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Three Translations

RIVER SNOWby Liu Tsung-Yüan


A thousand mountains without a bird.
Ten thousand miles with no trace of man.
A boat. An old man in a straw raincoat.
Alone in the snow, fishing in the freezing river.


These thousand peaks cut off the flight of birds
On all the trails, human tracks are gone.
A single boat—coat—hat—an old man!
Alone   fishing   chill   river   snow.


A thousand peaks: no more birds in flight.
Ten thousand paths: all trace of people gone.

In a lone boat, rain cloak and hat of reeds,
an old man’s fishing the cold river snow.

(i) Translation by Kenneth Rexroth (1905 – 1982), American poet, translator, and critical essayist.
(ii) Translation by Gary Snyder (b. 1930), American poet, Pulitzer Prize winner, environmental activist.
(iii) Translation by David Hinton, American poet and translator.