Linda Pastan | 琳达·帕斯坦

 

 

English

 

THE MYTH OF PERFECTABILITY

 

 

I hang the still life of flowers

by a window so it can receive

the morning light, as flowers must.

But sun will fade the paint,

so I move the picture to the exact center

of a dark wall, over the mantel

where it looks too much like a trophy —

one of those animal heads

but made up of blossoms.

I move it again to a little wall

down a hallway where I can come upon it

almost by chance, the way the Japanese

put a small window in an obscure place,

hoping that the sight of a particular landscape

will startle them with beauty as they pass

and not become familiar.

I do this all day long, moving

the picture or sometimes a chair or a vase

from place to place. Or else

I sit here at the typewriter,

putting in a comma to slow down

a long sentence, then taking it out,

then putting it back again

until I feel like a happy Sisyphus,

or like a good farmer who knows

that the body’s work is never over,

for the motions of plowing and planting continue

season after season, even in his sleep.

 

中文

 

可臻完美的神话  

 

 

我将那幅静物花

挂在窗口,好让它吸收

晨光的照耀,花朵必须如此。

但太阳会晒褪它的油彩,

于是我把它挪到一堵暗墙的

正中央,在壁炉上方

它太像一件战利品——

一个什么动物的头颅

只不过用花扎成。

我又把它移到门厅里

一面窄墙上,这样我就能

碰巧经过它,好像日本人

在不起眼的地方开一扇小窗

以便窗外独到的景致

会把过路人震撼

又保持一定陌生感。

一整天我都在为此忙碌,挪动

一幅画,一张椅子或一樽花瓶

从一处到另一处。不然

就坐在这台打字机前,

添一个逗号为长句子

减速,然后把它删掉,

再放回去

直到自己成为一个快乐的西绪弗斯,

或者一个好农民,懂得

肉体的劳作永无止境,

因为耕种的动作年复一年,

甚至在睡梦中延续。

 

翻译 © 史春波

 

more by Linda Pastan

Argument | 争吵

love letter | 情书

To a Daughter Leaving Home | 给将离家的女儿

Autumn |

Home for Thanksgiving | 回家过感恩节

Wind Chill | 风寒

Woman Sewing Beside a Window | 在窗边缝纫的妇女

In the Realm of Pure Color | 在纯色的国度

Posterity | 后裔

Remission | 好转期

Duet for One Voice | 独声二重唱

Spring 2013

黄灿然 | Huang Canran

王家新 | Wang Jiaxin

Images © 莫非 | Mo Fei