The pinnacle of unrestrained poetry
Chinese Name: 苏轼集
English Name: Su Shi Sets, Dongpo Sets
Author: Su Shi 苏轼
Originally Published: AD 1047-1279 (Song Dynasty 宋朝）
Genre: Literature, Poetry, Ci词
Brief Introduction of Su Shi Sets
Su Shi Sets 苏轼集 is a collection of works of Su Shi, a great writer of Song Dynasty. The author is Su Shi. He wrote many books during his lifetime. Shi Sets includes “Dongpo Complete Works 东坡全集”, “Dongpo Seven 东坡七集”, “Dongpo Collection 东坡集”, “Dongpo Great Complete Works 东坡大全集”, “Su Shi complete Works 苏轼全集”and other works. Since Su Shi was also known as Su Dongpo, his works were also called Dongpo Sets.
Su Shi was a famous writer. He suffered several setbacks in politics and was demoted for a long time, which gave him the opportunity to get in touch with people’s life and the mountains and rivers of his motherland. In addition, he had a very high literary talent and a variety of artistic practice, daily writing, so he obtained rich creative achievements. He left behind more than 2,700 poems, nearly 300 words and a wealth of prose works. His poems and essays reflected a wide range of social life, presenting a dazzling array of artistic pictures in front of readers, which could be said to be an encyclopedia of social life in the Northern Song Dynasty.
Su Shi’s poems opened up a new horizon for Song poetry and endowed Song poetry with new vitality. He could write poems from Tao Yuanming 陶渊明, Li Bai 李白, Du Fu 杜甫, Han Yu 韩愈, Ouyang Xiu 欧阳修 and other predecessors, and then form his own characteristics.
He attached great importance to the social function of poetry, and advocated that poetry should reflect and change things, expose the current evils and speak out the bad phenomena of today. Under this ideology, he wrote many political poems. He revealed social contradictions, denounced the darkness of officialdom, sympathized with the sufferings of the people, and expressed his desire to improve politics，for example the Visiting Tianzhu’s Ling Gan Guanyin Courtyard in the Rain 雨中游天竺灵感观音院.
Among Su Shi’s poems, those expressing personal feelings and describing natural scenes were more representative of his characteristics and achievements and had greater influence. These poems were rich in imagination, bold and unrestrained, with endless changes, smooth and natural, and full of romantic colors, showing a variety of artistic styles with bold and unrestrained as the main tone. Among them, the free form of seven-character ancient poetry, which was convenient for poets to gallop pen power, arbitrary writing, so wrote the best, for example, A Trip to the Jinshan Temple 游金山寺.
Su Shi’s prose was also distinctive. The Former Chibi Fu 前赤壁赋 and The Later Chibi Fu 后赤壁赋, which he wrote in Huangzhou 黄州, were his famous lyrical landscape prose, and also the double round of prose Fu in Song Dynasty.
Author of Su Shi Sets
Su Shi (1037 — 1101) was a poet, writer, calligrapher, gourmet and painter of the Northern Song Dynasty. He was a literary leader in the middle of the Northern Song Dynasty and made great achievements in poetry, ci 词, prose, calligraphy and painting. He and Xin Qiji 辛弃疾 were the representatives of the bold faction, and said “Su Xin 苏辛”, and Ouyang Xiu said “Ou Su 欧苏”, but also with his brother Su Zhe 苏辙, father Su Xun 苏洵 and known as “Three Su 三苏”. Su Shi was one of the “eight masters of Tang and Song Dynasties”.
Su Shi was gifted in writing at an early age. His father also took him to visit Ouyang Xiu. In 1057, Su Shi passed the Jinshi 进士 examination. In 1079, he was demoted to Huangzhou 黄州 for defaming the New Deal 新政. In 1086, he returned to the imperial court as a academician. Later he was exiled to Huizhou惠州 and Danzhou 儋州. In 1101, Su Shi died at the age of 66.
Excerpts From Su Shi Sets
Evaluation of Su Shi Sets
Su Shi is a master of all-round arts.
Li Zhimin 李志敏
Dongpo’s poems are powerful and wonderful, I have never seen, is a real god-like figure.
Huang Tingjian 黄庭坚
Su Shi, more than any other poet in China, had the richness, variety, and humor of a man of many talents, a brilliant intellect, and an innocent heart. It’s very rare.
Lin Yutang 林语堂