诗歌翻译:Louise Glück – October

    摘要

    十月

    露易丝·格丽克《十月》

    October

    Louise Glück

     

    1.

     

    Is it winter again, is it cold again,

    didn’t Frank just slip on the ice,

    didn’t he heal, weren’t the spring seeds planted

     

    didn’t the night end,

    didn’t the melting ice

    flood the narrow gutters

     

    wasn’t my body

    rescued, wasn’t it safe

     

    didn’t the scar form, invisible

    above the injury

     

    terror and cold,

    didn’t they just end, wasn’t the back garden

    harrowed and planted –

     

    I remember how the earth felt, red and dense,

    in stiff rows, weren’t the seeds planted,

    didn’t vines climb the south wall

     

    I can’t hear your voice

    for the wind’s cries, whistling over the bare ground

     

    I no longer care

    what sound it makes

     

    when was I silenced, when did it first seem

    pointless to describe that sound

     

    what it sounds like can’t change what it is –

     

    didn’t the night end, wasn’t the earth

    safe when it was planted

     

    didn’t we plant the seeds,

    weren’t we necessary to the earth,

     

    the vines, were they harvested?

     

    2.

     

    Summer after summer has ended,

    balm after violence:

    it does me no good

    to be good to me now;

    violence has changed me.

     

    Daybreak. The low hills shine

    ochre and fire, even the fields shine.

    I know what I see; sun that could be

    the August sun, returning

    everything that was taken away –

     

    You hear this voice? This is my mind’s voice;

    you can’t touch my body now.

    It has changed once, it has hardened,

    don’t ask it to respond again.

     

    A day like a day in summer.

    Exceptionally still. The long shadows of the maples

    nearly mauve on the gravel paths.

    And in the evening, warmth. Night like a night in summer.

     

    It does me no good; violence has changed me.

    My body has grown cold like the stripped fields;

    now there is only my mind, cautious and wary,

    with the sense it is being tested.

     

    Once more, the sun rises as it rose in summer;

    bounty, balm after violence.

    Balm after the leaves have changed, after the fields

    have been harvested and turned.

     

    Tell me this is the future,

    I won’t believe you.

    Tell me I’m living,

    I won’t believe you.

     

    3.

     

    Snow had fallen. I remember

    music from an open window.

     

    Come to me, said the world.

    This is not to say

    it spoke in exact sentences

    but that I perceived beauty in this manner.

     

    Sunrise. A film of moisture

    on each living thing. Pools of cold light

    formed in the gutters.

     

    I stood

    at the doorway,

    ridiculous as it now seems.

     

    What others found in art,

    I found in nature. What others found

    in human love, I found in nature.

    Very simple. But there was no voice there.

     

    Winter was over. In the thawed dirt,

    bits of green were showing.

     

    Come to me, said the world. I was standing

    in my wool coat at a kind of bright portal –

    I can finally say

    long ago; it gives me considerable pleasure. Beauty

    the healer, the teacher –

     

    death cannot harm me

    more than you have harmed me,

    my beloved life.

     

    4.

     

    The light has changed;

    middle C is tuned darker now.

    And the songs of morning sound over-rehearsed.

     

    This is the light of autumn, not the light of spring.

    The light of autumn: you will not be spared.

     

    The songs have changed; the unspeakable

    has entered them.

     

    This is the light of autumn, not the light that says

    I am reborn.

     

    Not the spring dawn: I strained, I suffered, I was delivered.

    This is the present, an allegory of waste.

     

    So much has changed. And still, you are fortunate:

    the ideal burns in you like a fever.

    Or not like a fever, like a second heart.

     

    The songs have changed, but really they are still quite beautiful.

    They have been concentrated in a smaller space, the space of the mind.

    They are dark, now, with desolation and anguish.

     

    And yet the notes recur. They hover oddly

    in anticipation of silence.

    The ear gets used to them.

    The eye gets used to disappearances.

     

    You will not be spared, nor will what you love be spared.

     

    A wind has come and gone, taking apart the mind;

    it has left in its wake a strange lucidity.

     

    How privileged you are, to be passionately

    clinging to what you love;

    the forfeit of hope has not destroyed you.

     

    Maestoso, doloroso:

    This is the light of autumn; it has turned on us.

    Surely it is a privilege to approach the end

    still believing in something.

     

    5.

     

    It is true there is not enough beauty in the world.

    It is also true that I am not competent to restore it.

    Neither is there candor, and here I may be of some use.

     

    I am

    at work, though I am silent.

     

    The bland

     

    misery of the world

    bounds us on either side, an alley

     

    lined with trees; we are

     

    companions here, not speaking,

    each with his own thoughts;

     

    behind the trees, iron

    gates of the private houses,

    the shuttered rooms

     

    somehow deserted, abandoned,

     

    as though it were the artist’s

    duty to create

    hope, but out of what? what?

     

    the word itself

    false, a device to refute

    perception – At the intersection,

     

    ornamental lights of the season.

     

    I was young here. Riding

    the subway with my small book

    as though to defend myself against

     

    the same world:

     

    you are not alone,

    the poem said,

    in the dark tunnel.

     

    6.

     

    The brightness of the day becomes

    the brightness of the night;

    the fire becomes the mirror.

     

    My friend the earth is bitter; I think

    sunlight has failed her.

    Bitter or weary, it is hard to say.

     

    Between herself and the sun,

    something has ended.

    She wants, now, to be left alone;

    I think we must give up

    turning to her for affirmation.

     

    Above the fields,

    above the roofs of the village houses,

    the brilliance that made all life possible

    becomes the cold stars.

     

    Lie still and watch:

    they give nothing but ask nothing.

     

    From within the earth’s

    bitter disgrace, coldness and barrenness

     

    my friend the moon rises:

    she is beautiful tonight, but when is she not beautiful?

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