◎ 杰克·吉尔伯特(Jack Gilbert)诗选译 (阅读2758次)|
For Gianna Gelmetti
When he dances of meeting Beatrice that first time,
he is a youth, his body has no real language,
and his heart understands nothing of what has
started. Love like a summer rain after drought,
like the thin cry of a red-tailed hawk, like an angel
sinking its teeth into our throat. He has only
beginner steps to tell of the sheen inside him.
The boy Dante sees her first with the absolute love
possible only when we are ignorant of each other.
Arm across his face, he runs off. Years go by.
The next dance is about their meeting again. He does
an enchainement around her. Beatrice’s heavy hair is
dark and long. She watches with the occhi dolci.
His jumps are a man’s jumps. His steps have become
The moves of a dancer who understand the dance.
A man who recognizes the body’s greed. She is deep
In her body’s heart. He is splendid. She is lost
And is led away by the aunt. Her family is careful
After that. She goes by in a carriage. He rises
On his toes, port de bras, his eyes desperate.
Then she is at an upstairs window of the palace.
He dances his sadness brilliantly in the moonlight
below on the empty piazza, concentrating. She moves
the curtain a little to the side, and he is happy.
It is a dream we all know, the perfection of love
That is not real. There is a fountain behind him.
It is a few years later and they are finally
in his simple room. His long dance of afterward
is a declaration of joy and of gratitude and devotion.
She dances strangely, putting on her clothes.
A delicate goodbye. Her soul is free now from that
Kind of love. He stands motionless, bewildered,
Watching her go. Then dances his grief wonderfully.
We see Dante as an old man. He is a dancer who can
manage only the simple steps of the beginning.
He dances the romance lost, the love that never was,
And the great love missed because of dreaming.
First position, entrechat, and the smallest jumps.
The passionate quite. The quieter and strongest.
The special sorrow of a happy, imperfect heart
That finally knows well how to dance. But does not.
The man certainly looked guilty.
Ugly, ragged, and not clean. Not to mention
their finding him there in the woods
with her body. Neighbors told how he was
always playing with dead squirrels,
mangled dogs, even snakes. He said
those were the only things that would
allow him to get close. “Look at me,”
the old man said with uncomplaining
simplicity, “I’m already one of the dead
among the dead. It’s hard to watch things
humiliated the way death does it.
Possums smeared on the road, birds with ants
eating out their eyes, Even dying rats
want privacy for their disgrace.
It’s true I washed the dirt form her face
and the blood off the body. Combed her hair.
I slept beside her, at her feet for two days,
the way my dog used to. I got the dress
on the best I could. She looked so neglected,
Like garbage thrown in the weeds,
Like nobody cared because he had done that
to her. I kept thinking about how long
she is going to be alone now. I knew
the police would take pictures and put them
in the papers naked and opened so people
eating breakfast could look at her. I wanted
to give her spirit enough time to get ready.”
In the small towns along the river
nothing happens day after long day.
Summer weeks stalled forever,
and long marriages always the same.
Lives with only emergencies, births,
and fishing for excitement. Then a ship
comes out of the mist. Or comes around
the bend carefully one morning
in the rain, past the pines and shrubs.
Arrives on a hot fragrant night,
grandly, all lit up. Gone two days
later, leaving fury in its wake.
To See If Something Comes Next
There is nothing here at the top of the valley.
Sky and morning, silence and the dry smell
of heavy sunlight on the stone everywhere.
Goats occasionally, and the sound of roosters
in the bright heat where he lives with the dead
woman and purity. Trying to see if something
comes next. Wondering whether he has stalled.
Maybe, he thinks, it is like the Noh: whenever
the script says dances, whatever the actor does next
is a dance. If he stands still, he is dancing.
Scheming in the Snow by Jack Gilbert
There is a time after what comes after
being young, and a time after that, he thinks
happily as he walks through the winter woods,
hearing in silence a woodpecker far off.
Remembering his Chinese friend
whose brother gave her a jade ring from
the Han Dynasty when she turned eighteen.
Two weeks later, when she was hurrying up
the steps of a Hong Kong bridge, she fell,
and the thousand-year-old ring shattered
on the concrete. When she told him, stunned
and tears running down her face, he said,
"Don't cry. I'll get you something better."
The Plundering of Circe
Circe has no pleasure in pigs.
Pigs, wolves, nor fawning
lions. She sang in our language
and, beautiful, waited for quality.
Every month they came
struggling up from the cove.
The great sea light behind them.
Each time maybe a world.
Season after season.
Dinner after dinner.
And always at the first measures
of lust became themselves.
Odysseus? A known liar.
A resort darling. Untouchable.