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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