself.

He was discouraged and felt that being an official was meaningless. One day, he boarded Sifei Pavilion in Baoji County, looked into the distance and began to miss his hometown. He asked himself in his heart, “who makes an official go to the country without care? This old fisherman and woodcutter have no plans.” Who makes me miss my official position and easily abandon my hometown? In this life, I can’t live like a fisherman and a woodcutter!

After the song election, Chen Xiliang took over as the governor of Fengxiang. Chenxiliang is a native of Meizhou. According to reason, he is not only Su Shi’s fellow townsman, elder, but also his immediate boss. They should have a harmonious working experience. In fact, the two did not deal with each other. This made Su Shi suffer a lot.

According to historical records, chenxiliang was a vigorous, resolute and capable official who “never looked like a dummy in his life, and he was strictly afraid of princes and dignitaries”. After taking office, he heard that all the officers in Fengxiang mansion honored Su Shi as “suxianliang”, so he said angrily, “a magistrate is a magistrate. What kind of person is virtuous?” Although the board hit the officers, it was Su Shi who was embarrassed.

Because Su Shi was talented, he wrote almost no official documents that had been changed in the previous song election. But Chen Xiliang was different. He always deleted and modified them without any hesitation. He was dissatisfied with them all the time. This made Su Shi, who was conceited by his articles, quite uncomfortable.

After much friction between the two, Su Shi was unwilling to appear on the same occasion with chenxiliang, so that the government banquet and yamen meeting would be absent. In his anger, chenxiliang impeached Su Shi to the imperial court, resulting in Su Shi being fined eight kilograms of copper.

By the end of the year, chenxiliang had built a lingxu platform and asked Su Shi to write an article to commemorate the event.

Young and vigorous Su Shi thought that the opportunity to “retaliate” the “evil boss” had come, so he wrote lingxu Tai Ji with great eloquence. “The story of lingxu terrace” is totally different from the traditional Ode to commemorative events. The central idea of this article is only one – it is unreliable to want to boast in the world by building a high platform. Su Shi said in his article, don’t say that the rise and fall of a high platform are fast decaying. What’s more, you really have the ability to rely on, and you won’t rely on a high platform to make a name in history.

Chen Xiliang, the builder of lingxu terrace, read it with ironic connotations, but this time he did not change a word and ordered people to write it on stones.

After many years, Su Shi realized why Chen Xiliang always had to embarrass him. Chenxiliang once told people privately that I frustrated Su Shi’s spirit because he was afraid that he would suffer heavy losses in the future. After Su Shi knew this, he felt the great kindness of this elder all his life.

Chenjiliang’s son, chenjichang, later became one of Su Shi’s best friends. The well-known idiom “the lion roars in the east of the river” comes from Su Shi’s ridicule of Chen Jichang’s fear of his own country. At the request of chenjichang, Su Shi wrote a biography for chenxiliang. In one paragraph, he wrote: “Shi was an official of Yu Fengxiang, and he was in the public office (chenxiliang) for two years. Fang was young and energetic, foolish and did not change things. He often had disputes with the public. He was in the form of words and regretted it.” Su Shi had already regretted that Chen Xiliang had deliberately made things difficult for him.

It was people like song Xuan and Chen Xiliang who encouraged him from the positive side and attacked him from the negative side that created a mature and detached Su Shi.

Su Shi worked in Fengxiang for more than three years. Song Yingzong wanted to make an exception and summon him to the Imperial Academy to serve as the emperor’s secretary, responsible for drafting the emperor’s imperial edict or repairing daily notes – many prime ministers in history were promoted from this position.

However, Prime Minister Hanqi objected to song Yingzong’s decision. He said that Su Shi was still young and lacked experience. He could not convince the public by his sudden promotion.

Finally, Su Shi took the imperial examination and became a historian with excellent results, specializing in compiling national history.

At this time, Su Shi’s wife Wang Fu died of illness. She was only 27 years old, leaving her son Su Mai, who was less than 7 years old. Wang Fu passed through the door at the age of 16 and had a happy marriage with Su Shi for ten years. Unfortunately, the marriage ended abruptly, and the two were on a life and death journey.

Su Shi remembered that Wang Fu had just passed the door. When Su Shi was reading, she just sat aside and did needlework. No one knew that she actually knew how to read. Until one time, Su Shi endorsed and got stuck on his back. Wang Fu, who was on the side, silently prompted. This surprised Su Shi. He took the book and asked Wang Fu one by one. As a result, she could answer all the questions.

After Su Shi became an official, Wang Fu accompanied him to Fengxiang. Every time a guest comes to Su Shi, she hides behind the screen to listen to the conversation between the two sides. After the guest leaves, she will help her husband judge whether this person is worth making friends with. She knew that her husband was frank and had suffered a lot, so she hoped that she could help her husband avoid falling in the face of complex human nature. Su Shi recalled that most of her observations and judgments were later confirmed.

After Wang Fu’s death, Su Shi felt lost for a long time. Ten years after Wang Fu’s death, he dreamed of her and woke up in grief. He got out of bed with his clothes on, and wrote a moving eulogy that has been handed down through the ages:

Ten years of life and death are boundless. If you don’t think about it, you will never forget it. Thousands of miles of solitary graves, nowhere to talk about desolation. Even if we don’t know each other, our faces are covered with dust and our temples are like frost.

In the night, when dreams suddenly return home, the window of the small porch is dressing up. Without words, there are only a thousand lines of tears. It is expected that every year, the intestines are broken, and the moon is bright, and the pines are short.

——Su Shi’s jiangchengzi · Yi Mao’s dream on the 20th day of the first month

In 1066, the second year after Wang Fu’s death, Su Xun, Su Shi’s father, died of illness. The imperial court sent an official ship to escort Su Xun’s coffin back to his hometown in Meishan, and the Su Shi brothers helped the coffin back to their hometown. This is also the last time the two brothers returned home.



? Meishan Sansu statue image source / image insect creativity


When Su Shi returned to the imperial capital from his hometown 27 months later, things in the imperial court had changed.

In 1069, the second year of Xining, the young song Shenzong used Wang Anshi to preside over the reform, opening the prelude to the new deal that affected the history of the Northern Song Dynasty. But from the beginning of the reform, the scholar officials in the imperial court did not reach a consensus. This led to the tearing, criticism and party strife of the imperial politics.

In the 1070 imperial examination, lvhuiqing was the examiner and Su Shi was one of the examiners. At that time, Ju Zi knew that the emperor was keen on reform, so they all advocated the greatness of reform in the examination papers. An examinee named yezuqia replied in the examination paper that the emperor should “conspire and innovate” with his heroic ministers. This kind of speech is not wrong in itself, but the different positions of examiners lead to great differences in the evaluation of this kind of speech.

Su Shi believed that yezuqia, the examinee who flattered the king, should be deposed. Lvhuiqing, the examiner, directly ranked yezuqia’s examination paper as the first.

Su Shi was very angry about this result. Without much talking, he wrote a note to song Shenzong, saying that ancient famous doctors were able to cure whatever diseases they had, and would not dare to mess around without that ability. But now doctors are “trying Hua Tuo’s prescription without observing the pulse”. What is the difference between this and killing people with knives?

After reading it, song Shenzong did not dislike Su Shi’s direct advice, but rather appreciated it. He showed Su Shi’s folded son to Wang Anshi. Wang Anshi said that Su Shi was really talented, but it was a pity that his way was not correct.

Song Shenzong still decided to summon Su Shi and wanted to meet him for a chat.

In 1071, the fourth year of Xining, in the first month, song Shenzong met the legendary Su Shi. In the face of song Shenzong’s inquiry about the reform opinions, Su Shi bluntly said that the emperor was “too eager to seek governance, too broad to listen to, and too sharp to enter”. In fact, it criticized the emperor for being too hasty about the reform. After a little meditation, song Shenzong said, I must think about these three words carefully.

After leaving the DPRK, Su Shi was very excited to tell his colleagues and friends about the meeting. This matter also spread to Wang Anshi, who was worried that Su Shi’s scholarly views would affect the emperor’s decision-making.

Soon, in view of the low efficiency of the Zhongshu political affairs hall, the imperial court set up an office to edit the Zhongshu regulations, hoping to reform the administration of officials. Songshenzong thought of Su Shi and wanted to transfer Su Shi to this new department. When the emperor asked Wang Anshi for his opinions, Wang Anshi was blunt: “Su Shi and his ministers have always learned and discussed different things, so it is not suitable to take this post.”

Later, the emperor Shenzong of the Song Dynasty wanted to appoint Su Shi to repair the living annotation, which was the closest position to the emperor. Wang Anshi once again resolutely stopped: “Your Majesty just listened to Su Shi’s remarks. These remarks have no place to use. I’m afraid it’s not appropriate to be appointed rashly.”

Finally, in this round of personnel appointment, Su Shi was appointed as a magistrate of Kaifeng. Wang Anshi’s intention was to let the complicated administrative affairs in the capital trap Su Shi, so that he had no time to express his views on the affairs of the imperial court.



? portrait of Wang Anshi

Later generations look back on this reform, it is difficult to judge the choices and actions of all parties with right and wrong. In short, Wang Anshi looked up and claimed that the reform was responsible for imperial power and national strength. After this reform, the Northern Song Dynasty really became stronger, especially the national treasury revenue increased significantly, but he could not see the price behind it. What Su Shi saw was precisely the price of the reform.

In contrast to Wang Anshi, Su Shi looked down and saw that during the implementation and landing of the reform, it gradually evolved into the exploitation of the common people. This understanding is related to Su Shi’s feelings, origin and region. Su Shi came from Sichuan. In the half century after the founding of the Northern Song Dynasty, Sichuan was the most chaotic area in the country. Many uprisings broke out successively, such as Wang Xiaobo, Li Shun and Wang Jun. The reason is that after the imperial court conquered Sichuan, it adopted a pattern of deep exploitation, forcing the local people at the bottom to have no way to live. This period of history is only thirty or forty years away from the time when Su Shi lived, and he must have felt deeply about it. So when he saw the people at the bottom groaning under the new law of Wang Anshi, he instinctively stood on the side of the weak.

In the new biography of Sudongpo, Li Yibing said that the special geographical environment of Sichuan makes the Shu people have an ideological root of an independent world – good at words and good at reasoning, and do not agree with the existence of the so-called authority in the world. It is from this that Su Shi, when he was in politics, always stood against the position of those in power, risked his life and argued about the truth.

Su Shi once said to his friends, “I can’t bear to do anything. I have something to say in my heart. If there are flies in my food, I have to vomit.”

As a result, the darkness of political struggle soon fell on him.

Xiejingwen, the imperial historian, impeached Su Shi, saying that when his father died of illness five years ago, Su Shi returned to Dingyou in an official ship and took the opportunity to carry a full load of goods and sell private salt and porcelain. In response to this unwarranted accusation, the imperial court even sent six routes of troops to trace the matter. There was a lot of noise, but the result was nothing. This vicious and insulting false accusation seriously damaged Su Shi’s reputation. People all over the world did not ask about right and wrong, but only knew that Su Shi was suspected of “smuggling”.

Su Shi could only ask for release and serve as a general judge in Hangzhou.

At this point, those who objected to the reform, including Ouyangxiu, simaguang, Fanzhen, and so on, retired, retired, and left Beijing. The reformists won an all-round victory in personnel matters.

On his way to Hangzhou, Su Shi passed through Chenzhou (now Zhoukou, Henan Province) and met his brother Su Zhe’s family for more than two months. Later, Su Zhe sent his brother to Yingzhou (now Fuyang, Anhui Province), where they met Ouyangxiu, a retired teacher who settled here. Ouyangxiu is over sixty years old. His hair and beard are white and he is staggering. In his life, he went through a sea of official waves and was attacked and rumored numerous times. People put many unspeakable slanders on his head. In the political turmoil of the past twoorthree years, Su Shi deeply realized that it was not easy for his mentor.

Brother Su Shi and Ouyangxiu drank and wrote poems and talked freely all day long. This was the last time they met. The following year, Ouyangxiu died of illness.

In Hangzhou, the implementation of the new law still made Su Shi speechless. In his poems, he satirized that the new law ignored the life and death of the bottom, which accumulated “evidence” for his later encounter with literary prison.

After the implementation of the new law, the government collected taxes and asked for money instead of rice, resulting in a shortage of cheap rice and money. In the name of relieving the poor farmers, the young crops law, which was loaned by the government, naturally set a “trap” for the lower class. Although its original intention is not bad, it has become mandatory in the process of implementation. In order to earn more interest, local officials invite rewards and extortion of various names in addition to the prescribed interest. In case of natural and man-made disasters, the farmers simply could not repay the state loans. Under the pressure of the government, they had to pay double interest to borrow money from powerful and wealthy households to repay the official debts, and finally they lost their wealth.

Su Shi satirized Miao FA in a poem:

The staff and Chenopodium wrapped their rice in a hurry, and the green money changed hands.

Won children’s good voice, more than half a year in the city.

The peasants borrowed money from the state, but in the end they were empty handed and broke their property. What makes people laugh and cry is that the procedures of the young crops law are complicated. In order to handle these loan procedures, farmers spend more than half a year in the city, delaying production and labor. The only “advantage” is that children can learn the accent of city people.

These bankrupt farmers finally took risks and started a private salt business, which led to overcrowding in Hangzhou government prisons. Even on New Year’s Eve, Su Shi was still busy, naming the prisoners one by one. He knew that these prisoners were forced and wanted to release them. But he didn’t have such courage after all. He could only scold himself for being too counselled in his heart:

The villain is not ashamed when he is caught in the net.

I also love Bo Lu and return to rest after losing my routine.

No matter how wise or foolish they are, they are all for food.

Su Shi, who admitted that he was too counselled, began his career in ci writing during this period. From then on, a great poet was on his way.

Before the mid-term exam, he was busy reading, and he was too young to have a chance to attend the banquet and drinking party, so he had little chance to contact the genre commonly known as “Yanke”. In his first ten years as an official, he was an active Confucianist who joined the WTO and had little energy and desire to pay attention to the creation of CI. Until he became the general judge of Hangzhou, he got to know Zhang Xian, a former poet.

Zhang Xian was one of the most important poets in the early Song Dynasty. He was famous for his words with the word “shadow”, such as “cloud breaking the moon to spend the shadow”, and was called “Zhang Sanying”. The age difference between Su Shi and Zhang Xian is nearly half a century, but they get along quite complacently. Zhang Xian became a guide for Su Shi to enter the CI world. It is still said that when Zhang Xian took a concubine at the age of 85, Su Shi wrote “a pear tree and a flower press a Begonia” to make fun of it. When Zhang Xian died at the age of 89, Su Shi wrote a memorial to Zhang ziye to express his grief and recall the friendship they had forged in Hangzhou.

Su Shi, who entered the world of Ci, spent only fourorfive years to write the water melody song head – when will the bright moon be. It was the Mid Autumn Festival in 1076. Facing a bright moon, Su Shi, 40, missed his brother, Su Zhe, and wrote while he was drunk:

When is the moon? Ask Qingtian about the wine. I don’t know what season it would be in the heavens on this night. I want to go back in the wind, but I am afraid that the magnificent buildings and jade buildings will be too cold. Dancing with clear shadows is like living on earth.

The moon rounds the red mansion Stoops to silk-pad doors, Shines upon the sleepless Bearing no grudge. Why does the moon tend to be full when people are apart? People may have sorrow or joy, be near or far apart, the moon may be dim or bright, wax or wane, This has been going on since the beginning of time. May we all be blessed with longevity. Though far apart, we are still able to share the beauty of the moon together..

——Su Shi’s water melody singing head

At that time, Su Shi had been transferred from Hangzhou and had been governor of Mizhou (now Zhucheng in Shandong) for two years. The year after he finished writing this poem, he was transferred to Xuzhou and then to Huzhou until a prison disaster that almost killed his head came upon him.



? screenshot of documentary Sudongpo


1079, the second year of Yuanfeng. Su Shi almost couldn’t carry the disaster.

Some people used his poems and the tables given to the imperial court to create a literary prison, saying that he ridiculed the imperial government. The imperial court ordered to arrest people!

At that time, Su Shi was governor of Huzhou. It took a long time from Kaifeng, the imperial capital, to Huzhou. Li Ding, the backbone of the new party and the governor of Taichung, was worried about finding a candidate to carry out the arrest mission. After considering it for a long time, he chose Huangfu as the leader of the arrest team.

Huangfuchen, with his son and two Taiwanese soldiers, went to Huzhou day and night. At this time, Wang Shen, the prince in law, tipped off Su Zhe, Su Shi’s younger brother. Su Zhe immediately sent people to Huzhou, hoping to catch up with Huangfu, so that his brother could know the news ahead of time and be mentally prepared.

Huangfuchen’s son fell ill on the way and delayed his trip. In this way, Su Shi knew his destiny ahead of time.

However, when Huangfu and his party appeared in the local government office of Huzhou, Su Shi was still quite frightened. According to his recollection afterwards, two soldiers who arrested him arrested a local official, just like catching a thief.

Su Shi expected that he would die. His first thought was to say goodbye to his wife and leave a suicide note to his brother Su Zhe to entrust him with the future affairs. When the boat reached Taihu Lake, he wanted to drown himself, but he resisted the thought that his brother might be hurt by his death.

When Su Shi was sent to prison, some people wanted to die, while others begged for the most talented man in the world. Even his political opponent, Wang Anshi, who has retired from Jinling, pleaded for him: “is there anyone who kills talented people in the holy world?”

One night, a stranger entered Su Shi’s cell and lay down beside him to sleep without saying a word. When he woke up the next day, the man said “Congratulations” to Su Shi. Su Shi looked puzzled and didn’t know what he meant. They smiled and said, “just sleep in peace.” Then he got up and left the cell.

Later, Su Shi learned that it was the emperor who sent him to monitor whether he had a heart of disobedience. When they found Su Shi sleeping soundly, they knew that there was no ghost in his heart, so they went back to restore his life. Song Shenzong was not willing to kill Su Shi. Now he can finally say to the ministers: “I knew Su Shi had a clear conscience.”

After more than four months in prison, the ruling of the imperial court came down, and Su Shi was demoted to Huangzhou (now Huanggang, Hubei).

On the day of his release from prison, Su Shi wrote another poem:

I am tired of writing all my life. I am not tired of losing my reputation.

If you put the plug on your horse, you won’t fight a young chicken in the east of the city.

The last sentence uses an allusion, saying that Jia Chang, who was famous for cockfighting in Chang’an city of the Tang Dynasty, was favored by Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty who loved cockfighting games at a young age. The implication of Su Shi’s words is that the imperial court is full of flattering people who favor the emperor. I will not associate with these people.

After writing, he knew that he had committed a taboo again. He had no choice but to throw his pen and laugh: “I am hopeless.”

When he was relegated to Huangzhou, Su Shi was nominally a deputy envoy of the League practice, a small official with no real power. In fact, he was a supervisor of the imperial court and could not leave at will. Because of the arrival of Su Shi, Huangzhou has become the spiritual coordinate in the history of literature. There, niannujiao Chibi nostalgia, a classic work of the bold and unconstrained school in the history of Song Ci, is waiting for him to write. There, he spent the most painful period of his life and completed his spiritual purgatory.

Before that, his life was basically smooth, and he was expected to be the “Prime Minister of Taiping”. But without these setbacks and hardships, there would not be the detached and open-minded Su Shi, who is now familiar to the world.

Su Shi, who had just arrived in Huangzhou, could not accept the sudden fall of his life. He almost cut off contact with his friends and slowly adjusted himself. Living in Dinghui hospital in Huangzhou, he wrote a poem which revealed his lonely and independent mentality:

When the moon is short, there are sparse trees hanging on the trees, and the first stillness of people is missing. When I saw you alone, I saw the shadow of a lonely goose.

When you wake up, you look back. You hate everyone. Picking up all the cold branches and refusing to perch, the lonely sandbar is cold.

——Sushi’s “Bu operator · residence of Dinghui courtyard in Huangzhou”

After settling down, Su Shi said that he “sailed in a boat with straw sandals and wandered in the mountains and rivers. When guests arrived, they often said that they were not there. There were few letters and no answers. This taste was very good. He was never so suitable in his life”. He was wayward and evacuated. When he was abandoned from the normal track of imperial officialdom promotion, Su Shi finally found a Xintiandi in his life.

He became a farmer. Go to the fields, markets and riversides to chat with various people. If people can’t say anything of value, he asks people to tell him a ghost story. People refuse to say that there is no ghost story. But he said, just make up one. He enjoyed such a state that no one knew his identity and experience, and “self joy gradually became unknown”.

It was after Huangzhou that Su Shi became the natural and unrestrained Sudongpo in history – although the name “Dongpo” actually originated from the embarrassing reality.

In Huangzhou, the sushi family was very frugal in their daily expenses, but because they had no income, the money he brought to Huangzhou was only enough to last for one year at most. A year later, the sushi family was in a dilemma. At this time, Ma mengde, a good friend who followed Su Shi to Huangzhou, found a barren slope in the east of Huangzhou City, so he applied to the government for the land.

Ma mengde was born in the same year and month as Su Shi, and both are Capricorns. In Su Shi’s words, this constellation “has no rich and noble people”, so he and Ma mengde are both poor. However, if we must distinguish who is the champion of the poor, Ma mengde must take his place. This poor man, who was worse off than Su Shi, helped Su Shi get a piece of wasteland to make a living.

Su Shi called this Nameless Highland “Dongpo”, and from then on he called himself “Dongpo resident”.

He was immersed in his days as a farmer. After choosing a day, he set a fire on the east slope and burned the weeds on it. With God’s help, after the fire, he found an underground well – from then on, he cultivated here, and irrigation was no problem. He bought a cow, bought hoes, sickles and other farm tools, and planted wheat in the field. After the harvest, he asked his wife Wang Runzhi to cook with wheat and millet. The children found it difficult to swallow, but he ate very well.

Wang Runzhi is Wang Fu’s cousin. After Wang Fu died of illness, she became Su Shi’s successor. She knew Su Shi was good at drinking, but she had a poor capacity for drinking, but she never stopped Su Shi from drinking. If Su Shi was upset, she would say, I’ll get you some bars.

Su Shi seemed very satisfied with the days of farming. In the morning, he went out with farm tools and a wine pot. When he was tired, he drank wine and fell asleep on the ground. In his letter to his friend, he introduced his “industry”: five rooms, more than ten rows of fruit trees and vegetables, and more than 100 mulberry trees.

At night, he would copy TaoYuanming’s “Ci of returning home” again and again under the lamp. In his Ci, he thinks that his previous life is TaoYuanming: “when you wake up from a drunken dream, only Yuanming is your previous life.”

Once, he and his friends drank in the middle of the night. He woke up drunk and drunk. It was already three o’clock when he went home. He stood outside the door. No one answered when he knocked on the door. All he heard was the sleeping snoring of the children. He had to curl up and sit in front of the door, vaguely hearing the sound of the river lapping against the bank in the dark night:

After drinking at night, Dongpo wakes up and gets drunk again. It seems that he comes back at midnight. The boy’s breath was thundering. Don’t knock at the door. Lean on your stick and listen to the sound of the river.

I hate this body for a long time. When will I forget camping. The wind is still at night and the grain is flat. The boat died, and the river and the sea sent the rest of life.

——Su Shi’s “Linjiang Xian”

After the word spread in Huangzhou City, people said that Sudongpo had finished singing the song, hung his clothes by the river and gone away by boat. Xujunyou, governor of Huangzhou, was terribly nervous when he heard the news. He was responsible for Su Shi’s supervision, so he hurried to Su Shi’s house. At the door, I heard Su Shi snoring. Then I was relieved.

For Su Shi, what he had to consider was how to settle down in Huangzhou. After all, Dongpo was an official land, which could not be taken back any day, so Su Shi wanted to buy a piece of land himself.

In spring, he followed his friends to the Sand Lake in the southeast of Huangzhou to see the land. Halfway through, it suddenly rained heavily. All the friends in the same trade felt very embarrassed. Only he came up with a good word in the rain:

Don’t listen to the sound of beating leaves through the forest. Why not sing and walk slowly. Bamboo sticks and sandals are lighter than horses. Who is afraid? A raindrop and a misty rain.

When the spring breeze blows and you wake up, it’s slightly cold, but the hillside slants to greet you. Looking back on the bleak place, there is no rain or sunshine.

——Su Shi’s “calming the storm”

When he and his friends visited chibiji outside Huangzhou City again, he was no longer attached to his personal situation. The overlapping of history and the cultivation of scenery have created a broad-minded heart. He wrote a classic poem known as “the song of the past and the present”:

The great river goes East, the waves wash away, and the immortals of the ages. To the west of the old fortress, humanity is the red cliff of Zhou Lang of the Three Kingdoms. Rocks pierce the air, waves beat the shore, and thousands of piles of snow are rolled up. Picturesque mountains and rivers, many heroes at one time.

In those days when Gong Jin was young, Xiao Qiao was married and had a heroic face. Feather fan Lun towel, talk and laugh, the masts and oars are gone. Wandering in my native land, I should laugh at my affectionate feelings and grow up early. Life is like a dream. One statue sprinkles the moon on the river.

——Su Shi’s niannujiao – Chibi nostalgia

Su Shi, who has been reborn from nirvana, has returned. Nothing could defeat him.



? screenshot of documentary Sudongpo


During the four years when Su Shi was demoted to Huangzhou, the emperor never forgot him.

In 1084, the seventh year of Yuanfeng, Su Shi was demoted to Ruzhou. Ruzhou was not far from the political center of the Northern Song Dynasty, which meant the improvement of Su Shi’s political situation. Su Shi originally wanted to show his gratitude by saying that he was willing to grow old in Huangzhou, but he had to give it up after all because it was the kindness of song Shenzong.

He was still reluctant to leave the farmhouse he had worked hard to manage and the environment and heart he had finally settled down. Not long ago, he asked a friend for a batch of citrus seedlings to be planted. He thought he would never see them grow and bear fruit again.

On his way north from Huangzhou, Su Shi made a special trip to Jinling to meet Wang Anshi, who had lived in seclusion for 89 years.

That day, Wang Anshi rode a donkey to the wharf to meet Su Shi. Su Shi didn’t even wear a hat, so he went ashore and said to Wang Anshi, “Shi dares to see the prime minister in his wild clothes today!” Wang Anshi laughed: “the ceremony is not for our generation!” This sentence comes from Shi Shuo Xin Yu, which was said by Ruan Ji, one of the Seven Sages in the bamboo forest. After being dismissed from the political arena, Wang Anshi became quite open-minded. At this time, Su Shi did not forget to meet Wang Anshi: “Shi also knew that he could not use Shi under the prime minister’s door.” It means that they are not the same politically.

Although there are differences in political views, it does not prevent the two superstars of the same era from maintaining a personal friendship. During their stay in Jinling, the two put aside the struggle for political reform, made an appointment to visit the mountains and rivers, and wrote poems and sang peace for many times.

Riding a donkey into the wasteland, I want to see my husband before he is ill.

It is ten years late to persuade me to try for a three mu house.

At this time, Su Shi also planned to “buy Tian Jinling” and retire to Zhongshan with Wang Anshi. Although he failed to achieve his wish later, Su Shi’s state of mind was true here and now. He realized that he should withdraw as soon as possible like Wang Anshi.

Therefore, Su Shi was not in a hurry to go to Ruzhou. He gave song Shenzong a statement, explaining that “it is still far to go to Ru (prefecture) due to the exhaustion of funds, more than 20 people do not know where to return, and the worry of hunger and cold is close at dawn”, and requested not to go to Ru (prefecture) for the time being, but to live in Changzhou first. It was later approved.

Before long, song Shenzong died, song zhezong ascended the throne, and Empress Dowager Gao, in the name of zhezong’s youth, was in power at the imperial court. Sima Guang, who retired from Luoyang and wrote books for 17 years, was reinstated as a prime minister, and the new party forces were suppressed in an all-round way. The situation in Korea has changed dramatically.

Su Shi was soon called back to the imperial court. He was promoted to be a scholar of Imperial Academy, knew how to make letters patent, and knew how to give tribute to the Ministry of rites.

In this political change called “Yuanyou genghua”, Sima Guang, who was in power, insisted on Abolishing the new law as much as possible during his illness, and even the court was busy with it in the last few days. However, Su Shi’s personality of not speaking out when he was in trouble was shown again. He suggested that the imperial court weigh the pros and cons and keep the beneficial parts of the reform. He himself supported the retention of the exemption law and the abolition of the young crops law. Sima Guang did not listen to the advice.

Wang Anshi was silent about the changes in the imperial court until the exemption law was abolished by Sima Guang. Then he lamented with tears: “even the exemption law should be abolished? I studied with the emperor for two years before implementing it. I have considered everything carefully.” In 1086, the first year of Yuanyou, Wang Anshi and simaguang died successively, and the internal friction and disputes caused by the reform were far from over.

The three party disputes among Luo party, Shuo party and Shu party gradually emerged in the imperial court. The political circles of the Northern Song Dynasty always had prejudice against the Shu people. Su Shi was already well-known when he was alive, but he never had a chance to really exercise power. Every time he was listed as the candidate for the post of Tsai Fu, the imperial court said that the officials would stop him by saying that “Shu people are too prosperous”. Although Su Shi was regarded as the leader of the “Shu party”, Empress Dowager Gao knew Su Shi and Su Zhe very well and said, “I know that your two brothers have been isolated in the dynasty.”



? more than one party struggle in the Song Dynasty

Four years after returning to Bianjing, the imperial capital, Su Shi, who was unable to cope with political disputes, repeatedly asked to leave. Finally, in 1089, he was allowed to be transferred to Hangzhou as a prefect and left the land of right and wrong.

Although Su Shi was famous for his literature, he was a practical official and could not stand the lengthy and meaningless political disputes in the imperial court. Being a parent official and doing practical things for the people is his most comfortable place to go. Since he became a politician, he has been the number one leader in many places, such as Mizhou, Xuzhou, Huzhou, Hangzhou, etc. every time he goes to a place, he innovates and eliminates disadvantages, facilitates the people by law, builds water conservancy, and responds to disasters, leaving a good reputation.

According to the notes of the Song Dynasty, Su Shi often worked near the West Lake when he was an official in Hangzhou. In the morning, he came by boat from yongjinmen. At noon, he went to the Pu’an hospital for dinner. He decided the case at Lengquan Pavilion. When handling official documents, he “wrote like wind and rain”. In the evening, he rode home by horse.

He cares for the people, works diligently for the people, and has deep sympathy and empathy for the people. Such local officials, even without the blessing of those classic poems, will certainly remain in the annals of history.

After assuming the post of governor of Hangzhou, there was a severe drought, poor harvest and outbreak of plague. The history of the Song dynasty recorded that “hunger and disease were combined”. Su Shi wrote to the imperial court, asking for a reduction of “one third of the rice supplied on the road” and organizing relief for the victims. In the face of the epidemic, he took out a prescription called “shengsanzi”. That’s the secret recipe he got from Chaogu, his old friend in Sichuan. This secret recipe is extremely effective for emergency rescue. Chaogu keeps it secret and refuses to teach it to his own son. Later, he really couldn’t resist Su Shi’s entanglement. He took Su Shi to the river and asked him to swear against the river and never pass it on to others. Then he gave the secret recipe to Su Shi. However, facing the life and death of the people, Su Shi had no regard for his oath. He made this secret recipe public, and set up a cauldron in the street to boil soup and save countless people.

During this epidemic, Su Shi also set aside 2000 yuan from public funds, took the lead in donating 52 gold and set up “anlefang” as a public medical institution for the relief of the poor and sick. Anle square later became the prototype of Anji square in the Northern Song Dynasty.

According to historical records, Su Shi did a lot of practical things in Hangzhou. Hangzhou people are grateful for his kindness. Every family has his portrait, “food must be wished”.

After Su Shi’s death, an old monk in Hangzhou recalled that when he was young, he became a monk in the longevity hall. In summer, he often saw Su Shi go up the mountain barefoot. Su Shi would borrow a reclining chair from him, move to the bamboo forest, take off his robe, and take a nap in the afternoon sun. Suddenly, he found seven black moles on Su Shi’s back, arranged like the Big Dipper. The old monk said that this showed that Su Shi was an immortal who visited the world.

“Immortal” is to do things, but also to rob.

After the death of Empress Dowager Gao, song zhezong came into power, and the new party gained power again. In 1094, the first year of Shaosheng, Su Shi, 58, was demoted to Huizhou.

In Huizhou, Su Shi continued to study in the direction of gourmet. In that year, when he was in Huangzhou, he created the practice of pork because he was poor, and became the founder of the “Dongpo meat” spread in later generations. Now, he has become the so-called “father of sheep and scorpions”.

As a demoted criminal official, Su Shi was not qualified to compete with local dignitaries for good mutton in Huizhou. He privately told the sheep killers to leave him a sheep backbone that no one wanted, and there was a little mutton between these bones. After taking it home, he first thoroughly boiled the sheep’s spine, poured wine on the bones, ordered a little salt, baked it with fire, and waited for the bones and meat to be slightly charred before eating. All day long, he picks up pieces of meat from the backbone of the sheep, claiming that it is as delicious as seafood.

In his letter to his brother Su Zhe, he joked about the other side. Brother, you live a good life, eat good mutton, and you can’t touch sheep bones even if you sink your teeth. How can you understand this delicious food? At the end of the letter, he said that this kind of eating method is good, but every time he removes the meat from his bones, the dogs around him are very unhappy.

Su Shi also fell in love with litchi, the best fruit in Huizhou. He joked with his son that he should never let his political opponents know that there are lychees in Lingnan, or they would all run to him and grab them.

In 1097, the fourth year of Shaosheng, Su Shi was demoted to Danzhou, a remote and desolate island in Hainan.

Su Mai, the eldest son, came to see him off. Su Shi gave a clear account of his future affairs, just like farewell. He decided to make a coffin for himself after he went to Hainan. When we arrived in Hainan, we learned that the local people didn’t use coffins at all. They chiseled out mortar holes on the long wood. People lived to store rice, and died to release their bodies.

Once, when he was singing on the ridge, an old woman came up to him and said, “Sir, you must have been rich before, but it was just a dream.” He was shocked when he heard this.

He often stood by the sea and looked at the boundless sky. He thought it would be impossible for him to leave the island alive. However, he thought later that all the people in the world were surrounded by the sea? Like an ant, I fell into a small puddle and thought I had fallen into the sea, so I scrambled up a blade of grass and wondered where I would drift. However, it didn’t take long for the sun to shine, the puddles dried up, and the little ants survived. When they saw the same kind, they cried and said, “I almost never saw you again.” This ant is very funny, but is it not true that one is sad in the world?

Su Shi, who had lived well on the isolated island, still received the last glimmer of fortune – in 1100, with the death of song zhezong and the resumption of changes in the Korean situation, Su Shi was allowed to return to the north and left Hainan alive.

In the first month of the second year, on their way back to the north, the sushi family were resting in a small shop on Dayu ridge. An old man asked his servant: “who is the official?”

“Su Shangshu.”

“Is it suzizhan?”


The old man bowed to Su Shi and said, “I heard that someone tried every means to frame you. Now he has returned to the north. God bless the good man.”

Su Shi smiled and thanked him, and then wrote a poem on the wall of the shop:

Crane bones and frost beards have turned grey, and green pines have been planted by hand.

When I asked Weng Dayu to live in Lingtou, I saw him move south several times.

In his new biography of Sudongpo, Li Yibing said that Su Shi’s greatest happiness for his return from the past was that he had been upright and loyal all his life, and now it is known to the world. When all the clouds of stigma and suspicion have blown away, a solitary moon in the sky should also be seen. “Things have changed in the floating clouds, and the solitary moon has a clear mind.”

It crosses Nanling Mountain and enters the Yangtze River through Ganjiang River. Su Shi thought that when his sons came to Qi, he would move to Xuchang, Henan Province, to live with his brother Su Zhe, and realize the promise they had made when they were young. However, the political situation in the North suddenly changed, and the new party began to exercise dictatorship. Xuchang was close to the imperial capital, and Su Shi was worried that there would be trouble there again, so he had no choice but to write a trustee to tell Su Zhe: “I have heard a lot about Northern Affairs, and there are people who must not go to Yingchang near here… I wish the brothers in the old land could get together. This day, I am as good as heaven! I don’t know if the brothers will not get together in the end?”

When the ship arrived at Yizhen (now Jiangsu Yizheng), Su Shi met Mi Fu. Mi Fu gave Su Shi the two calligraphies he collected and asked him to write postscript. But only two days later, Su Shi made a great deal of miasma and diarrhea. After a few days, his illness did not abate at all. At this time, Su Shi had a vague bad feeling. In his letter, he asked his brother to bury me at the foot of Mount Song after my death. Please write an epitaph for me. Su Zhe wept bitterly when he received the letter.



? portrait of Su Zhe

When he arrived in Changzhou, Su Shi stopped his journey. He has been ill for more than 50 days and is on his deathbed.

He said to his three sons, “I have no evil in life, and I will not fall in death.” I haven’t done anything wrong in my life. I won’t go to hell.

He said, when I die, don’t cry, let me calm down.

Su Mai, the eldest son, inquired about the afterlife. Su Shi did not respond and passed away. This day is July 28, the first year of Jingguo in the Northern Song Dynasty, and August 24, 1101. According to the notes of the Song Dynasty, after Su Shi’s death, the vegetation in penglaoshan, his hometown of Meishan, recovered to flourish. The spirit of heaven and earth returns to heaven and earth.

Before he finally fell ill, Su Shi just wrote himself a four line poem as a summary of his life:

The heart is like an ashen tree, and the body is like a boat.

Ask you what you have done in your life, Huangzhou, Huizhou and Danzhou.

Su Shi is not an atheist, but at every stage of his life, he gradually cultivated himself thoroughly and fearlessly. Huangzhou, Huizhou and Danzhou were his three banishment experiences and a dark stage in the eyes of his political enemies and ordinary people, but Su Shi did not think so. Not through these dark times, will lead a good life; But, living with these dark times, this is his life.

Life is like a flying goose treading on snow and mud.

Fingers and claws are occasionally left on the mud, and Hongfei’s complex things.

Although Su Shi has been dead for more than 900 years, this Feihong has not disappeared as he feared: he and it still live in a long historical time and space.


[song] Su Xun: Notes on Jiayou collection, notes on Zeng Zaozhuang, etc., Shanghai Ancient Books Publishing House, 1993

[song] Su Shi: Collected Works of Su Shi, annotated by Kong Fanli, Zhonghua Book Company, 2004

[song] Su Zhe: collection of Luancheng, Zeng Zaozhuang and other schools, Shanghai Ancient Books Publishing House, 1987

[song] Li Tao: continuation of Zizhi Tongjian editor in chief, Zhonghua Book Company, 2004

[yuan] Tuotuo: history of Song Dynasty, Zhonghua Book Company, 1977

Qian Mu: outline of national history, commercial press, 2010

Wangshuizhao, Zhu Gang: commentary on Su Shi, Nanjing University Press, 2004

LinYutang: biography of Sudongpo, Baihua Literature and Art Publishing House, 2008

Liyibing: new biography of Sudongpo, Sichuan people’s publishing house, 2020

Yangguangzhao and zhangxiaomin: Sudongpo, documentary, 2017

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