by Liu Zongyuan (Translated by Henry Hughes)

A thousand mountains without a bird

Ten thousand miles without seeing a soul

A boat and an old man in a straw raincoat,

alone, fishing in the icy river of melted snow.

Photo: Chris McLennan (detail), National Geographic photo of the day, 8/31/2010.

“Snow River” is found in The Art of Angling: Poems About Fishing, Edited by Henry Hughes. This beautiful — and highly recommended — book is available at