LIU Zongyuan (773-819 Tang Poet) tr. FAN Jinghua
Among a thousand mountains, bird’s flight denies sighting,
Along ten thousand trails, human traces leave nothing.
On a lone boat, a man, perhaps old, in a straw rain-cape,
Fishes on the cold solitary river taking in downy flakes.
Original Chinese Poem:
[唐] 柳宗元 (773-819)
柳LIU 宗元zongyuan (773-819)
千thousand 山mountain 鸟bird 飞fly绝none
万ten thousand 径path 人man 踪trail 灭out
孤lone 舟boat 蓑straw rain-cape 笠bamboo hat 翁old man
独solitary 钓fishing 寒cold 江river 雪snow
I do not know whether Wallace Stevens’s famous "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" was influenced in some way or other by this famous Tang poem, which also appeared in Witter Bynner’s Jade Mountain. However, I see some affinities between Stevens’s poem and this one.
I translate this poem because today my kid is practicing his calligraphy by writing out this poem. The first three lines from his calligraphy is copied here.