Writing Chinese

Poems, Han Dong

Translated by Nicky Harman

A Loud Noise

A loud noise
I went out to check
Nothing
An hour later
I discovered the chopping board
Fallen on the cook top
A broken cup
The chopping board lay still
Fragments of the cup were also
Quite quiet
The chopping board used to hang on the wall
The cup beneath it
Both quite quiet

一声巨响

一声巨响
我走出去查看
什么也没有看见
一小时后
我发现砧板
落在灶台上
砸碎了一只杯子
砧板丝纹不动
杯子的碎片也是
静静的
当初砧板挂在墙上
杯子在它的下面
也是静静的

Waitress

She never changes her clothes
I notice they’re pretty, and dirty
They belong to her cousin
The poor don’t have a change of clothes.
I notice the shop she’s in, our class difference,
Dust motes of sex, irrational, move between us.
The need for nakedness, much simpler than dressing up.
A fine outfit is far more shaming than a body, possibly.
“Miss, your poverty
Is a wealth of vacancy.
Your emptiness quite material, your face made lovelier by contrast
with the grease.”
A year of her youth has passed in moving chairs and tables.

小姐

她的衣服从来不换。
我注意到,它是美丽的、肮脏的,
它是表姐的。
穷人无二件。
我注意到她身处的店堂、我们分属的阶级,
而性的微尘无理智地来往。
裸体的必要,比穿衣打扮更简单。
服饰比身体更令人羞愧,是可能的。
“小姐,你的穷
是空缺的财富。
你的空虚很实在,脸蛋儿被油腻衬托得更美。”
她的青春在搬动桌椅中度过一年。

You can hear Nicky talking about these poems with Steve Wasserman on the ‘Read Me Something You Love’ podcast here and here.

—–

Translated by Maghiel van Crevel

Someone in a Riot of Stones

Someone in a riot of stones. Someone
Like that, a riot of stones like that
Crawler, one hugging the ground
Slowly moving, even unmoving lizard
Athlete leaping among riotous stones, or
Stone falling down on stones
It’s not the one at the foot of an enclosure
The one before the neat and orderly brickwork
Stops right there when we stare
Transfers one stone’s warmth to another
Its shape is six stones overlapping
Now, as if craving rainwater, crawls
Onto the picture

一堆乱石中的一个人

一堆乱石中的一个人。一个
这样的人,这样的一堆乱石

爬行者,紧贴地面的人
缓慢移动甚至不动的蜥蜴

乱石间时而跳跃的运动员,或是
石块上面降落的石块

不是一面围墙下的那个人
整齐而规则的砖缝前面的那个人

当我们看时停止在那里
把一块石头的温度传递给另一块石头

它的形状是六块互相重叠的石头
现在,渴求雨水似地挪到了
画面的上方

There is a Darkness

I notice forest darkness
Darkness with a difference
Darkness like a square, in the forest
Darkness made by four people walking off in four directions
Darkness between the trees but not inside the trees
Darkness rising spreading through the sky
Darkness not of underground rocks that share everything
Darkness that weakens lights scattered evenly
Across a thousand miles to their lowest glow
Darkness gone through turns of endless trees unvanished
There is a darkness that forbids strangers to enter at any time
If you reach out a hand to stir it that is
Darkness in a giant glass
I notice forest darkness although I am not in the forest

一种黑暗

我注意到林子里的黑暗
有差别的黑暗
广场一样的黑暗在树林中
四个人向四个方向走去造成的黑暗
在树木中间但不是树木内部的黑暗
向上升起扩展到整个天空的黑暗
不是地下的岩石不分彼此的黑暗
使千里以外的灯光分散均匀
减弱到最低限度的黑暗
经过一万棵树的转折没有消失的黑暗
有一种黑暗在任何时间中禁止陌生人入内
如果你伸出一只手搅动它就是
巨大的玻璃杯中的黑暗
我注意到林子里的黑暗虽然我不在林中

You can hear this poem read in Chinese on Poetry International here.

Poems published originally in A Phone Call from Dalian, ed. Nicky Harman, published by Zephyr Press.

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