23 July 2008

柳宗元 Liu Zongyuan: 江雪 River-Snow

The following is my rendition of another very famous poem of the Tang Dynasty, River-Snow by Liu Zongyuan. I hope you will enjoy it.

Liu Zongyuan (773-819): River-Snow

1  In the thousand hills and hillocks, birds are not in flight,
2  On myriads of paths and pathways, no trace of men in sight.
3  Yet in a lone-boat, a fisher-folk, in broad-hat and straw-cloak sits
4  And, all alone, he angles, the river-snow, its iciness, despite.

Translated by Andrew W.F. Wong (Huang Hongfa)  譯者: 黃宏發
15 June 2008 (revised 16.6.08; 19.6.08; 21.6.08; 19.7.08)
Translated from the original - 柳宗元:  江雪

1  千山鳥飛絕
2  萬徑人蹤滅
3  孤舟簑笠翁
4  獨釣寒江雪

* The rhyme scheme of this English rendition is AAXA which I believe the original to be. I have been unable to render the poem in pentameter (5 metrical feet) to emulate the original 5-character lines. So, hexameter (6 metrical feet) it is.
* Lines 1 and 2: The redundant words of “and hillocks” and “and pathways” are added to convey the sense of “many-and-all hills and paths” and, of course, to complete the hexameter.
* Lines 3 and 4: The words of “Yet”, “sits” and “despite” are not in the original, but their meaning can reasonably be implied.

Classical Chinese Poems in English


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