楼主: 剑郭琴符


 楼主| 发表于 2020-11-23 15:02:30 | 显示全部楼层


   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)





First Snow

   Like a child, the earth's going to sleep,
   or so the story goes.

   But I’m not tired, it says.
   And the mother says, You may not be tired but I’m tired---

   You can see it in her face, everyone can.
   So the snow has to fall, sleep has to come.
   Because the mother's sick to death of her life and needs silence.


   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)



   Mortal standing on top of the earth, refusing
   to enter the earth: you tell yourself
   you are able to see deeply
   the conflicts of which you are made but, facing death,
   you will not dig deeply---if you sense
   that pity engulfs you, you are not
   delusional: not all pity descends from higher to lesser, some
   arises out of the earth itself, persistent
   yet devoid of coercion. We can be split in two, but you are
   mutilated at the core, your mind
   detached from your feelings---
   repression does not deceive
   organisms like ourselves:
   once you enter the earth, you will not fear the earth;
   once you inhabit your terror,
   death will come to seem a web of channels or tunnels like
   a sponge's or honeycomb's, which, as part of us,
   you will be free to explore. Perhaps
   you will find in these travels
   a wholeness that eluded you---as men and women
   you were never free
   to register in your body whatever left
   a mark on your spirit.


   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)












At the River

   One night that summer my mother decided it was time to tell me about
   what she referred to as pleasure, though you could see she felt
   some sort of unease about this ceremony, which she tried to cover up
   by first taking my hand, as though somebody in the family had just died---
   she went on holding my hand as she made her speech,
   which was more like a speech about mechanical engineering
   than a conversation about pleasure. In her other hand,
   she had a book from which, apparently, she'd taken the main facts.
   She did the same thing with the others, my two brothers and sister,
   and the book was always the same book, dark blue,
   though we each got our own copy.

   There was a line drawing on the cover
   showing a man and woman holding hands
   but standing fairly far apart, like people on two sides of a dirt road.

   Obviously, she and my father did not have a language for what they did
   which, from what I could judge, wasn't pleasure.
   At the same time, whatever holds human beings together
   could hardly resemble those cool black-and-white diagrams, which suggested,
   among other things, that you could only achieve pleasure
   with a person of the opposite sex,
   so you didn't get two sockets, say, and no plug.

   School wasn't in session.
   I went back to my room and shut the door
   and my mother went into the kitchen
   where my father was pouring glasses of wine for himself and his invisible guest
   who---surprise---doesn't appear.
   No, it's just my father and his friend the Holy Ghost
   partying the night away until the bottle runs out,
   after which my father continues sitting at the table
   with an open book in front of him.
   Tactfully, so as not to embarrass the Spirit,
   my father handled all the glasses,
   first his own, then the other, back and forth like every other night.

   By then, I was out of the house.
   It was summer; my friends used to meet at the river.
   The whole thing seemed a grave embarrassment
   although the truth was that, except for the boys, maybe we didn’t understand mechanics.
   The boys had the key right in front of them, in their hands if they wanted,
   and many of them said they'd already used it,
   though once one boy said this, the others said it too,
   and of course people had older brothers and sisters.

   We sat at the edge of the river discussing parents in general
   and sex in particular. And a lot of information got shared,
   and of course the subject was unfailingly interesting.
   I showed people my book, Ideal Marriage---we all had a good laugh over it.
   One night a boy brought a bottle of wine and we passed it around for a while.

   More and more that summer we understood
   that something was going to happen to us
   that would change us.
   And the group, all of us who used to meet this way,
   the group would shatter, like a shell that falls away
   so the bird can emerge.
   Only of course it would be two birds emerging, pairs of birds.

   We sat in the reeds at the edge of the river
   throwing small stones. When the stones hit,
   you could see the stars multiply for a second, little explosions of light
   flashing and going out. There was a boy I was beginning to like,
   not to speak to but to watch.
   I liked to sit behind him to study the back of his neck.

   And after a while we'd all get up together and walk back through the dark
   to the village. Above the field, the sky was clear,
   stars everywhere, like in the river, though these were the real stars,
   even the dead ones were real.

   But the ones in the river---
   they were like having some idea that explodes suddenly into a thousand ideas,
   not real, maybe, but somehow more lifelike.

   When I got home, my mother was asleep, my father was still at the table,
   reading his book. And I said, Did your friend go away?
   And he looked at me intently for a while,
   then he said, Your mother and I used to drink a glass of wine together
   after dinner.


   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)






A Corridor

   There's an open door through which you can see the kitchen---
   always some wonderful smell coming from there,
   but what paralyzes him is the warmth of that place,
   the stove in the center giving out heat---

   Some lives are like that.
   Heat's at the center, so constant no one gives it a thought.
   But the key he's holding unlocks a different door,
   and on the other side, warmth isn't waiting for him.
   He makes it himself---him and the wine.

   The first glass is himself coming home.
   He can smell the daube, a smell of red wine and orange peel mixed in with the veal.
   His wife is singing in the bedroom, putting the children to sleep.
   He drinks slowly, letting his wife open the door, her finger to her lips,
   and then letting her eagerly rush toward him to embrace him.
   And afterward there will be the daube.

   But the glasses that follow cause her to disappear.
   She takes the children with her; the apartment shrinks back to what it was.
   He has found someone else---not another person exactly,
   but a self who despises intimacy, as though the privacy of marriage
   is a door that two people shut together
   and no one can get out alone, not the wife, not the husband,
   so the heat gets trapped there until they suffocate,
   as though they were living in a phone booth---

   Then the wine is gone. He washes his face, wanders around the apartment.
   It’s summer---life rots in the heat.
   Some nights, he still hears a woman singing to her children;
   other nights, behind the bedroom door, her naked body doesn't exist.

 楼主| 发表于 2020-11-23 15:04:54 | 显示全部楼层


   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)










   All winter he sleeps.
   Then he gets up, he shaves---
   it takes a long time to become a man again,
   his face in the mirror bristles with dark hair.

   The earth now is like a woman, waiting for him.
   A great hopefulness---that’s what binds them together,
   himself and this woman.

   Now he has to work all day to prove he deserves what he has.
   Midday: he’s tired, he’s thirsty.
   But if he quits now he’ll have nothing.

   The sweat covering his back and arms
   is like his life pouring out of him
   with nothing replacing it.

   He works like an animal, then
   like a machine, with no feeling.
   But the bond will never break
   though the earth fights back now, wild in the summer heat---

   He squats down, letting the dirt run through his fingers.

   The sun goes down, the dark comes.
   Now that summer’s over, the earth is hard, cold;
   by the road, a few isolated fires burn.

   Nothing remains of love,
   only estrangement and hatred.


   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)








Burning Leaves

   Not far from the house and barn,
   the farm worker's burning dead leaves.

   They don’t disappear voluntarily;
   you have to prod them along
   as the farm worker prods the leaf pile every year
   until it releases a smell of smoke into the air.

   And then, for an hour or so, it's really animated,
   blazing away like something alive.

   When the smoke clears, the house is safe.
   A woman's standing in the back,
   folding dry clothes into a willow basket.

   So it’s finished for another year,
   death making room for life,
   as much as possible,
   but burning the house would be too much room.

   Sunset. Across the road,
   the farm worker's sweeping the cold ashes.
   Sometimes a few escape, harmlessly drifting around in the wind.

   Then the air is still.
   Where the fire was, there's only bare dirt in a circle of rocks.
   Nothing between the earth and the dark.


   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)











Walking at Night

   Now that she is old,
   the young men don’t approach her
   so the nights are free,
   the streets at dusk that were so dangerous
   have become as safe as the meadow.

   By midnight, the town's quiet.
   Moonlight reflects off the stone walls;
   on the pavement, you can hear the nervous sounds
   of the men rushing home to their wives and mothers; this late,
   the doors are locked, the windows darkened.

   When they pass, they don't notice her.
   She's like a dry blade of grass in a field of grasses.
   So her eyes that used never to leave the ground
   are free now to go where they like.

   When she's tired of the streets, in good weather she walks
   in the fields where the town ends.
   Sometimes, in summer, she goes as far as the river.

   The young people used to gather not far from here
   but now the river's grown shallow from lack of rain, so
   the bank’s deserted---

   There were picnics then.
   The boys and girls eventually paired off;
   after a while, they made their way into the woods
   where it's always twilight---

   The woods would be empty now---
   the naked bodies have found other places to hide.

   In the river, there's just enough water for the night sky
   to make patterns against the gray stones. The moon's bright,
   one stone among many others. And the wind rises;
   it blows the small trees that grow at the river’s edge.

   When you look at a body you see a history.
   Once that body isn't seen anymore,
   the story it tried to tell gets lost---

   On nights like this, she’ll walk as far as the bridge
   before she turns back.
   Everything still smells of summer.
   And her body begins to seem again the body she had as a young woman,
   glistening under the light summer clothing.


   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)











Via delle Ombre

   On most days, the sun wakes me.
   Even on dark days, there’s a lot of light in the mornings---
   thin lines where the blinds don't come together.
   It’s morning---I open my eyes.
   And every morning I see again how dirty this place is, how grim.
   So I'm never late for work---this isn’t a place to spend time in,
   watching the dirt pile up as the sun brightens.

   During the day at work, I forget about it.
   I think about work: getting colored beads into plastic vials.
   When I get home at dusk, the room is shadowy---
   the shadow of the bureau covers the bare floor.
   It's telling me whoever lives here is doomed.

   When I'm in moods like that,
   I go to a bar, watch sports on television.

   Sometimes I talk to the owner.
   He says moods don't mean anything---
   the shadows mean night is coming, not that daylight will never return.
   He tells me to move the bureau; I’ll get different shadows, maybe
   a different diagnosis.

   If we're alone, he turns down the volume of the television.
   The players keep crashing into each other
   but all we hear are our own voices.

   If there’s no game, he’ll pick a film.
   It’s the same thing---the sound stays off, so there's only images.
   When the film's over, we compare notes, to see if we both saw the same story.
   Sometimes we spend hours watching this junk.

   When I walk home it’s night. You can’t see for once how shabby the houses are.
   The film is in my head: I tell myself I’m following the path of the hero.
   The hero ventures out---that's dawn.
   When he's gone, the camera collects pictures of other things.
   When he gets back, it already knows everything there is to know,
   just from watching the room.

   There's no shadows now.
   Inside the room, it's dark; the night air is cool.
   In summer, you can smell the orange blossoms.
   If there's wind, one tree will do it---you don't need the whole orchard.

   I do what the hero does.
   He opens the window. He has his reunion with earth.

 楼主| 发表于 2020-11-24 19:10:09 | 显示全部楼层


   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)









   A dark night---the streets belong to the cats.
   The cats and whatever small thing they find to kill---
   The cats are fast like their ancestors in the hills
   and hungry like their ancestors.

   Hardly any moon. So the night’s cool---
   no moon to heat it up. Summer's on the way out
   but for now there's still plenty to hunt
   though the mice are quiet, watchful like the cats.

   Smell the air---a still night, a night for love.
   And every once in a while a scream
   rising from the street below
   where the cat's digging his teeth into the rat's leg.

   Once the rat screams, it's dead. That scream is like a map:
   it tells the cat where to find the throat. After that,
   the scream's coming from a corpse.

   You're lucky to be in love on nights like this,
   still warm enough to lie naked on top of the sheets,
   sweating, because it's hard work, this love, no matter what anyone says.

   The dead rats lie in the street, where the cat drops them.
   Be glad you're not on the street now,
   before the street cleaners come to sweep them away. When the sun rises,
   it won't be disappointed with the world it finds,
   the streets will be clean for the new day and the night that follows.

   Just be glad you were in bed,
   where the cries of love drown out the screams of the corpses.


   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)














A Slip of Paper

   Today I went to the doctor---
   the doctor said I was dying,
   not in those words, but when I said it
   she didn’t deny it---

   What have you done to your body, her silence says.
   We gave it to you and look what you did to it,
   how you abused it.
   I'm not talking only of cigarettes, she says,
   but also of poor diet, of drink.

   She's a young woman; the stiff white coat disguises her body.
   Her hair's pulled back, the little female wisps
   suppressed by a dark band. She's not at ease here,

   behind her desk, with her diploma over her head,
   reading a list of numbers in columns,
   some flagged for her attention.
   Her spine's straight also, showing no feeling.

   No one taught me how to care for my body.
   You grow up watched by your mother or grandmother.
   Once you're free of them, your wife takes over, but she's nervous,
   she doesn't go too far. So this body I have,
   that the doctor blames me for---it's always been supervised by women,
   and let me tell you, they left a lot out.

   The doctor looks at me---
   between us, a stack of books and folders.
   Except for us, the clinic’s empty.

   There's a trap-door here, and through that door,
   the country of the dead. And the living push you through,
   they want you there first, ahead of them.

   The doctor knows this. She has her books,
   I have my cigarettes. Finally
   she writes something on a slip of paper.
   This will help your blood pressure, she says.

   And I pocket it, a sign to go.
   And once I'm outside, I tear it up, like a ticket to the other world.

   She was crazy to come here,
   a place where she knows no one.
   She's alone; she has no wedding ring.
   She goes home alone, to her place outside the village.
   And she has her one glass of wine a day,
   her dinner that isn’t a dinner.

   And she takes off that white coat:
   between that coat and her body,
   there's just a thin layer of cotton.
   And at some point, that comes off too.

   To get born, your body makes a pact with death,
   and from that moment, all it tries to do is cheat---

   You get into bed alone. Maybe you sleep, maybe you never wake up.
   But for a long time you hear every sound.
   It's a night like any summer night; the dark never comes.


   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)



   There are two kinds of vision:
   the seeing of things, which belongs
   to the science of optics, versus
   the seeing beyond things, which
   results from deprivation. Man mocking the dark, rejecting
   worlds you do not know: though the dark
   is full of obstacles, it is possible to have
   intense awareness when the field is narrow
   and the signals few. Night has bred in us
   thought more focused than yours, if rudimentary:
   man the ego, man imprisoned in the eye,
   there is a path you cannot see, beyond the eye’s reach,
   what the philosophers have called
   the via negativa: to make a place for light
   the mystic shuts his eyes---illumination
   of the kind he seeks destroys
   creatures who depend on things.


   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)









Burning Leaves

   The fire burns up into the clear sky,
   eager and furious, like an animal trying to get free
   to run wild as nature intended---

   When it burns like this,
   leaves aren’t enough---it’s
   acquisitive, rapacious,

   refusing to be contained, to accept limits---

   There's a pile of stones around it.
   Past the stones, the earth's raked clean, bare---

   Finally the leaves are gone, the fuel's gone,
   the last flames burn upwards and sidewards---

   Concentric rings of stones and gray earth
   circle a few sparks;
   the farmer stomps on these with his boots.

   It's impossible to believe this will work---
   not with a fire like this, those last sparks
   still resisting, unfinished,
   believing they will get everything in the end

   since it is obvious they are not defeated,
   merely dormant or resting, though no one knows
   whether they represent life or death.


   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)




















   The light stays longer in the sky,but it’s a cold light,
   it brings no relief from winter.

   My neighbor stares out the window,
   talking to her dog. He’s sniffing the garden,
   trying to reach a decision about the dead flowers.

   It's a little early for all this.
   Everything's still very bare---
   nevertheless, something's different today from yesterday.

   We can see the mountain: the peak's glittering where the ice catches the light.
   But on the sides the snows melted, exposing bare rock.

   My neighbor's calling the dog, making her unconvincing doglike sounds.
   The dog's polite; he raises his head when she calls,
   but he doesn't move. So she goes on calling,
   her failed bark slowly deteriorating into a human voice.

   All her life she dreamed of living by the sea
   but fate didn’t put her there.
   It laughed at her dreams;
   it locked her up in the hills, where no one escapes.

   The sun beats down on the earth, the earth flourishes.
   And every winter, it's as though the rock underneath the earth rises
   higher and higher and the earth becomes rock, cold and rejecting.

   She says hope killed her parents, it killed her grandparents.
   It rose up each spring with the wheat
   and died between the heat of summer and the raw cold.
   In the end, they told her to live near the sea,
   as though that would make a difference.

   By late spring she’ll be garrulous, but now she’s down to two words,
   never and only, to express this sense that life’s cheated her.

   Never the cries of the gulls, only, in summer, the crickets, cicadas.
   Only the smell of the field, when all she wanted
   was the smell of the sea, of disappearance.

   The sky above the fields has turned a sort of grayish pink
   as the sun sinks. The clouds are silk yarn, magenta and crimson.

   And everywhere the earth is rustling, not lying still.
   And the dog senses this stirring; his ears twitch.

   He walks back and forth, vaguely remembering
   from other years this elation. The season of discoveries
   is beginning. Always the same discoveries, but to the dog,
   intoxicating and new, not duplicitous.

   I tell my neighbor we'll be like this
   when we lose our memories. I ask her if she's ever seen the sea
   and she says, once, in a movie.
   It was a sad story, nothing worked out at all.

   The lovers part. The sea hammers the shore, the mark each wave leaves
   wiped out by the wave that follows.
   Never accumulation, never one wave trying to build on another,
   never the promise of shelter---

   The sea doesn’t change as the earth changes;
   it doesn’t lie.
   You ask the sea, what can you promise me
   and it speaks the truth; it says erasure.

   Finally the dog goes in.
   We watch the crescent moon,
   very faint at first, then clearer and clearer
   as the night grows dark.
   Soon it will be the sky of early spring, stretching above the stubborn ferns and violets.

   Nothing can be forced to live.
   The earth is like a drug now, like a voice from far away,
   a lover or master. In the end, you do what the voice tells you.
   It says forget, you forget.
   It says begin again, you begin again.

 楼主| 发表于 2020-11-24 19:12:40 | 显示全部楼层


   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)













A Night in Spring

   They told her she came out of a hole in her mother
   but really it’s impossible to believe
   something so delicate could come out of something
   so fat---her mother naked
   looks like a pig. She wants to think
   the children telling her were making fun of her ignorance;
   they think they can tell her anything
   because she doesn’t come from the country, where people know these things.

   She wants the subject to be finished, dead. It troubles her
   to picture this space in her mother's body,
   releasing human beings now and again,
   first hiding them, then dropping them into the world,

   and all along drugging them, inspiring the same feelings
   she attaches to her bed, this sense of solitude, this calm,
   this sense of being unique---

   Maybe her mother still has these feelings.
   This could explain why she never sees
   the great differences between the two of them

   because at one point they were the same person---

   She sees her face in the mirror, the small nose
   sunk in fat, and at the same time she hears
   the children's laughter as they tell her
   it doesn’t start in the face, stupid,
   it starts in the body---

   At night in bed, she pulls the quilt as high as possible,
   up to her neck---

   She has found this thing, a self,
   and come to cherish it,
   and now it will be packed away in flesh and lost---

   And she feels her mother did this to her, meant this to happen.
   Because whatever she may try to do with her mind,
   her body will disobey,
   that its complacency, its finality, will make her mind invisible,
   no one will see---

   Very gently, she moves the sheet aside.
   And under it, there is her body, still beautiful and new
   with no marks anywhere. And it seems to her still
   identical to her mind, so consistent with it as to seem
   transparent, almost,

   and once again
   she falls in love with it and vows to protect it.


   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)












   It's autumn in the market---
   not wise anymore to buy tomatoes.
   They’re beautiful still on the outside,
   some perfectly round and red, the rare varieties
   misshapen, individual, like human brains covered in red oilcloth---

   Inside, they're gone. Black, moldy---
   you can't take a bite without anxiety.
   Here and there, among the tainted ones, a fruit
   still perfect, picked before decay set in.

   Instead of tomatoes, crops nobody really wants.
   Pumpkins, a lot of pumpkins.
   Gourds, ropes of dried chilies, braids of garlic.
   The artisans weave dead flowers into wreaths;
   they tie bits of colored yarn around dried lavender.
   And people go on for a while buying these things
   as though they thought the farmers would see to it
   that things went back to normal:
   the vines would go back to bearing new peas;
   the first small lettuces, so fragile, so delicate, would begin
   to poke out of the dirt.

   Instead, it gets dark early.
   And the rains get heavier; they carry
   the weight of dead leaves.

   At dusk, now, an atmosphere of threat, of foreboding.
   And people feel this themselves; they give a name to the season,
   harvest, to put a better face on these things.

   The gourds are rotting on the ground, the sweet blue grapes are finished.
   A few roots, maybe, but the ground's so hard the farmers think
   it isn't worth the effort to dig them out. For what?
   To stand in the marketplace under a thin umbrella, in the rain, in the cold,
   no customers anymore?

   And then the frost comes; there’s no more question of harvest.
   The snow begins; the pretense of life ends.
   The earth is white now; the fields shine when the moon rises.

   I sit at the bedroom window, watching the snow fall.
   The earth is like a mirror:
   calm meeting calm, detachment meeting detachment.

   What lives, lives underground.
   What dies, dies without struggle.


   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)








   He steals sometimes, because they don't have their own tree
   and he loves fruit. Not steals exactly---
   he pretends he's an animal; he eats off the ground,
   as the animals would eat. This is what he tells the priest,
   that he doesn't think it should be a sin to take what would just lie there and rot,
   this year like every other year.

   As a man, as a human being, the priest agrees with the boy,
   but as a priest he chastises him, though the penance is light,
   so as to not kill off imagination: what he'd give
   to a much younger boy who took something that wasn't his.

   But the boy objects. He's willing to do the penance
   because he likes the priest, but he refuses to believe that Jesus
   gave this fig tree to this woman; he wants to know
   what Jesus does with all the money he gets from real estate,
   not just in this village but in the whole country.

   Partly he's joking but partly he's serious
   and the priest gets irritated---he's out of his depth with this boy,
   he can't explain that though Christ doesn't deal in property,
   still the fig tree belongs to the woman, even if she never picks the figs.
   Perhaps one day, with the boy's encouragement,
   the woman will become a saint and share her fig tree and her big house with strangers,
   but for the moment she's a human being whose ancestors built this house.

   The priest is pleased to have moved the conversation away from money,
   which makes him nervous, and back to words like family or tradition,
   where he feels more secure. The boy stares at him---
   he knows perfectly well the ways in which he's taken advantage of a senile old lady,
   the ways he's tried to charm the priest, to impress him. But he despises
   speeches like the one beginning now;
   he wants to taunt the priest with his own flight: if he loves family so much,
   why didn't the priest marry as his parents married, continue the line from which he came.

   But he's silent. The words that mean there will be
   no questioning, no trying to reason---those words have been uttered.
   “Thank you, Father,” he says.

 楼主| 发表于 2020-11-25 12:29:59 | 显示全部楼层
   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
   All week they've been by the sea again
   and the sound of the sea colors everything.
   Blue sky fills the window.
   But the only sound is the sound of the waves pounding the shore---
   angry. Angry at something. Whatever it is
   must be why he's turned away. Angry, though he'd never hit her,
   never say a word, probably.
   So it's up to her to get the answer some other way,
   from the sea, maybe, or the gray clouds suddenly
   rising above it. The smell of the sea is in the sheets,
   the smell of sun and wind, the hotel smell, fresh and sweet
   because they're changed every day.
   He never uses words. Words, for him, are for making arrangements
   for doing business. Never for anger, never for tenderness.
   She strokes his back. She puts her face up against it,
   even though it's like putting your face against a wall.
   And the silence between them is ancient: it says
   these are the boundaries.
   He isn’t sleeping, not even pretending to sleep.
   His breathing's not regular: he breathes in with reluctance;
   he doesn't want to commit himself to being alive.
   And he breathes out fast, like a king banishing a servant.
   Beneath the silence, the sound of the sea,
   the sea's violence spreading everywhere, not finished, not finished,
   his breath driving the waves---
   But she knows who she is and she knows what she wants.
   As long as that’s true, something so natural can’t hurt her.
   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
   Spring comes quickly: overnight
   the plum tree blossoms,
   the warm air fills with bird calls.
   In the plowed dirt, someone has drawn a picture of the sun
   with rays coming out all around
   but because the background is dirt, the sun is black.
   There is no signature.
   Alas, very soon everything will disappear:
   the bird calls, the delicate blossoms. In the end,
   even the earth itself will follow the artist's name into oblivion.
   Nevertheless, the artist intends
   a mood of celebration.
   How beautiful the blossoms are---emblems of the resilience of life.
   The birds approach eagerly.
   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
   My mother made figs in wine---
   poached with cloves, sometimes a few peppercorns.
   Black figs, from our tree.
   And the wine was red, the pepper left a taste of smoke in the syrup.
   I used to feel I was in another country.
   Before that, there'd be chicken.
   In autumn, sometimes filled with wild mushrooms.
   There wasn't always time for that.
   And the weather had to be right, just after the rain.
   Sometimes it was just chicken, with a lemon inside.
   She'd open the wine. Nothing special---
   something she got from the neighbors.
   I miss that wine---what I buy now doesn't taste as good.
   I make these things for my husband,
   but he doesn't like them.
   He wants his mother's dishes, but I don't make them well.
   When I try, I get angry---
   He's trying to turn me into a person I never was.
   He thinks it's a simple thing---
   you cut up a chicken, throw a few tomatoes into the pan.
   Garlic, if there's garlic.
   An hour later, you're in paradise.
   He thinks it's my job to learn, not his job
   to teach me. What my mother cooked, I don't need to learn.
   My hands already knew, just from smelling the cloves
   while I did my homework.
   When it was my turn, I was right. I did know.
   The first time I tasted them, my childhood came back.
   When we were young, it was different.
   My husband and I---we were in love. All we ever wanted
   was to touch each other.
   He comes home, he's tired.
   Everything is hard---making money is hard, watching your body change
   is hard. You can take these problems when you're young---
   something’s difficult for a while, but you’re confident.
   If it doesn't work out, you'll do something else.
   He minds summer most---the sun gets to him.
   Here it's merciless, you can feel the world aging.
   The grass turns dry, the gardens get full of weeds and slugs.
   It was the best time for us once.
   The hours of light when he came home from work---
   we'd turn them into hours of darkness.
   Everything was a big secret---
   even the things we said every night.
   And slowly the sun would go down;
   we’d see the lights of the city come on.
   The nights were glossy with stars---stars
   glittered above the high buildings.
   Sometimes we’d light a candle.
   But most nights, no. Most nights we'd lie there in the darkness,
   with our arms around each other.
   But there was a sense you could control the light---
   it was a wonderful feeling; you could make the whole room
   bright again, or you could lie in the night air,
   listening to the cars.
   We'd get quiet after a while. The night would get quiet.
   But we didn't sleep, we didn't want to give up consciousness.
   We had given the night permission to carry us along;
   we lay there, not interfering. Hour after hour, each one
   listening to the other's breath, watching the light change
   in the window at the end of the bed---
   whatever happened in that window,
   we were in harmony with it.
   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
At the Dance
   Twice a year we hung the Christmas lights---
   at Christmas for our Lord's birth, and at the end of August,
   as a blessing on the harvest---
   near the end but before the end,
   and everyone would come to see,
   even the oldest people who could hardly walk---
   They had to see the colored lights,
   and in summer there was always music, too---
   music and dancing.
   For the young, it was everything.
   Your life was made here---what was finished under the stars
   started in the lights of the plaza.
   Haze of cigarettes, the women gathered under the colored awnings
   singing along with whatever songs were popular that year,
   cheeks brown from the sun and red from the wine.
   I remember all of it---my friends and I, how we were changed by the music,
   and the women, I remember how bold they were, the timid ones
   along with the others---
   A spell was on us, but it was a sickness too,
   the men and women choosing each other almost by accident, randomly,
   and the lights glittering, misleading,
   because whatever you did then you did forever---
   And it seemed at the time
   such a game, really---lighthearted, casual,
   dissipating like smoke, like perfume between a woman’s breasts,
   intense because your eyes are closed.
   How were these things decided?
   By smell, by feel---a man would approach a woman,
   ask her to dance, but what it meant was
   will you let me touch you, and the woman could say
   many things, ask me later, she could say, ask me again.
   Or she could say no, and turn away,
   as though if nothing but you happened that night
   you still weren't enough, or she could say yes, I’d love to dance
   which meant yes, I want to be touched.
   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
   It's very dark today; through the rain,
   the mountain isn't visible. The only sound
   is rain, driving life underground.
   And with the rain, cold comes.
   There will be no moon tonight, no stars.
   The wind rose at night;
   all morning it lashed against the wheat---
   at noon it ended. But the storm went on,
   soaking the dry fields, then flooding them---
   The earth has vanished.
   There’s nothing to see, only the rain
   gleaming against the dark windows.
   This is the resting place, where nothing moves---
   Now we return to what we were,
   animals living in darkness
   without language or vision---
   Nothing proves I’m alive.
   There is only the rain, the rain is endless.
   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
   It is not sad not to be human
   nor is living entirely within the earth
   demeaning or empty: it is the nature of the mind
   to defend its eminence, as it is the nature of those
   who walk on the surface to fear the depths---one’s
   position determines one’s feelings. And yet
   to walk on top of a thing is not to prevail over it---
   it is more the opposite, a disguised dependency,
   by which the slave completes the master. Likewise
   the mind disdains what it can’t control,
   which will in turn destroy it. It is not painful to return
   without language or vision: if, like the Buddhists,
   one declines to leave
   inventories of the self, one emerges in a space
   the mind cannot conceive, being wholly physical, not
   metaphoric. What is your word? Infinity, meaning
   that which cannot be measured.
   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
Olive Trees
   The building's brick, so the walls get warm in summer.
   When the summer goes, they're still warm,
   especially on the south side---you feel the sun there, in the brick,
   as though it meant to leave its stamp on the wall, not just sail over it
   on its way to the hills. I take my breaks here, leaning against the wall,
   smoking cigarettes.
   The bosses don’t mind---they joke that if the business fails,
   they'll just rent wall space. Big joke---everyone laughs very loud.
   But you can’t eat---they don't want rats here, looking for scraps.
   Some of the others don’t care about being warm, feeling the sun on their backs
   from the warm brick. They want to know where the views are.
   To me, it isn’t important what I see. I grew up in those hills;
   I’ll be buried there. In between, I don’t need to keep sneaking looks.
   My wife says when I say things like this my mouth goes bitter.
   She loves the village---every day she misses her mother.
   She misses her youth---how we met there and fell in love.
   How our children were born there. She knows she'll never go back
   but she keeps hoping---
   At night in bed, her eyes film over. She talks about the olive trees,
   the long silver leaves shimmering in the sunlight.
   And the bark, the trees themselves, so supple, pale gray like the rocks behind them.
   She remembers picking the olives, who made the best brine.
   I remember her hands then, smelling of vinegar.
   And the bitter taste of the olives, before you knew not to eat them
   fresh off the tree.
   And I remind her how useless they were without people to cure them.
   Brine them, set them out in the sun---
   And I tell her all nature is like that to me, useless and bitter.
   It’s like a trap---and you fall into it because of the olive leaves,
   because they're beautiful.
   You grow up looking at the hills, how the sun sets behind them.
   And the olive trees, waving and shimmering. And you realize that if you don't get out fast
   you’ll die, as though this beauty were gagging you so you couldn’t breathe---
   And I tell her I know we’re trapped here. But better to be trapped
   by decent men, who even re-do the lunchroom,
   than by the sun and the hills. When I complain here,
   my voice is heard ---somebody’s voice is heard. There’s dispute, there’s anger.
   But human beings are talking to each other, the way my wife and I talk.
   Talking even when they don't agree, when one of them is only pretending.
   In the other life, your despair just turns into silence.
   The sun disappears behind the western hills---
   when it comes back, there's no reference at all to your suffering.
   So your voice dies away. You stop trying, not just with the sun,
   but with human beings. And the small things that made you happy
   can't get through to you anymore.
   I know things are hard here. And the owners---I know they lie sometimes.
   But there are truths that ruin a life; the same way, some lies
   are generous, warm and cozy like the sun on the brick wall.
   So when you think of the wall, you don't think prison.
   More the opposite---you think of everything you escaped, being here.
   And then my wife gives up for the night, she turns her back.
   Some nights she cries a little.
   Her only weapon was the truth—it is true, the hills are beautiful.
   And the olive trees really are like silver.
   But a person who accepts a lie, who accepts support from it
   because it’s warm, it’s pleasant for a little while---
   that person shell never understand, no matter how much she loves him.

 楼主| 发表于 2020-11-26 20:21:01 | 显示全部楼层
   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
   This time of year, the window boxes smell of the hills,
   the thyme and rosemary that grew there,
   crammed into the narrow spaces between the rocks
   and, lower down, where there was real dirt,
   competing with other things, blueberries and currants,
   the small shrubby trees the bees love---
   Whatever we ate smelled of the hills,
   even when there was almost nothing.
   Or maybe that's what nothing tastes like, thyme and rosemary.
   Maybe, too, that’s what it looks like---
   beautiful, like the hills, the rocks above the tree line
   webbed with sweet-smelling herbs,
   the small plants glittering with dew---
   It was a big event to climb up there and wait for dawn,
   seeing what the sun sees as it slides out from behind the rocks,
   and what you couldn't see, you imagined;
   your eyes would go as far as they could, to the river, say,
   and your mind would do the rest---
   And if you missed a day, there was always the next,
   and if you missed a year, it didn't matter,
   the hills weren't going anywhere,
   the thyme and rosemary kept coming back,
   the sun kept rising, the bushes kept bearing fruit---
   The streetlight's off: that's dawn here.
   It's on: that's twilight.
   Either way, no one looks up. Everyone just pushes ahead,
   and the smell of the past is everywhere,
   the thyme and rosemary rubbing against your clothes,
   the smell of too many illusions---
   I went back but I didn’t stay.
   Everyone I cared about was gone,
   some dead, some disappeared into one of those places that don't exist,
   the ones we dreamed about because we saw them from the top of the hills---
   I had to see if the fields were still shining,
   the sun telling the same lies about how beautiful the world is
   when all you need to know of a place is, do people live there.
   If they do, you know everything.
   Between them, the hills and sky took up all the room.
   Whatever was left, that was ours for a while.
   But sooner or later the hills will take it back, give it to the animals.
   And maybe the moon will send the seas there
   and where we once lived will be a stream or river coiling around the base of the hills,
   paying the sky the compliment of reflection---
   Blue in summer. White when the snowfalls.
   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
A Warm Day
   Today the sun was shining
   so my neighbor washed her nightdresses in the river---
   she comes home with everything folded in a basket,
   beaming, as though her life had just been
   lengthened a decade. Cleanliness makes her happy---
   it says you can begin again,
   the old mistakes needn't hold you back.
   A good neighbor---we leave each other
   to our privacies. Just now,
   she's singing to herself, pinning the damp wash to the line.
   Little by little, days like this
   will seem normal. But winter was hard:
   the nights coming early, the dawns dark
   with a gray, persistent rain---months of that,
   and then the snow, like silence coming from the sky,
   obliterating the trees and gardens.
   Today, all that's past us.
   The birds are back, chattering over seeds.
   All the snow's melted; the fruit trees are covered with downy new growth.
   A few couples even walk in the meadow, promising whatever they promise.
   We stand in the sun and the sun heals us.
   It doesn't rush away. It hangs above us, unmoving,
   like an actor pleased with his welcome.
   My neighbor’s quiet a moment,
   staring at the mountain, listening to the birds.
   So many garments, where did they come from?
   And my neighbor’s still out there,
   fixing them to the line, as though the basket would never be empty---
   It's still full, nothing is finished,
   though the sun's beginning to move lower in the sky;
   remember, it isn't summer yet, only the beginning of spring;
   warmth hasn't taken hold yet, and the cold's returning---
   She feels it, as though the last bit of linen had frozen in her hands.
   She looks at her hands---how old they are. It’s not the beginning, it’s the end.
   And the adults, they're all dead now.
   Only the children are left, alone, growing old.
   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
Burning Leaves
   The dead leaves catch fire quickly.
   And they burn quickly; in no time at all,
   they change from something to nothing.
   Midday. The sky is cold, blue;
   under the fire, there's gray earth.
   How fast it all goes, how fast the smoke clears.
   And where the pile of leaves was,
   an emptiness that suddenly seems vast.
   Across the road, a boy's watching.
   He stays a long time, watching the leaves burn.
   Maybe this is how you’ll know when the earth is dead---
   it will ignite.
   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
   My body, now that we will not be traveling together much longer
   I begin to feel a new tenderness toward you, very raw and unfamiliar,
   like what I remember of love when I was young---
   love that was so often foolish in its objectives
   but never in its choices, its intensities.
   Too much demanded in advance, too much that could not be promised---
   My soul has been so fearful, so violent:
   forgive its brutality.
   As though it were that soul, my hand moves over you cautiously,
   not wishing to give offense
   but eager, finally, to achieve expression as substance:
   it is not the earth I will miss,
   it is you I will miss.
   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
   ---for Ellen Pinsky
   Concerning death, one might observe
   that those with authority to speak remain silent:
   others force their way to the pulpit or
   center stage---experience
   being always preferable to theory, they are rarely
   true clairvoyants, nor is conviction
   the common aspect of insight. Look up into the night:
   if distraction through the senses is the essence of life
   what you see now appears to be a simulation of death, bats
   whirling in darkness --- But man knows
   nothing of death. If how we behave is how you feel,
   this is not what death is like, this is what life is like.
   You too are blind. You too flail in darkness.
   A terrible solitude surrounds all beings who
   confront mortality. As Margulies says: death
   terrifies us all into silence.
   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
   A cool wind blows on summer evenings, stirring the wheat.
   The wheat bends, the leaves of the peach trees
   rustle in the night ahead.
   In the dark,a boy’s crossing the field:
   for the first time, he’s touched a girl
   so he walks home a man, with a man's hungers.
   Slowly the fruit ripens---
   baskets and baskets from a single tree
   so some rots every year
   and for a few weeks there's too much:
   before and after, nothing.
   Between the rows of wheat
   you can see the mice, flashing and scurrying
   across the earth, though the wheat towers above them,
   churning as the summer wind blows.
   The moon is full. A strange sound
   comes from the field---maybe the wind.
   But for the mice it’s a night like any summer night.
   Fruit and grain: a time of abundance.
   Nobody dies, nobody goes hungry.
   No sound except the roar of the wheat.
   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
   On nights like this we used to swim in the quarry,
   the boys making up games requiring them to tear off the girls' clothes
   and the girls cooperating, because they had new bodies since last summer
   and they wanted to exhibit them, the brave ones
   leaping off the high rocks---bodies crowding the water.
   The nights were humid, still. The stone was cool and wet,
   marble for graveyards, for buildings that we never saw,
   buildings in cities far away.
   On cloudy nights, you were blind. Those nights the rocks were dangerous,
   but in another way it was all dangerous, that was what we were after.
   The summer started. Then the boys and girls began to pair off
   but always there were a few left at the end ---sometimes they'd keep watch,
   sometimes they'd pretend to go off with each other like the rest,
   but what could they do there, in the woods? No one wanted to be them.
   But they'd show up anyway, as though some night their luck would change,
   fate would be a different fate.
   At the beginning and at the end, though, we were all together.
   After the evening chores, after the smaller children were in bed,
   then we were free. Nobody said anything, but we knew the nights we'd meet
   and the nights we wouldn't. Once or twice, at the end of summer,
   we could see a baby was going to come out of all that kissing.
   And for those two, it was terrible, as terrible as being alone.
   The game was over. We'd sit on the rocks smoking cigarettes,
   worrying about the ones who weren't there.
   And then finally walk home through the fields,
   because there was always work the next day.
   And the next day, we were kids again, sitting on the front steps in the morning,
   eating a peach. Just that, but it seemed an honor to have a mouth.
   And then going to work, which meant helping out in the fields.
   One boy worked for an old lady, building shelves.
   The house was very old, maybe built when the mountain was built.
   And then the day faded. We were dreaming, waiting for night.
   Standing at the front door at twilight, watching the shadows lengthen.
   And a voice in the kitchen was always complaining about the heat,
   wanting the heat to break.
   Then the heat broke, the night was clear.
   And you thought of the boy or girl you'd be meeting later.
   And you thought of walking into the woods and lying down,
   practicing all those things you were learning in the water.
   And though sometimes you couldn’t see the person you were with,
   there was no substitute for that person.
   The summer night glowed; in the field, fireflies were glinting.
   And for those who understood such things, the stars were sending messages:
   You will leave the village where you were born
   and in another country you'll become very rich, very powerful,
   but always you will mourn something you left behind, even though you can't say what it was,
   and eventually you will return to seek it.

 楼主| 发表于 2020-11-27 14:26:30 | 显示全部楼层
   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
   The sky’s light behind the mountain
   though the sun is gone---this light
   is like the sun's shadow, passing over the earth.
   Before, when the sun was high,
   you couldn't look at the sky or you'd go blind.
   That time of day, the men don't work.
   They lie in the shade, waiting, resting;
   their undershirts are stained with sweat.
   But under the trees it’s cool,
   like the flask of water that gets passed around.
   A green awning's over their heads, blocking the sun.
   No talk, just the leaves rustling in the heat,
   the sound of the water moving from hand to hand.
   This hour or two is the best time of day.
   Not asleep, not awake, not drunk,
   and the women far away
   so that the day becomes suddenly calm, quiet and expansive,
   without the women's turbulence.
   The men lie under their canopy, apart from the heat,
   as though the work were done.
   Beyond the fields, the river's soundless, motionless---
   scum mottles the surface.
   To a man, they know when the hour's gone.
   The flask gets put away, the bread, if there's bread.
   The leaves darken a little, the shadows change.
   The sun's moving again, taking the men along,
   regardless of their preferences.
   Above the fields, the heat's fierce still, even in decline.
   The machines stand where they were left,
   patient, waiting for the men's return.
   The sky's bright, but twilight is coming.
   The wheat has to be threshed; many hours remain
   before the work is finished.
   And afterward, walking home through the fields,
   dealing with the evening.
   So much time best forgotten.
   Tense, unable to sleep, the woman's soft body
   always shifting closer---
   That time in the woods: that was reality.
   This is the dream.
   (选自A VILLAGE LIFE (2009))
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
A Village Life
   The death and uncertainty that await me
   as they await all men, the shadows evaluating me
   because it can take time to destroy a human being,
   the element of suspense
   needs to be preserved---
   On Sundays I walk my neighbor's dog
   so she can go to church to pray for her sick mother.
   The dog waits for me in the doorway. Summer and winter
   we walk the same road, early morning, at the base of the escarpment.
   Sometimes the dog gets away from me---for a moment or two,
   I can't see him behind some trees. He's very proud of this,
   this trick he brings out occasionally, and gives up again
   as a favor to me---
   Afterward, I go back to my house to gather firewood.
   I keep in my mind images from each walk:
   monarda growing by the roadside;
   in early spring, the dog chasing the little gray mice,
   so for a while it seems possible
   not to think of the hold of the body weakening, the ratio
   of the body to the void shifting,
   and the prayers becoming prayers for the dead.
   Midday, the church bells finished. Light in excess:
   still, fog blankets the meadow, so you can't see
   the mountain in the distance, covered with snow and ice.
   When it appears again, my neighbor thinks
   her prayers are answered. So much light she can’t control her happiness---
   it has to burst out in language. Hello, she yells, as though
   that is her best translation.
   She believes in the Virgin the way I believe in the mountain,
   though in one case the fog never lifts.
   But each person stores his hope in a different place.
   I make my soup, I pour my glass of wine.
   I'm tense, like a child approaching adolescence.
   Soon it will be decided for certain what you are,
   one thing, a boy or girl. Not both any longer.
   And the child thinks: I want to have a say in what happens.
   But the child has no say whatsoever.
   When I was a child, I did not foresee this.
   Later, the sun sets, the shadows gather,
   rustling the low bushes like animals just awake for the night.
   Inside, there's only firelight. It fades slowly;
   now only the heaviest wood's still
   flickering across the shelves of instruments.
   I hear music coming from them sometimes,
   even locked in their cases.
   When I was a bird, I believed I would be a man.
   That's the flute. And the horn answers,
   when I was a man, I cried out to be a bird.
   Then the music vanishes. And the secret it confides in me
   vanishes also.
   In the window, the moon is hanging over the earth,
   meaningless but full of messages.
   It’s dead, it’s always been dead,
   but it pretends to be something else,
   burning like a star, and convincingly, so that you feel sometimes
   it could actually make something grow on earth.
   If there's an image of the soul, I think that's what it is.
   I move through the dark as though it were natural to me,
   as though I were already a factor in it.
   Tranquil and still, the day dawns.
   On market day, I go to the market with my lettuces.

以上的诗全部来自于《诗1962—2012》(Poems 1962-2012)英语版,至此本人已全本译完。
   以下的诗译自于《忠贞之夜》(Faithful and Virtuous Night)。

   (选自Faithful and Virtuous Night)
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
   First divesting ourselves of worldly goods, as St. Francis teaches,
   in order that our souls not be distracted
   by gain and loss, and in order also
   that our bodies be free to move
   easily at the mountain passes, we had then to discuss
   whither or where we might travel, with the second question being
   should we have a purpose, against which
   many of us argued fiercely that such purpose
   corresponded to worldly goods, meaning a limitation or constriction,
   whereas others said it was by this word we were consecrated
   pilgrims rather than wanderers: in our minds, the word translated as
   a dream, a something-sought, so that by concentrating we might see it
   glimmering among the stones, and not
   pass blindly by; each
   further issue we debated equally fully, the arguments going back and forth,
   so that we grew, some said, less flexible and more resigned,
   like soldiers in a useless war. And snow fell upon us, and wind blew,
   which in time abated---where the snow had been, many flowers appeared,
   and where the stars had shone, the sun rose over the tree line
   so that we had shadows again; many times this happened.
   Also rain, also flooding sometimes, also avalanches, in which
   some of us were lost, and periodically we would seem
   to have achieved an agreement, our canteens
   hoisted upon our shoulders; but always that moment passed, so
   (after many years) we were still at that first stage, still
   preparing to begin a journey, but we were changed nevertheless;
   we could see this in one another; we had changed although
   we never moved, and one said, ah, behold how we have aged, traveling
   from day to night only, neither forward nor sideward, and this seemed
   in a strange way miraculous. And those who believed we should have a purpose
   believed this was the purpose, and those who felt we must remain free
   in order to encounter truth felt it had been revealed.
   (选自Faithful and Virtuous Night)
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
   奴役我的那些多情的冒险。 完成了爱?
An Adventure
   It came to me one night as I was falling asleep
   that I had finished with those amorous adventures
   to which I had long been a slave.Finished with love?
   my heart murmured. To which I responded that many profound discoveries
   awaited us, hoping, at the same time, I would not be asked
   to name them. For I could not name them. But the belief that they existed---
   surely this counted for something?
   The next night brought the same thought,
   this time concerning poetry, and in the nights that followed
   various other passions and sensations were, in the same way,
   set aside forever, and each night my heart
   protested its future, like a small child being deprived of a favorite toy.
   But these farewells, I said, are the way of things.
   And once more I alluded to the vast territory
   opening to us with each valediction.And with that phrase I became
   a glorious knight riding into the setting sun,and my heart
   became the steed underneath me.
   I was, you will understand, entering the kingdom of death,
   though why this landscape was so conventional
   I could not say. Here, too, the days were very long
   while the years were very short. The sun sank over the far mountain.
   The stars shone, the moon waxed and waned. Soon
   faces from the past appeared to me:
   my mother and father, my infant sister; they had not, it seemed,
   finished what they had to say, though now
   I could hear them because my heart was still.
   At this point, I attained the precipice
   but the trail did not, I saw, descend on the other side;
   rather, having flattened out, it continued at this altitude
   as far as the eye could see, though gradually
   the mountain that supported it completely dissolved
   so that I found myself riding steadily through the air---
   All around, the dead were cheering me on, the joy of finding them
   obliterated by the task of responding to them---
   As we had all been flesh together,
   now we were mist.
   As we had been before objects with shadows,
   now we were substance without form, like evaporated chemicals.
   Neigh, neigh, said my heart,
   or perhaps nay, nay---it was hard to know.
   Here the vision ended. I was in my bed, the morning sun
   contentedly rising, the feather comforter
   mounded in white drifts over my lower body.
   You had been with me--- there was a dent in the second pillowcase.
   We had escaped from death--- or was this the view from the precipice?
   (选自Faithful and Virtuous Night)
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
The Past
   Small light in the sky appearing
   suddenly between
   two pine boughs, their fine needles
   now etched onto the radiant surface
   and above this
   high, feathery heaven---
   Smell the air. That is the smell of the white pine,
   most intense when the wind blows through it
   and the sound it makes equally strange,
   like the sound of the wind in a movie---
   Shadows moving. The ropes
   making the sound they make. What you hear now
   will be the sound of the nightingale,chordata,
   the male bird courting the female---
   The ropes shift. The hammock
   sways in the wind, tied
   firmly between two pine trees.
   Smell the air. That is the smell of the white pine.
   It is my mother’s voice you hear
   or is it only the sound the trees make
   when the air passes through them
   because what sound would it make,
   passing through nothing?

 楼主| 发表于 2020-11-28 15:50:56 | 显示全部楼层

   (选自Faithful and Virtuous Night)
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
Faithful and Virtuous Night
   My story begins very simply: I could speak and I was happy.
   Or: I could speak, thus I was happy.
   Or:I was happy,thus speaking.
   I was like a bright light passing through a dark room.
   If it is so difficult to begin, imagine what it will be to end---
   On my bed, sheets printed with colored sailboats
   conveying, simultaneously, visions of adventure (in the form of exploration)
   and sensations of gentle rocking, as of a cradle.
   Spring, and the curtains flutter.
   Breezes enter the room, bringing the first insects.
   A sound of buzzing like the sound of prayers.
   Memories of a large memory.
   Points of clarity in a mist,intermittently visible,
   like a lighthouse whose one task
   is to emit a signal.
   But what really is the point of the lighthouse?
   This is north, it says.
   Not: I am your safe harbor.
   Much to his annoyance, I shared this room with my older brother.
   To punish me for existing, he kept me awake, reading
   adventure stories by the yellow nightlight.
   The habits of long ago: my brother on his side of the bed,
   subdued but voluntarily so,
   his bright head bent over his hands, his face obscured---
   At the time of which I’m speaking,
   my brother was reading a book he called
   the faithful and virtuous night.
   Was this the night in which he read, in which I lay awake?
   No---it was a night long ago, a lake of darkness in which
   a stone appeared, and on the stone
   a sword growing.
   Impressions came and went in my head,
   a faint buzz, like the insects.
   When not observing my brother, I lay in the small bed we shared
   staring at the ceiling---never
   my favorite part of the room. It reminded me
   of what I couldn’t see, the sky obviously, but more painfully
   my parents sitting on the white clouds in their white travel outfits.
   And yet I too was traveling,
   in this case imperceptibly
   from that night to the next morning,
   and I too had a special outfit:
   striped pyjamas.
   Picture if you will a day in spring.
   A harmless day: my birthday.
   Downstairs, three gifts on the breakfast table.
   In one box, pressed handkerchiefs with a monogram
   In the second box, colored pencils arranged
   in three rows, like a school photograph.
   In the last box, a book called My First Reader.
   My aunt folded the printed wrapping paper;
   the ribbons were rolled into neat balls.
   My brother handed me a bar of chocolate
   wrapped in silver paper.
   Then, suddenly, I was alone.
   Perhaps the occupation of a very young child
   is to observe and listen:
   In that sense, everyone was occupied---
   I listened to the various sounds of the birds we fed,
   the tribes of insects hatching, the small ones
   creeping along the windowsill, and overhead
   my aunt’s sewing machine drilling
   holes in a pile of dresses---
   Restless, are you restless?
   Are you waiting for day to end, for your brother to return to his book?
   For night to return, faithful, virtuous,
   repairing, briefly, the schism between
   you and your parents?
   This did not, of course, happen immediately.
   Meanwhile, there was my birthday;
   somehow the luminous outset became
   the interminable middle.
   Mild for late April. Puffy
   clouds overhead, floating among the apple trees.
   I picked up My First Reader, which appeared to be
   a story about two children---I could not read the words.
   On page three, a dog appeared.
   On page five, there was a ball---one of the children
   threw it higher than seemed possible, whereupon
   the dog floated into the sky to join the ball.
   That seemed to be the story.
   I turned the pages. When I was finished
   I resumed turning, so the story took on a circular shape,
   like the zodiac. It made me dizzy. The yellow ball
   seemed promiscuous, equally
   at home in the child’s hand and the dog’s mouth---
   Hands underneath me, lifting me.
   They could have been anyone’s hands,
   a man’s, a woman’s.
   Tears falling on my exposed skin. Whose tears?
   Or were we out in the rain, waiting for the car to come?
   The day had become unstable.
   Fissures appeared in the broad blue, or,
   more precisely, sudden black clouds
   imposed themselves on the azure background.
   Somewhere, in the far backward reaches of time,
   my mother and father
   were embarking on their last journey,
   my mother fondly kissing the new baby, my father
   throwing my brother into the air.
   I sat by the window, alternating
   my first lesson in reading with
   watching time pass, my introduction to
   philosophy and religion.
   Perhaps I slept. When I woke
   the sky had changed. A light rain was falling,
   making everything very fresh and new---
   I continued staring
   at the dog’s frantic reunions
   with the yellow ball, an object
   soon to be replaced
   by another object, perhaps a soft toy---
   And then suddenly evening had come.
   I heard my brother’s voice calling to say he was home.
   How old he seemed, older than this morning.
   He set his books beside the umbrella stand
   and went to wash his face.
   The cuffs of his school uniform
   dangled below his knees.
   You have no idea how shocking it is
   to a small child when
   something continuous stops.
   The sounds, in this case, of the sewing room,
   like a drill, but very far away---
   Vanished. Silence was everywhere.
   And then, in the silence, footsteps.
   And then we were all together, my aunt and my brother.
   Then tea was set out.
   At my place, a slice of ginger cake
   and at the center of the slice,
   one candle, to be lit later.
   How quiet you are, my aunt said.
   It was true---
   sounds weren’t coming out of my mouth. And yet
   they were in my head, expressed, possibly,
   as something less exact, thought perhaps,
   though at the time they still seemed like sounds to me.
   Something was there where there had been nothing.
   Or should I say, nothing was there
   but it had been defiled by questions---
   Questions circled my head; they had a quality
   of being organized in some way, like planets---
   Outside, night was falling. Was this
   that lost night, star-covered, moonlight-spattered,
   like some chemical preserving
   everything immersed in it?
   My aunt had lit the candle.
   Darkness overswept the land
   and on the sea the night floated
   strapped to a slab of wood---
   If I could speak, what would I have said?
   I think I would have said
   goodbye, because in some sense
   it was goodbye---
   Well, what could I do? I wasn’t
   a baby anymore.
   I found the darkness comforting.
   I could see, dimly, the blue and yellow
   sailboats on the pillowcase.
   I was alone with my brother;
   we lay in the dark, breathing together,
   the deepest intimacy.
   It had occurred to me that all human beings are divided
   into those who wish to move forward
   and those who wish to go back.
   Or you could say, those who wish to keep moving
   and those who want to be stopped in their tracks
   as by the blazing sword.(2)
   My brother took my hand.
   Soon it too would be floating away
   though perhaps, in my brother’s mind,
   it would survive by becoming imaginary---
   Having finally begun, how does one stop?
   I suppose I can simply wait to be interrupted
   as in my parents, case by a large tree---
   the barge, so to speak, will have passed
   for the last time between the mountains.
   Something, they say, like falling asleep,
   which I proceeded to do.
   The next day, I could speak again.
   My aunt was overjoyed---
   it seemed my happiness had been
   passed on to her, but then
   she needed it more, she had two children to raise.
   I was content with my brooding.
   I spent my days with the colored pencils
   (I soon used up the darker colors)
   though what I saw, as I told my aunt,
   was less a factual account of the world
   than a vision of its transformation
   subsequent to passage through the void of myself.
   Something, I said, like the world in spring.
   When not preoccupied with the world
   I drew pictures of my mother
   for which my aunt posed,
   holding, at my request,
   a twig from a sycamore.
   As to the mystery of my silence:
   I remained puzzled
   less by my soul’s retreat than
   by its return, since it returned empty-handed---
   How deep it goes, this soul,
   like a child in a department store,
   seeking its mother---
   Perhaps it is like a diver
   with only enough air in his tank
   to explore the depths for a few minutes or so---
   then the lungs send him back.
   But something, I was sure, opposed the lungs,
   possibly a death wish---
   (I use the word soul as a compromise).
   Of course, in a certain sense I was not empty-handed:
   I had my colored pencils.
   In another sense, that is my point:
   I had accepted substitutes.
   It was challenging to use the bright colors,
   the ones left, though my aunt preferred them of course---
   she thought all children should be lighthearted.
   And so time passed: I became
   a boy like my brother, later
   a man.
   I think here I will leave you. It has come to seem
   there is no perfect ending.
   Indeed, there are infinite endings.
   Or perhaps, once one begins,
   there are only endings.

 楼主| 发表于 2020-11-28 15:53:17 | 显示全部楼层

   (选自Faithful and Virtuous Night)
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
Theory of Memory
   Long, long ago, before I was a tormented artist, afflicted with longing yet incapable of forming durable attachments, long before this, I was a glorious ruler uniting all of a divided country---so I was told by the fortune-teller who examined my palm. Great things, she said, are ahead of you, or perhaps behind you; it is difficult to be sure. And yet, she added, what is the difference? Right now you are a child holding hands with a fortune-teller. All the rest is hypothesis and dream.
   (选自Faithful and Virtuous Night)
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)

   A Sharply Worded Silence
   Let me tell you something, said the old woman.
   We were sitting, facing each other,
   in the park at____, a city famous for
   its wooden toys.
   At the time, I had run away from a sad love affair,
   and as a kind of penance or self-punishment, I was working
   at a factory, carving by hand the tiny hands and feet.
   The park was my consolation,particularly in the quiet hours
   after sunset, when it was often abandoned.
   But on this evening, when I entered what was called the Contessa’s Garden,
   I saw that someone had preceded me.It strikes me now
   I could have gone ahead, but I had been
   set on this destination; all day I had been thinking of the cherry trees
   with which the glade was planted, whose time of blossoming had nearly ended.
   We sat in silence. Dusk was falling,
   and with it came a feeling of enclosure
   as in a train cabin.
   When I was young, she said, I liked walking the garden path at twilight
   and if the path was long enough I would see the moon rise.
   That was for me the great pleasure: not sex, not food, not worldly amusement.
   I preferred the moon’s rising, and sometimes I would hear,
   at the same moment, the sublime notes of the final ensemble
   of The Marriage of Figaro. Where did the music come from?
   I never knew.
   Because it is the nature of garden paths
   to be circular, each night, after my wanderings,
   I would find myself at my front door, staring at it,
   barely able to make out, in darkness, the glittering knob.
   It was, she said, a great discovery, albeit my real life.
   But certain nights, she said, the moon was barely visible through the clouds
   and the music never started. A night of pure discouragement.
   And still the next night I would begin again, and often all would be well.
   I could think of nothing to say. This story, so pointless as I write it out,
   was in fact interrupted at every stage with trance-like pauses
   and prolonged intermissions, so that by this time night had started.
   Ah the capacious night, the night
   so eager to accommodate strange perceptions. I felt that some important secret
   was about to be entrusted to me, as a torch is passed
   from one hand to another in a relay.
   My sincere apologies, she said.
   I had mistaken you for one of my friends.
   And she gestured toward the statues we sat among,
   heroic men, self-sacrificing saintly women
   holding granite babies to their breasts.
   Not changeable, she said, like human beings.
   I gave up on them, she said.
   But I never lost my taste for circular voyages.
   Correct me if I’m wrong.
   Above our heads, the cherry blossoms had begun
   to loosen in the night sky, or maybe the stars were drifting,
   drifting and falling apart, and where they landed
   new worlds would form.
   Soon afterward I returned to my native city
   and was reunited with my former lover.
   And yet increasingly my mind returned to this incident,
   studying it from all perspectives, each year more intensely convinced,
   despite the absence of evidence, that it contained some secret.
   I concluded finally that whatever message there might have been
   was not contained in speech---so, I realized, my mother used to speak to me,
   her sharply worded silences
   cautioning me and chastising me---
   and it seemed to me I had not only returned to my lover
   but was now returning to the Contessa’s Garden
   in which the cherry trees were still blooming
   like a pilgrim seeking expiation and forgiveness,
   so I assumed there would be, at some point,
   a door with a glittering knob,
   but when this would happen and where I had no idea.


 楼主| 发表于 2020-11-29 14:17:58 | 显示全部楼层
   (选自Faithful and Virtuous Night)
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
Visitors from Abroad
   Sometime after I had entered
   that time of life
   people prefer to allude to in others
   but not in themselves, in the middle of the night
   the phone rang. It rang and rang
   as though the world needed me,
   though really it was the reverse.
   I lay in bed, trying to analyze
   the ring. It had
   my mother’s persistence and my father’s
   pained embarrassment.
   When I picked it up, the line was dead.
   Or was the phone working and the caller dead?
   Or was it not the phone, but the door perhaps?
   My mother and father stood in the cold
   on the front steps. My mother stared at me,
   a daughter, a fellow female.
   You never think of us, she said.
   We read your books when they reach heaven.
   Hardly a mention of us anymore, hardly a mention of your sister.
   And they pointed to my dead sister, a complete stranger,
   Tightly wrapped in my mother’s arms.
   But for us, she said, you wouldn’t exist.
   And your sister---you have your sister’s soul.
   After which they vanished, like Mormon missionaries.
   The street was white again,
   all the bushes covered with heavy snow
   and the trees glittering, encased with ice.
   I lay in the dark, waiting for the night to end.
   It seemed the longest night I had ever known,
   longer than the night I was born.
   I write about you all the time, I said aloud.
   Every time I say “I,” it refers to you.
   Outside the street was silent.
   The receiver lay on its side among the tangled sheets;
   its peevish throbbing had ceased some hours before.
   I left it as it was,
   its long cord drifting under the furniture.
   I watched the snow falling,
   not so much obscuring things
   as making them seem larger than they were.
   Who would call in the middle of the night?
   Trouble calls, despair calls.
   Joy is sleeping like a baby.
   (选自Faithful and Virtuous Night)
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
Aboriginal Landscape
   You’re stepping on your father, my mother said,
   and indeed I was standing exactly in the center
   of a bed of grass, mown so neatly it could have been
   my father’s grave, although there was no stone saying so.
   You’re stepping on your father, she repeated,
   louder this time, which began to be strange to me,
   since she was dead herself; even the doctor had admitted it.
   I moved slightly to the side, to where
   my father ended and my mother began.
   The cemetery was silent. Wind blew through the trees;
   I could hear, very faintly, sounds of weeping several rows away,
   and beyond that, a dog wailing.
   At length these sounds abated. It crossed my mind
   I had no memory of being driven here,
   to what now seemed a cemetery, though it could have been
   a cemetery in my mind only; perhaps it was a park, or if not a park,
   a garden or bower, perfumed, I now realized, with the scent of roses---
   douceur de vivre filling the air, the sweetness of living,
   as the saying goes. At some point,
   it occurred to me I was alone.
   Where had the others gone,
   my cousins and sister, Caitlin and Abigail?
   By now the light was fading. Where was the car
   waiting to take us home?
   I then began seeking for some alternative. I felt
   an impatience growing in me, approaching, I would say, anxiety.
   Finally, in the distance, I made out a small train,
   stopped, it seemed, behind some foliage, the conductor
   lingering against a doorframe, smoking a cigarette.
   Do not forget me, I cried, running now
   over many plots, many mothers and fathers—
   Do not forget me, I cried, when at last I reached him.
   Madam, he said, pointing to the tracks,
   surely you realize this is the end, the tracks do not go farther.
   His words were harsh, and yet his eyes were kind;
   this encouraged me to press my case harder.
   But they go back, I said, and I remarked
   their sturdiness, as though they had many such returns ahead of them.
   You know, he said, our work is difficult: we confront
   much sorrow and disappointment.
   He gazed at me with increasing frankness.
   I was like you once, he added, in love with turbulence.
   Now I spoke as to an old friend:
   What of you, I said, since he was free to leave,
   have you no wish to go home,
   to see the city again?
   This is my home, he said.
   The city—the city is where I disappear.
   (选自Faithful and Virtuous Night)
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
   When the train stops, the woman said, you must get on it. But how will I know, the child asked, it is the right train? It will be the right train, said the woman, because it is the right time. A train approached the station; clouds of grayish smoke streamed from the chimney. How terrified I am, the child thinks, clutching the yellow tulips she will give to her grandmother. Her hair has been tightly braided to withstand the journey. Then, without a word, she gets on the train, from which a strange sound comes, not in a language like the one she speaks, something more like a moan or a cry.
   (选自Faithful and Virtuous Night)
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
   A word drops into the mist
   like a child’s ball into high grass
   where it remains seductively
   flashing and glinting until
   the gold bursts are revealed to be
   simply field buttercups.
   Word/mist, word/mist: thus it was with me.
   And yet, my silence was never total---
   Like a curtain rising on a vista,
   sometimes the mist cleared: alas, the game was over.
   The game was over and the word had been
   somewhat flattened by the elements
   so it was now both recovered and useless.
   I was renting, at the time, a house in the country.
   Fields and mountains had replaced tall buildings.
   Fields, cows, sunsets over the damp meadow.
   Night and day distinguished by rotating birdcalls,
   the busy murmurs and rustlings merging into
   something akin to silence.
   I sat, I walked about. When night came,
   I went indoors. I cooked modest dinners for myself
   by the light of candles.
   Evenings, when I could, I wrote in my journal.
   Far, far away I heard cowbells
   crossing the meadow.
   The night grew quiet in its way.
   I sensed the vanished words
   lying with their companions,
   like fragments of an unclaimed biography.
   It was all, of course, a great mistake.
   I was, I believed, facing the end:
   like a fissure in a dirt road,
   the end appeared before me---
   as though the free that confronted my parents
   had become an abyss shaped like a tree, a black hole
   expanding in the dirt, where by day
   a simple shadow would have done.
   It was, finally, a relief to go home.
   When I arrived, the studio was filled with boxes.
   Cartons of tubes, boxes of the various
   objects that were my still lives,
   the vases and mirrors, the blue bowl
   I filled with wooden eggs.
   As to the journal:
   I tried. I persisted.
   I moved my chair onto the balcony---
   The streetlights were coming on,
   lining the sides of the river.
   The offices were going dark.
   At the river’s edge,
   fog encircled the lights;
   one could not, after a while, see the lights
   but a strange radiance suffused the fog,
   its source a mystery.
   The night progressed. Fog
   swirled over the lit bulbs.
   I suppose that is where it was visible;
   elsewhere, it was simply the way things were,
   blurred where they had been sharp.
   I shut my book.
   It was all behind me, all in the past.
   Ahead, as I have said, was silence.
   I spoke to no one.
   Sometimes the phone rang.
   Day alternated with night, the earth and sky
   taking turns being illuminated.
   (选自Faithful and Virtuous Night)
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
   一种 “视觉危机”,我相信,
   Reading what I have just written, I now believe
   I stopped precipitously, so that my story seems to have been
   slightly distorted, ending, as it did, not abruptly
   but in a kind of artificial mist of the sort
   sprayed onto stages to allow for difficult set changes.
   Why did I stop? Did some instinct
   discern a shape, the artist in me
   intervening to stop traffic, as it were?
   A shape. Or fate, as the poets say,
   intuited in those few long-ago hours---
   I must have thought so once.
   And yet I dislike the term
   which seems to me a crutch, a phase,
   the adolescence of the mind, perhaps---
   Still, it was a term I used myself,
   frequently to explain my failures.
   Fate, destiny, whose designs and warnings
   now seem to me simply
   local symmetries, metonymic
   baubles within immense confusion---
   Chaos was what I saw.
   My brush froze---I could not paint it.
   Darkness, silence: that was the feeling.
   What did we call it then?
   A “crisis of vision” corresponding, I believed,
   to the tree that confronted my parents,
   but whereas they were forced
   forward into the obstacle,
   I retreated or fled—
   Mist covered the stage (my life).
   Characters came and went, costumes were changed,
   my brush hand moved side to side
   far from the canvas,
   side to side, like a windshield wiper.
   Surely this was the desert, the dark night.
   (In reality, a crowded street in London,
   the tourists waving their colored maps.)
   One speaks a word: I.
   Out of this stream
   the great forms---
   I took a deep breath. And it came to me
   the person who drew that breath
   was not the person in my story, his childish hand
   confidently wielding the crayon---
   Had I been that person? A child but also
   an explorer to whom the path is suddenly clear, for whom
   the vegetation parts---
   And beyond, no longer screened from view, that exalted
   solitude Kant perhaps experienced
   on his way to the bridges---
   (We share a birthday.)
   Outside, the festive streets
   were strung, in late January, with exhausted Christmas lights.
   A woman leaned against her lover’s shoulder
   singing Jacques Brel in her thin soprano---
   Bravo! the door is shut.
   Now nothing escapes, nothing enters---
   I hadn’t moved I felt the desert
   stretching ahead, stretching (it now seems)
   on all sides, shifting as I speak,
   so that I was constantly
   face-to-face with blankness, that
   stepchild of the sublime,
   which, it turns out,
   has been both my subject and my medium
   What would my twin have said, had my thoughts
   reached him?
   Perhaps he would have said
   in my case there was no obstacle (for the sake of argument)
   after which I would have been
   referred to religion, the cemetery where
   questions of faith are answered.
   The mist had cleared. The empty canvases
   were turned inward against the wall.
   The little cat is dead (so the song went).
   Shall I be raised from death, the spirit asks.
   And the sun says yes.
   And the desert answers
   your voice is sand scattered in wind.

 楼主| 发表于 2020-11-30 18:26:44 | 显示全部楼层
   (选自Faithful and Virtuous Night)
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
   At last the night surrounded me;
   I floated on it, perhaps in it,
   or it carried me as a river carries
   a boat, and at the same time
   it swirled above me,
   star-studded but dark nevertheless.
   These were the moments I lived for.
   I was, I felt, mysteriously lifted above the world
   so that action was at last impossible
   which made thought not only possible but limitless.
   It had no end. I did not, I felt,
   need to do anything. Everything
   would be done for me, or done to me,
   and if it was not done, it was not essential.
   I was on my balcony.
   In my right hand I held a glass of Scotch
   in which two ice cubes were melting.
   Silence had entered me.
   It was like the night, and mymemories---they were like stars
   in that they were fixed, though of course
   if one could see as do the astronomers
   one would see they are unending fires, like the fires of hell.
   I set my glass on the iron railing.
   Below, the river sparkled. As I said,
   everything glittered---the stars, the bridge lights, the important
   illumined buildings that seemed to stop at the river
   then resume again, man’s work
   interrupted by nature. From time to time I saw
   the evening pleasure boats; because the night was warm,
   they were still full.
   This was the great excursion of my childhood.
   The short train ride culminating in a gala tea by the river,
   then what my aunt called our promenade,
   then the boat itself that cruised back and forth over the dark water---
   The coins in my aunt’s hand passed into the hand of the captain.
   I was handed my ticket, each time a fresh number.
   Then the boat entered the current.
   I held my brother’s hand.
   We watched the monuments succeeding one another
   always in the same order
   so that we moved into the future
   while experiencing perpetual recurrences.
   The boat traveled up the river and then back again.
   It moved through time and then
   through a reversal of time, though our direction
   was forward always, the prow continuously
   breaking a path in the water.
   It was like a religious ceremony
   in which the congregation stood
   awaiting, beholding,
   and that was the entire point, the beholding.
   The city drifted by,
   half on the right side, half on the left.
   See how beautiful the city is,
   my aunt would say to us. Because
   it was lit up, I expect. Or perhaps because
   someone had said so in the printed booklet.
   Afterward we took the last train.
   I often slept, even my brother slept.
   We were country children, unused to these intensities.
   You boys are spent, my aunt said,
   as though our whole childhood had about it
   an exhausted quality.
   Outside the train, the owl was calling.
   How tired we were when we reached home.
   I went to bed with my socks on.
   The night was very dark.
   The moon rose.
   I saw my aunt’s hand gripping the railing.
   In great excitement, clapping and cheering,
   the others climbed onto the upper deck
   to watch the land disappear into the ocean—
   (选自Faithful and Virtuous Night)
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
The Sword in the Stone
   My analyst looked up briefly.
   Naturally I couldn’t see him
   but I had learned, in our years together,
   to intuit these movements. As usual,
   he refused to acknowledge
   whether or not I was right. My ingenuity versus
   his evasiveness: our little game.
   At such moments, I felt the analysis
   was flourishing: it seemed to bring out in me
   a sly vivaciousness I was
   inclined to repress. My analyst’s
   indifference to my performances
   was now immensely soothing. An intimacy
   had grown up between us
   like a forest around a castle.
   The blinds were closed. Vacillating
   bars of light advanced across the carpeting.
   Through a small strip above the windowsill,
   I saw the outside world.
   All this time I had the giddy sensation
   of floating above my life. Far away
   that life occurred. But was it
   still occurring: that was the question.
   Late summer: the light was fading.
   Escaped shreds flickered over the potted plants.
   The analysis was in its seventh year.
   I had begun to draw again---
   modest little sketches, occasional
   three-dimensional constructs
   modeled on functional objects—
   And yet, the analysis required
   much of my time. From what
   was this time deducted: that
   was also the question.
   I lay, watching the window,
   long intervals of silence alternating
   with somewhat listless ruminations
   and rhetorical questions---
   My analyst, I felt, was watching me.
   So, in my imagination, a mother stares at her sleeping child,
   forgiveness preceding understanding.
   Or, more likely, so my brother must have gazed at me---
   perhaps the silence between us prefigured
   this silence, in which everything that remained unspoken
   was somehow shared. It seemed a mystery.
   Then the hour was over.
   I descended as I had ascended;
   the doorman opened the door.
   The mild weather of the day had held.
   Above the shops, striped awnings had unfurled
   protecting the fruit.
   Restaurants, shops, kiosks
   with late newspapers and cigarettes.
   The insides grew brighter
   as the outside grew darker.
   Perhaps the drugs were working?
   At some point, the streetlights came on.
   I felt, suddenly, a sense of cameras beginning to turn;
   I was aware of movement around me, my fellow beings
   driven by a mindless fetish for action---
   How deeply I resisted this!
   It seemed to me shallow and false, or perhaps
   partial and false---
   Whereas truth---well, truth as I saw it
   was expressed as stillness.
   I walked awhile, staring into the windows of the galleries---
   my friends had become famous.
   I could hear the river in the background,
   from which came the smell of oblivion
   interlaced with potted herbs from the restaurants---
   I had arranged to join an old acquaintance for dinner.
   There he was at our accustomed table;
   the wine was poured; he was engaged with the waiter,
   discussing the lamb.
   As usual, a small argument erupted over dinner, ostensibly
   concerning aesthetics. It was allowed to pass.
   Outside, the bridge glittered.
   Cars rushed back and forth, the river
   glittered back, imitating the bridge. Nature
   reflecting art: something to that effect.
   My friend found the image potent.
   He was a writer. His many novels, at the time,
   were much praised. One was much like another.
   And yet his complacency disguised suffering
   as perhaps my suffering disguised complacency.
   We had known each other many years.
   Once again, I had accused him of laziness.
   Once again, he flung the word back---
   He raised his glass and turned it upside-down.
   This is your purity, he said, this is your perfectionism---
   The glass was empty; it left no mark on the tablecloth.
   The wine had gone to my head.
   I walked home slowly, brooding, a little drunk.
   The wine had gone to my head, or was it
   the night itself, the sweetness at the end of summer?
   It is the critics, he said,
   the critics have the ideas. We artists
   (he included me)---we artists
   are just children at our games.
   (选自Faithful and Virtuous Night)
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
  Forbidden Music
   After the orchestra had been playing for some time, and had passed the andante, the scherzo, the poco adagio, and the first flautist had put his head on the stand because he would not be needed until tomorrow, there came a passage that was called the forbidden music because it could not, the composer specified, be played. And still it must exist and be passed over, an interval at the discretion of the conductor. But tonight, the conductor decides, it must be played--- he has a hunger to make his name. The flautist wakes with a start. Something has happened to his ears, something he has never felt before. His sleep is over. Where am I now, he thinks. And then he repeated it, like an old man lying on the floor instead of in his bed. Where am I now?
   (选自Faithful and Virtuous Night)
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
The Open Window
   An elderly writer had formed the habit of writing the words the end on a piece of paper before he began his stories, after which he would gather a stack of pages, typically thin in winter when the daylight was brief, and comparatively dense in summer when his thought became again loose and associative, expansive like the thought of a young man. Regardless of their number, he would place these blank pages over the last, thus obscuring it. Only then would the story come to him, chaste and refined in winter, more free in summer. By these means he had become an acknowledged master.
   He worked by preference in a room without clocks, trusting the light to tell him when the day was finished. In summer, he liked the window open. How then, in summer, did the winter wind enter the room? You are right, he cried out to the wind, this is what I have lacked, this decisiveness and abruptness, this surprise—O, if I could do this I would be a god! And he lay on the cold floor of the study watching the wind stirring the pages, mixing the written and unwritten, the end among them.
   (选自Faithful and Virtuous Night)
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
The Melancholy Assistant
   I had an assistant, but he was melancholy,
   so melancholy it interfered with his duties.
   He was to open my letters, which were few,
   and answer those that required answers,
   leaving a space at the bottom for my signature.
   And under my signature, his own initials,
   in which formality, at the outset, he took great pride.
   When the phone rang, he was to say
   his employer was at the moment occupied,
   and offer to convey a message.
   After several months, he came to me.
   Master, he said (which was his name for me),
   I have become useless to you; you must turn me out.
   And I saw that he had packed his bags
   and was prepared to go, though it was night
   and the snow was falling. My heart went out to him.
   Well, I said, if you cannot perform these few duties,
   what can you do? And he pointed to his eyes,
   which were full of tears. I can weep, he said.
   Then you must weep for me, I told him,
   as Christ wept for mankind.
   Still he was hesitant.
   Your life is enviable, he said;
   what must I think of when I cry?
   And I told him of the emptiness of my days,
   and of time, which was running out,
   and of the meaninglessness of my achievement,
   and as I spoke I had the odd sensation
   of once more feeling something
   for another human being---
   He stood completely still.
   I had lit a small fire in the fireplace;
   I remember hearing the contented murmurs of the dying logs---
   Master, he said, you have given
   meaning to my suffering.
   It was a strange moment.
   The whole exchange seemed both deeply fraudulent
   and profoundly true, as though such words as emptiness and meaninglessness
   had stimulated some remembered emotion
   which now attached itself to this occasion and person.
   His face was radiant. His tears glinted
   red and gold in the firelight.
   Then he was gone.
   Outside the snow was falling,
   the landscape changing into a series
   of bland generalizations
   marked here and there with enigmatic
   shapes where the snow had drifted.
   The street was white, the various trees were white---
   Changes of the surface, but is that not really
   all we ever see?

 楼主| 发表于 2020-12-1 16:11:07 | 显示全部楼层
   (选自Faithful and Virtuous Night)
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
A Foreshortened Journey
   I found the stairs somewhat more difficult than I had expected and so I sat down, so to speak, in the middle of the journey. Because there was a large window opposite the railing, I was able to entertain myself with the little dramas and comedies of the street outside, though no one I knew passed by, no one,certainly, who could have assisted me. Nor were the stairs themselves in use, as far as I could see. You must get up, my lad, I told myself. Since this seemed suddenly impossible, I did the next best thing: I prepared to sleep, my head and arms on the stair above, my body crouched below. Sometime after this, a little girl appeared at the top of the staircase, holding the hand of an elderly woman. Grandmother, cried the little girl, there is a dead man on the staircase! We must let him sleep, said the grandmother. We must walk quietly by. He is at that point in life at which neither returning to the beginning nor advancing to the end seems bearable; therefore, he has decided to stop, here, in the midst of things, though this makes him an obstacle to others, such as ourselves. But we must not give up hope; in my own life, she continued, there was such a time, though that was long ago. And here, she let her granddaughter walk in front of her so they could pass me without disturbing me.
   I would have liked to hear the whole of her story, since she seemed, as she passed by, a vigorous woman, ready to take pleasure in life, and at the same time forthright, without illusions. But soon their voices faded into whispers, or they were far away. Will we see him when we return, the child murmured. He will be long gone by then, said her grandmother, he will have finished climbing up or down, as the case may be. Then I will say goodbye now, said the little girl. And she knelt below me, chanting a prayer I recognized as the Hebrew prayer for the dead. Sir, she whispered, my grandmother tells me you are not dead, but I thought perhaps this would soothe you in your terrors, and I will not be here to sing it at the right time.
   When you hear this again, she said, perhaps the words will be less intimidating, if you remember how you first heard them, in the voice of a little girl.
   (选自Faithful and Virtuous Night)
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)
Approach of the Horizon
   One morning I awoke unable to move my right arm.
   I had, periodically, suffered from considerable
   pain on that side, in my painting arm,
   but in this instance there was no pain.
   Indeed, there was no feeling.
   My doctor arrived within the hour.
   There was immediately the question of other doctors,
   various tests, procedures---
   I sent the doctor away
   and instead hired the secretary who transcribes these notes,
   whose skills, I am assured, are adequate to my needs.
   He sits beside the bed with his head down,
   possibly to avoid being described.
   So we begin. There is a sense
   of gaiety in the air,
   as though birds were singing.
   Through the open window come gusts of sweet scented air.
   My birthday (I remember) is fast approaching.
   Perhaps the two great moments will collide
   and I will see my selves meet, coming and going---
   Of course, much of my original self
   is already dead, so a ghost would be forced
   to embrace a mutilation.
   The sky, alas, is still far away,
   not really visible from the bed.
   It exists now as a remote hypothesis,
   a place of freedom utterly unconstrained by reality.
   I find myself imagining the triumphs of old age,
   immaculate, visionary drawings
   made with my left hand---
   “left,” also, as “remaining.”
   The window is closed. Silence again, multiplied.
   And in my right arm^ all feeling departed.
   As when the stewardess announces the conclusion
   of the audio portion of one’s in-flight service.
   Feeling has departed---it occurs to me
   this would make a fine headstone.
   But I was wrong to suggest
   this has occurred before.
   In fact, I have been hounded by feeling;
   it is the gift of expression
   that has so often failed me.
   Failed me, tormented me, virtually all my life.
   The secretary lifts his head,
   filled with the abstract deference
   the approach of death inspires.
   It cannot help, really, but be thrilling,
   this emerging of shape from chaos.
   A machine, I see, has been installed by my bed
   to inform my visitors
   of my progress toward the horizon.
   My own gaze keeps drifting toward it,
   the unstable line gently
   ascending, descending,
   like a human voice in a lullaby.
   And then the voice grows still.
   At which point my soul will have merged
   with the infinite, which is represented
   by a straight line,
   like a minus sign.
   I have no heirs
   in the sense that I have nothing of substance
   to leave behind.
   Possibly time will revise this disappointment.
   Those who know me well will find no news here;
   I sympathize. Those to whom
   I am bound by affection
   will forgive, I hope, the distortions
   compelled by the occasion.
   I will be brief. This concludes,
   as the stewardess says,
   our short flight.
   And all the persons one will never know
   crowd into the aisle, and all are funneled
   into the terminal.
   (选自Faithful and Virtuous Night)
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)

   173Faithful and Virtuous Night - Louise Glück // PDF// P588
    173Faithful and Virtuous Night - Louise Glück // PDF// P593

   The White Series
   One day continuously followed another.
   Winter passed. The Christmas lights came down
   together with the shabby stars
   strung across the various shopping streets.
   Flower carts appeared on the wet pavements,
   the metal pails filled with quince and anemones.
   The end came and went.
   Or should I say, at intervals the end approached;
   I passed through it like a plane passing through a cloud.
   On the other side, the vacant sign still glowed above the lavatory.
   My aunt died. My brother moved to America.
   On my wrist, the watch face glistened in the false darkness
   (the movie was being shown).
   This was its special feature, a kind of bluish throbbing
   which made the numbers easy to read, even in the absence of light.
   Princely, I always thought.
   And yet the serene transit of the hour hand
   no longer represented my perception of time
   which had become a sense of immobility
   expressed as movement across vast distances.
   The hand moved;
   the twelve, as I watched, became the one again.
   Whereas time was now this environment in which
   I was contained with my fellow passengers,
   as the infant is contained in his sturdy crib
   or, to stretch the point, as the unborn child
   wallows in his mother’s womb.
   Outside the womb, the earth had fallen away;
   I could see flares of lightning striking the wing.
   When my funds were gone,
   I went to live for a while
   in a small house on my brother’s land
   in the state of Montana.
   I arrived in darkness;
   at the airport, my bags were lost.
   It seemed to me I had moved
   not horizontally but rather from a very low place
   to something very high,
   perhaps still in the air.
   Indeed, Montana was like the moon---
   My brother drove confidently over the icy road,
   from time to time stopping to point out
   some rare formation.
   We were, in the main, silent.
   It came to me we had resumed
   the arrangements of childhood,
   our legs touching, the steering wheel
   now substituting for the book.
   And yet, in the deepest sense, they were interchangeable:
   had not my brother always been steering,
   both himself and me, out of our bleak bedroom
   into a night of rocks and lakes
   punctuated with swords sticking up here and there---
   The sky was black. The earth was white and cold.
   I watched the night fading. Above the white snow
   the sun rose, turning the snow a strange pinkish color.
   Then we arrived.
   We stood awhile in the cold hall, waiting for the heat to start.
   My brother wrote down my list of groceries.
   Across my brother’s face,
   waves of sadness alternated with waves of joy.
   I thought, of course, of the house in Cornwall.
   The cows, the monotonous summery music of the bells---
   I felt, as you will guess, an instant of stark terror.
   And then I was alone.
   The next day, my bags arrived.
   I unpacked my few belongings.
   The photograph of my parents on their wedding day
   to which was now added
   a photograph of my aunt in her aborted youth, a souvenir
   she had cherished and passed on to me.
   Beyond these, only toiletries and medications,
   together with my small collection of winter clothes.
   My brother brought me books and journals.
   He taught me various new world skills
   for which I would soon have no use.
   And yet this was to me the new world:
   there was nothing, and nothing was supposed to happen.
   The snow fell. Certain afternoons,
   I gave drawing lessons to my brother’s wife.
   At some point, I began to paint again.
   It was impossible to form
   any judgment of the work’s value.
   Suffice to say the paintings were
   immense and entirely white. The paint had been
   applied thickly, in great irregular strokes---
   Fields of white and glimpses, flashes
   of blue, the blue of the western sky,
   or what I called to myself
   watch-face blue. It spoke to me of another world.
   I have led my people, it said,
   into the wilderness
   where they will be purified.
   My brother’s wife would stand mesmerized.
   Sometimes my nephew came
   (he would soon become my life companion).
   I see, she would say, the face of a child.
   She meant, I think, that feelings emanated from the surface,
   feelings of helplessness or desolation---
   Outside, the snow was falling.
   I had been, I felt, accepted into its stillness.
   And at the same time, each stroke was a decision,
   not a conscious decision, but a decision nevertheless,
   as when, for example, the murderer pulls the trigger.
   This, he is saying. This is what I mean to do.
   Or perhaps, what I need to do.
   Or, this is all I can do.
   Here, I believe, the analogy ends
   in a welter of moral judgments.
   Afterward, I expect, he remembers nothing.
   In the same way, I cannot say exactly
   how these paintings came into being,though in the end
   there were many of them, difficult to ship home.
   When I returned,Harry was with me.
   He is, I believe, a gentle boy
   with a taste for domesticity.
   In fact, he has taught himself to cook
   despite the pressures of his academic schedule.
   We suit each other. Often he sings as he goes about his work.
   So my mother sang (or, more likely, so my aunt reported).
   I request, often, some particular song to which I am attached,
   and he goes about learning it. He is,as I say,
   an obliging boy. The hills are alive, he sings,
   over and over. And sometimes, in my darker moods,
   the Jacques Brel which has haunted me.
   The little cat is dead, meaning, I suppose,
   one’s last hope.
   The cat is dead, Harry sings,
   he will be pointless without his body.
   In Harry’s voice, it is deeply soothing.
   Sometimes his voice shakes, as with great emotion,
   and then for a while the hills are alive overwhelms
   the cat is dead.
   But we do not, in the main, need to choose between them.
   Still, the darker songs inspire him; each verse acquires variations.
   The cat is dead: who will press, now,
   his heart over my heart to warm me?
   The end of hope, I think it means,
   and yet in Harry’s voice it seems a great door is swinging open---
   The snow-covered cat disappears in the high branches;
   O what will I see when I follow?

 楼主| 发表于 2020-12-2 15:21:29 | 显示全部楼层


   (选自Faithful and Virtuous Night)
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)


The Horse and Rider

   Once there was a horse, and on the horse there was a rider. How handsome they looked in the autumn sunlight, approaching a strange city! People thronged the streets or called from the high windows. Old women sat among flowerpots. But when you looked about for another horse or another rider, you looked in vain. My friend, said the animal, why not abandon me? Alone,you can find your way here. But to abandon you, said the other, would be to leave a part of myself behind, and how can I do that when I do not know which part you are?


   (选自Faithful and Virtuous Night)
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)


A Work of Fiction

   As I turned over the last page, after many nights, a wave of sorrow enveloped me. Where had they all gone, these people who had seemed so real? To distract myself, I walked out into the night; instinctively, I lit a cigarette. In the dark, the cigarette glowed, like a fire lit by a survivor. But who would see this light, this small dot among the infinite stars? I stood awhile in the dark, the cigarette glowing and growing small, each breath patiently destroying me. How small it was, how brief. Brief, brief, but inside me now, which the stars could never be.


   (选自Faithful and Virtuous Night)
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)



















The Story of a Day


   I was awakened this morning as usual
   by the narrow bars of light coming through the blinds
   so that my first thought was that the nature of light
   was incompleteness---

   I pictured the light as it existed before the blinds stopped it---
   how thwarted it must be, like a mind
   dulled by too many drugs.


   I soon found myself
   at my narrow table; to my right,
   the remains of a small meal.

   Language was filling my head, wild exhilaration
   alternated with profound despair---

   But if the essence of time is change,
   how can anything become nothing?
   This was the question I asked myself.


   Long into the night I sat brooding at my table
   until my head was so heavy and empty
   I was compelled to lie down.
   But I did not lie down. Instead, I rested my head on my arms
   which I had crossed in front of me on the bare wood.
   Like a fledgling in a nest, my head
   lay on my arms.

   It was the dry season.
   I heard the clock tolling, three, then four---
   I began at this point to pace the room
   and shortly afterward the streets outside
   whose turns and windings were familiar to me
   from nights like this. Around and around I walked,
   instinctively imitating the hands of the clock.
   My shoes, when I looked down, were covered with dust.

   By now the moon and stars had faded.
   But the clock was still glowing in the church tower---


   Thus I returned home.
   I stood a long time
   on the stoop where the stairs ended,
   refusing to unlock the door.

   The sun was rising.
   The air had become heavy,
   not because it had greater substance
   but because there was nothing left to breathe.

   I closed my eyes.
   I was torn between a structure of oppositions
   and a narrative structure---


   The room was as I left it.
   There was the bed in the corner.
   There was the table under the window.

   There was the light battering itself against the window
   until I raised the blinds
   at which point it was redistributed
   as flickering among the shade trees.



   (选自Faithful and Virtuous Night)
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)












































A Summer Garden


   Several weeks ago I discovered a photograph of my mother
   sitting in the sun, her face flushed as with achievement or triumph.
   The sun was shining. The dogs
   were sleeping at her feet where time was also sleeping,
   calm and unmoving as in all photographs.

   I wiped the dust from my mother’s face.
   Indeed, dust covered everything; it seemed to me the persistent
   haze of nostalgia that protects all relics of childhood.
   In the background, an assortment of park furniture, trees, and shrubbery.

   The sun moved lower in the sky, the shadows lengthened and darkened.
   The more dust I removed, the more these shadows grew.
   Summer arrived. The children
   leaned over the rose border, their shadows
   merging with the shadows of the roses.

   A word came into my head, referring
   to this shifting and changing, these erasures
   that were now obvious---
   it appeared, and as quickly vanished.
   Was it blindness or darkness, peril, confusion?

   Summer arrived, then autumn. The leaves turning,
   the children bright spots in a mash of bronze and sienna.


   When I had recovered somewhat from these events,
   I replaced the photograph as I had found it
   between the pages of an ancient paperback,
   many parts of which had been
   annotated in the margins, sometimes in words but more often
   in spirited questions and exclamations
   meaning “I agree” or “I’m unsure, puzzled”---

   The ink was faded. Here and there I couldn’t tell
   what thoughts occurred to the reader
   but through the blotches I could sense
   urgency, as though tears had fallen.

   I held the book awhile.
   It was Death in Venice (in translation);
   I had noted the page in case, as Freud believed,
   nothing is an accident.

   Thus the little photograph
   was buried again, as the past is buried in the future.
   In the margin there were two words,
   linked by an arrow: “sterility” and, down the page, “oblivion”---

   “And it seemed to him the pale and lovely
   Summoner out there smiled at him and beckoned...”


   How quiet the garden is;
   no breeze ruffles the Cornelian cherry.
   Summer has come.

   How quiet it is
   now that life has triumphed. The rough

   pillars of the sycamores
   support the immobile
   shelves of the foliage,

   the lawn beneath
   lush, iridescent---

   And in the middle of the sky,
   the immodest god.

   Things are, he says. They are, they do not change;
   response does not change.

   How hushed it is, the stage
   as well as the audience; it seems
   breathing is an intrusion.

   He must be very close,
   the grass is shadowless.

   How quiet it is, how silent,
   like an afternoon in Pompeii.


   Mother died last night,
   Mother who never dies.

   Winter was in the air,
   many months away
   but in the air nevertheless.

   It was the tenth of May.
   Hyacinth and apple blossom
   bloomed in the back garden.

   We could hear
   Maria singing songs from Czechoslovakia---

   How alone I am---
   songs of that kind.

   How alone I am,
   no mother, no father---
   my brain seems so empty without them.

   Aromas drifted out of the earth;
   the dishes were in the sink,
   rinsed but not stacked.

   Under the full moon
   Maria was folding the washing;

   the stiff sheets became
   dry white rectangles of moonlight.

   How alone I am, but in music
   my desolation is my rejoicing.

   It was the tenth of May
   as it had been the ninth, the eighth.

   Mother slept in her bed,
   her arms outstretched, her head
   balanced between them


   Beatrice took the children to the park in Cedarhurst.
   The sun was shining. Airplanes
   passed back and forth overhead, peaceful because the war was over.

   It was the world of her imagination:
   true and false were of no importance.

   Freshly polished and glittering---
   that was the world. Dust
   had not yet erupted on the surface of things.

   The planes passed back and forth, bound
   for Rome and Paris---you couldn’t get there
   unless you flew over the park. Everything
   must pass through, nothing can stop---

   The children held hands, leaning
   to smell the roses.
   They were five and seven.

   Infinite, infinite---that
   was her perception of time.

   She sat on a bench, somewhat hidden by oak trees.
   Far away, fear approached and departed;
   from the train station came the sound it made.
   The sky was pink and orange, older because the day was over.

   There was no wind. The summer day
   cast oak-shaped shadows on the green grass.


   (选自Faithful and Virtuous Night)
   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)


The Couple in the Park

   A man walks alone in the park and beside him a woman walks, also alone. How does one know? It is as though a line exists between them, like a line on a playing field. And yet, in a photograph they might appear a married couple, weary of each other and of the many winters they have endured together. At another time, they might be strangers about to meet by accident. She drops her book; stooping to pick it up, she touches, by accident, his hand and her heart springs open like a child’s music box. And out of the box comes a little ballerina made of wood. I have created this, the man thinks; though she can only whirl in place, still she is a dancer of some kind, not simply a block of wood. This must explain the puzzling music coming from the trees.


  《Faithful and Virtuous Night》已全本翻译完毕,下面是几首散诗:


   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)


Dead End

   I said, “Listen, angel, wean me from this bit.”
   I said, “Divorce me from this crap, this steady diet
   Of abuse with cereal, abuse
   With vodka and tomato juice,
   Your planted billets doux among the bric-a-brac.”
   Staying was my way of hitting back.
   I tended his anemia and did the dishes
   Four months---the whole vicious,
   Standard cohabitation. But my dear, my dear,
   If now I dream about your hands, your hair,
   It is the vividness of that dead end
   I miss.Like chess.Mind against mind.


   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)










   抚慰它, 祝福它。

   —After Robert Pinsky

   Defier of closed space, such as the head, opener
   Of the sealed passageways, so that
   Sunlight entering the nose can once again

   Exit the ear, vaporizer, mist machine, whose
   Soft hiss sounds like another human being

   But less erratic, more stable, or, if not like a human being,
   Carried by one, by my mother to the sick chamber
   Of my childhood --- as Freud said,

   Why are you always sick, Louise? his cigar
   Confusing mist with smoke, interfering
   With healing---Embodied

   Summoner of these ghosts, white plastic tub with your elegant
   Clear tub, the water sanitized by boiling,
   Sterile, odorless,

   In my mother’s absence
   Run by me, the one machine

   I understand: what
   Would life be if we could not buy
   Objects to care for us

   And bear them home, away from the druggists’ pity,
   If we could not carry in our own arms
   Alms, alchemy, to the safety of our bedrooms,
   If there were no more

   Sounds in the night, continuous
   Hush, hush of warm steam, not
   Like human breath though regular, if there were nothing in the world

   More hopeful than the self,
   Soothing it, wishing it well.



   作者:(美)露易丝.格丽克(Louise Glück)


Monologue at Nine A.M.   

   “It’s no small thing,this coming
   To this cantabile. Living
   With him’s been fever from outset
   Sixteen years ago. For sixteen years I’ve sat
   And waited for things to get better. I have to laugh.
   You know, I used to dream that I might ebb to death
   Or else he fall in love again and turn the hose
   On someone else. Well, I suppose he has.
   I thought I sensed an absence, and today he left his poached
   Egg staring like a dying eye, his toast untouched."

 楼主| 发表于 2020-12-2 15:24:52 | 显示全部楼层

 楼主| 发表于 2020-12-3 19:08:56 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 剑郭琴符 于 2020-12-4 08:42 编辑


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