Wednesday, August 3, 2016

My Transcreation of a Cold Mountain Poem

Vague, dark, Cold Mountain way
Empty, useless, banks of cold river
The singsong of birds is always present
Still and silent, no traveler is near
Whisper, sharp breath, the wind cuts my face
Flake upon flurry, the snow buries all forms
Dawn after dawn, there is no sun
Year after year, no knowing of spring

This is my transcreation of a Cold Mountain poem, utilizing these translations of Red Pine, Robert Henricks, and Gary Snyder:

The trail to Cold Mountain is faint
the banks of Cold Stream are a jungle
birds constantly chatter away
I hear no sound of people
gusts of wind lash my face
flurries of snow bury my body
day after day no sun
year after year no spring

~Red Pine (38)

Rough and dark - the Cold Mountain trail,
Sharp cobbles - the icy creek bank.
Yammering, chirping - always birds
Bleak, alone, not even a lone hiker.
Whip, whip - the wind slaps my face
Whirled and tumbled - snow piles on my back.
Morning after morning I don't see the sun
Year after year, not a sign of spring.

~Gary Snyder (9)

Dark and obscure— the way to Han- shan;
Far apart— the shores of the cold mountain stream.

Chirp, chirp— constantly there are the birds;
Silent and still— in addition there are no men.

Whisper, whisper— the wind blows in my face;
Whirling and swirling— the snow piles up all around.

Day after day— I don't see the sun;
And year after year— I've known no spring.

~Robert Henricks (31)

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