Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fan Jinghua: Death of a Poet

    Death of a Poet
Cornered by a human stampede to the end of the corridor, he learns
To freeze, keeping the way he is fallen upon by the slanting sunlight.
A lofty voice announces: “You have no right to remain silent,
And everything read out of you will be used against you in an invisible court.
Copping a plea is no better than fight to a bitter end."
So he starts scribbling on the loose-leaf notebook
A fictional biography from scratch.
His right hand bets with the left hand through "paper, scissors or rock"
On what to put into his Confessions,
While he sits closer to the wall and masturbate his mind.
The first line reads: “I am a prince of royal ancestry,
And all my kinsmen wore real silk and satin.”
He concludes not with a cacophonous epilogue
But with a too pleasing-the-ear proverb:
"My abode is surrounded by dogs,
And I am sorry to have come up with fleas.
But no matter how much blood they suck, they could not taste Buddha.
Since no one has come back from the hell, I think I should go for a check."
All the while when his lives are growing on paper
Along a seemingly continuous trajectory,
Time hopscotches on the staircases.
The morning light finds him a smiling corpse,
His penis hard, his crotch starched by dry semen.
In his hand is a drawing of a cloud that slides down the staircase,
And the cloud carries a birdhead with a pair of human eyes.
            Oct. 1, 2008

   诗人之死
人群疯奔,他被挤到了走廊的尽头,
他不动,保持着被斜泄的阳光扑倒的姿态。
一个高处的声音传来:“你无权保持沉默,
而有关你的每一种解释都将会用来
在不可见的法庭上对你不利。
认罪求情等同于抗拒到底”。
于是他开始在一本活页簿上
从头撰写一份虚构的传记。
左手与右手“石头剪刀布”
决定哪些事可以进入《悔过书》,
他朝墙靠了靠,闭目自慰着头脑。
开篇写道:“我是王子,祖上曾是皇族,
所有的族人都穿真丝和绸缎”。
结束段落,他没有写上“乱曰”,
而是引用了令人耳顺的俗语:
“常在河边走,哪能不湿鞋。
可我的长统靴鞋底很厚,鞋帮能防蚂蝗与水。
既然无人不留恋地狱,那么且容我去走一遭”。
就在他层层皱褶的生命似乎沿着一条轨道
在格子纸上展开,
时间却在楼梯上跳房子。
晨光降临时,他是一具微笑的死尸,
阳具冷硬,裤裆被干白的精液浆洗;
他手里拿着一张楼梯的图画,一朵白云
正沿着它下滑,云里冒出一只人眼的鸟头。
         2008年10月2日

按:
英文和中文最明显的不同在于,对应于
“常在河边走,哪能不湿鞋。
可我的长统靴鞋底很厚,鞋帮能防蚂蝗与水。
既然无人不留恋地狱,那么且容我去走一遭”的英文
直译为中文是:
“我的住处周围都是狗,
我很遗憾我身上长了跳蚤。
而无论它们吸多少血,也不可能尝出佛祖的味道。
既然无人从地狱归来,我想我应该去检查一回。”
Note:
The difference between the two versions lie in that the Chinese counterpart of
"My abode is surrounded by dogs,
And I am sorry to have come up with fleas.
But no matter how much blood they suck, they could not taste Buddha.
Since no one has come back from the hell, I think I should go for a check"
can be literally translated as
"When you often walk along the water, your shoes will get wet.
But my boots have thick soles, and their uppers are leek-proof and water-proof.
Since everyone lingers in the hell, please allow me to go there and come back."

英文有一个谚语叫做When you lie down with dogs, you come up with fleas 你和狗同睡,就和跳蚤同起。这个意思大概有点接近于中文谚语“常在河边走,难免不湿鞋”。

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