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To the Tune of "Calming the Wind and the Waves" 1

Su, Dong-po (1036-1101 CE)


    On March 13, 1082, halfway to Lake Sha 2 , it began to rain. We did not bring rain gear with us. My companions were discouraged and bewildered. I was the only one who did not mind the rain. Soon afterwards the sun came out. This incident inspired me to write this poem.


We should not listen to the sound of rain beating upon leaves 3
As it penetrates the woods.
We might whistle, chant, and stroll as well.
A bamboo cane and straw sandals are lighter than a horse.
I am not bothered by misty rain.
A straw cape 4 will always suffice for me
No matter how often I encounter rain.

The chilly spring wind awakens me from a drunken state.
It is somewhat cold.
However, the setting sun on the mountain peak welcomes us.
Looking back at the formerly desolate place 5,
I resolve to return, rain or shine.


1 When Emperor Wu-wang of the Zhou dynasty (1046-256 BCE) rode upstream on the Meng-jing-po River, he closed his eyes and commanded, "I undertake an important mission for the kingdom. Who dares disobey me?" Soon after the wind stopped and the waves became calm. This is how the melody gained its name.
    The melody title of this poem contains the word "wind". The content of this poem concerns rain. Let us view the following video entitled "Wind and Rain":

2 Lake Sha is located in present day Huang-zhou City. "Sha" means "sandy".

3 The thousand sounds might disarm one’s courage.
4 A straw cape is a type of rain coat.
5 “The formerly desolate place” refers to a place that few people can reach or a problem that few people can solve. Fear or lack of confidence is the main obstacle to solving the problem or reaching the place.