In one of his poems, Su Dongpo wrote : 'I can go without meat in my meal, yet I can't live in a place without bamboo'.
Here is one of his surviving poems :
Moving to Lin'gao Pavilion
We are born between heaven and earth,
solitary ants riding a huge millstone.
For all our paltry attempts to move right,
we are helplessly turned by the wind wheel to the left.
Although I have practised benevolence and righteousness,
I have still not been able to escape hunger and cold.
The sword-blade pot - a perilous way to cook rice!
The spiked mat - no restful sitting there.
But do I not have these lovely mountains and streams?
Besides, in a blink of an eye, the storm will have passed.
Although one need not wait until old age to retire,
how many men have had the courage not to?
I am lucky to have been put out to pasture,
like a weary horse that has had its load removed.
My family has the run of this river post house.
At the tunnel's end, Heaven poked a finger through for me:
these good things balance out the hunger and poverty.
I have no need for either condolences or congratulations!
Tranquil and calm, I feel neither joy nor sorrow,
and so won't turn these words about hardship into a song.