Of all the Chinese literature my mother read as a girl, top of her class (aka the number one bookworm of her school back in those days) River Snow by Tang Dynasty poet Liu Zongyuan was her favorite poem.
The poet spent most of his life in exile and isolation and for me, this poem reflects the aching loneliness he had undoubtedly felt in his 46 years on earth.
I’ve read several translations, famous and unknown; below is my own interpretation:
千山鳥飛絕 萬徑人蹤滅 孤舟簑笠翁 獨釣寒江雪
In a mountain range where no birds fly Where any trace of mankind has vanished Is a lone boat and an old man in a rush cape and bamboo hat Fishing alone in the cold, in the river, in the snow