◎ 露易丝•格丽克诗集05《阿勒山》选译 (阅读3622次)|
Ararat (The Ecco Press, 1990)
“…human nature was originally one and we were a whole,
and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called love.”
Long ago, I was wounded.
to exist, in reaction,
out of touch
with the world: I''ll tell you
what I meant to be -
a device that listened.
Not inert: still.
A piece of wood. A stone.
Why should I tire myself, debating, arguing?
Those people breathing in the other beds
could hardly follow, being
like any dream--
Through the blinds, I watched
the moon in the night sky, shrinking and swelling--
I was born to a vocation:
to bear witness
to the great mysteries.
Now that I''ve seen both
birth and death, I know
to the dark nature these
are proofs, not
I''ll tell you something: every day
people are dying. And that''s just the beginning.
Every day, in funeral homes, new widows are born,
new orphans. They sit with their hands folded,
trying to decide about this new life.
Then they''re in the cemetery, some of them
for the first time. They''re frightened of crying,
sometimes of not crying. Someone leans over,
tells them what to do next, which might mean
saying a few words, sometimes
throwing dirt in the open grave.
And after that, everyone goes back to the house,
which is suddenly full of visitors.
The widow sits on the couch, very stately,
so people line up to approach her,
sometimes take her hand, sometimes embrace her.
She finds something to say to everybody,
thanks them, thanks them for coming.
In her heart, she wants them to go away.
She wants to be back in the cemetery,
back in the sickroom, the hospital. She knows
it isn''t possible. But it''s her only hope,
the wish to move backward. And just a little,
not so far as the marriage, the first kiss.
［译注］原文为“刁难和怨恨”（Spite and Malice），是一种双人玩的扑克游戏，又名“猫和老鼠”（Cat and Mouse）。
My mother''s playing cards with my aunt,
Spite and Malice, the family pastime, the game
my grandmother taught all her daughters.
Midsummer: too hot to go out.
Today, my aunt''s ahead; she''s getting the good cards.
My mother''s dragging, having trouble with her concentration.
She can''t get used to her own bed this summer.
She had no trouble last summer,
getting used to the floor. She learned to sleep there
to be near my father.
He was dying; he got a special bed.
My aunt doesn''t give an inch, doesn''t make
allowance for my mother''s weariness.
It''s how they were raised: you show respect by fighting.
To let up insults the opponent.
Each player has one pile to the left, five cards in the hand.
It''s good to stay inside on days like this,
to stay where it''s cool.
And this is better than other games, better than solitaire.
My grandmother thought ahead; she prepared her daughters.
They have cards; they have each other.
They don''t need any more companionship.
All afternoon the game goes on but the sun doesn''t move.
It just keeps beating down, turning the grass yellow.
That''s how it must seem to my mother.
And then, suddenly, something is over.
My aunt''s been at it longer; maybe that''s why she''s playing better.
Her cards evaporate: that''s what you want, that''s the object: in the end,
the one who has nothing wins.
To say I''m without fear—
It wouldn''t be true.
I''m afraid of sickness, humiliation.
Like anyone, I have my dreams.
But I''ve learned to hide them,
To protect myself
From fulfillment: all happiness
Attracts the Fates'' anger.
They are sisters, savages—
In the end they have
No emotion but envy.
My mother''s an expert in one thing:
sending people she loves into the other world.
The little ones, the babies—these
she rocks, whispering or singing quietly. I can''t say
what she did for my father;
whatever it was, I''m sure it was right.
It''s the same thing, really, preparing a person
for sleep, for death. The lullabies—they all say
don''t be afraid, that''s how they paraphrase
the heartbeat of the mother.
So the living grow slowly calm; it''s only
the dying who can''t, who refuse.
The dying are like tops, like gyroscopes—
they spin so rapidly they seem to be still.
Then they fly apart: in my mother''s arms,
my sister was a cloud of atoms, of particles—that''s the difference.
When a child''s asleep, it''s still whole.
My mother''s seen death; she doesn''t talk about the soul''s integrity.
She''s held an infant, an old man, as by comparison the dark grew
solid around them, finally changing to earth.
The soul''s like all matter:
why would it stay intact, stay faithful to its one form,
when it could be free?
Late December: my father and I
are going to New York, to the circus.
He holds me
on his shoulders in the bitter wind:
scraps of white paper
blow over the railroad ties.
My father liked
to stand like this, to hold me
so he couldn''t see me.
staring straight ahead
into the world my father saw;
I was learning
to absorb its emptiness,
the heavy snow
not falling, whirling around us.
Long ago, I was wounded. I lived
to revenge myself
against my father, not
for what he was—
for what I was: from the beginning of time,
in childhood, I thought
that pain meant
I was not loved.
It meant I loved.