桑克 ⊙ 树杈笔直而且向天

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MY THUMBS

◎桑克



MY THUMBS


Written by Sang Ke
Translated by Jane Weizhen Pan and Martin Merz

 

1

My thumbs are gone
My thumbs are dead
You may say,chopped off with a cleaver
Or cleaved away with a bayonet
It was to the right of my index finger
-That's my left hand
It was to the left of my index finger
-That's my right hand
My hands hide an essay
About freedom,about rights
About the existence of my thumbs
While I profess they're gone

2

My thumbs have been to five dynasties
My thumbs have been to nine provinces
I know I'm half right about the time
I know I'm half wrong about the place
I know I am virgin soil
I know I am a mere opera performer
My heart is free of the plow of power
My actor's lines are free of my teacher's whip
I break the hymen of my mind
I push the role I created off a cliff

3

You saw how my thumbs grew up
You saw their romance with my index fingers
Their philandering with my ring fingers shamed my hands
Their friendships with my little fingers saddened my hands
A mountain separates my thumbs and me
An ocean separates my thumbs and me
If the mountain of principles crumbles
If the sea of strategy evaporates
My thumbs and I will have nothing to say to each other
My thumbs and I Will pity one another

4

But I have gnawed away my thumbnails
But I have torn away my thumbs' capes
The nails were real armor
The capes are my analogy for skin
I know my thumbs' pain
I know my thumbs' revelry
They are in pain they shudder like sensitive flax
They are ecstatic they quiver like mysterious hemp
Flax grows with vigor
Hemp goes underground

17 March 2001

Sang Ke was born in Heilongjiang Province in 1967.He graduated from the Beijing Normal University Chinese literature department in 1989 and currently lives in Harbin.He has published a number of poetry collections,and his works have been translated into many languages.He has also published translations of Larkin's selected poems and Auden's Academic Graffiti.Sang's poetry has received the Liu Li-an Poetry Prize and The Peoples' Literature Poetry Prize.



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