Yidan Han

Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979)

Elizabeth Bishop was born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1911. Elizabeth Bishop won a number of awards, including the Pulitzer Prize,the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. She has published more than ten volumes of poetry.



Edgar Dive


Born in 1972, Edgar Dive has studied at the London School of Economics and the Australian National University. He has published works in literary journals including Chien Kun Poetry Quarterly and Poetry Selected. He now lives in Hong Kong.

The Map


Land lies in water; it is shadowed green. Shadows, or are they shallows, at its edges showing the line of long sea-weeded ledges where weeds hang to the simple blue from green. Or does the land lean down to lift the sea from under, drawing it unperturbed around itself? Along the fine tan sandy shelf is the land tugging at the sea from under? The shadow of Newfoundland lies flat and still. Labrador's yellow, where the moony Eskimo has oiled it. We can stroke these lovely bays, under a glass as if they were expected to blossom, or as if to provide a clean cage for invisible fish. The names of seashore towns run out to sea, the names of cities cross the neighboring mountains —the printer here experiencing the same excitement as when emotion too far exceeds its cause. These peninsulas take the water between thumb and finger like women feeling for the smoothness of yard-goods. Mapped waters are more quiet than the land is, lending the land their waves' own conformation: and Norway's hare runs south in agitation, profiles investigate the sea, where land is. Are they assigned, or can the countries pick their colors? —What suits the character or the native waters best. Topography displays no favorites; North's as near as West. More delicate than the historians' are the map-makers' colors.


陆地躺在水中;映有绿色阴影。 阴影,或是浅滩,在其边缘 能看见一列长长的布满海草的暗礁, 那些海草从绿色垂下,悬至纯蓝。 或许是陆地附身从下面把大海抬起, 平静地把它拉到自己身边来? 沿着美丽的黄褐色的沙洲 陆地是否在下面拖曳大海? 纽芬兰的阴影平展静止地躺着。 拉布拉多[1]是黄色的,迷乱的爱斯基摩人 给它上了油彩。我们可以抚摸这些可爱的海湾, 在玻璃下面它们似乎将会开花, 又像是会为看不见的鱼提供干净的笼子。 海边城镇的名字跑进大海, 城市的名字与邻近的山脉相交叉 — 此处印刷工体验到同样的兴奋 正如当情感远远超越其原由时那样。 这些半岛把水握在拇指和另一指间 就像妇人在摸索布匹的柔滑。 地图上的水域比陆地文静, 给予陆地其波浪的形态: 而挪威的野兔不安地向南跑, 轮廓侦察大海,陆地的所在。 是分配的,还是各国可以自行挑选颜色? ——那最适合其特性或固有水域的。 地形图不显偏爱;北方和南方皆近在咫尺。 比历史学家更讲究的是制图者的着色。 注: [1] 位於加拿大纽芬兰省的大陆部分。

North Haven
In Memoriam: Robert Lowell


I can make out the rigging of a schooner a mile off; I can count the new cones on the spruce. It is so still the pale bay wears a milky skin, the sky no clouds, except for one long, carded horse's-tail. The islands haven't shifted since last summer, even if I like to pretend they have —drifting, in a dreamy sort of way, a little north, a little south or sidewise, and that they're free within the blue frontiers of bay. This month, our favorite one is full of flowers: Buttercups, Red Clover, Purple Vetch, Hawkweed still burning, Daisies pied, Eyebright, the Fragrant Bedstraw's incandescent stars, and more, returned, to paint the meadows with delight. The Goldfinches are back, or others like them, and the White-throated Sparrow's five-note song, pleading and pleading, brings tears to the eyes. Nature repeats herself, or almost does: repeat, repeat, repeat; revise, revise, revise. Years ago, you told me it was here (in 1932?) you first "discovered girls" and learned to sail, and learned to kiss. You had "such fun," you said, that classic summer. ("Fun"—it always seemed to leave you at a loss...) You left North Haven, anchored in its rock, afloat in mystic blue...And now—you've left for good. You can't derange, or re-arrange, your poems again. (But the Sparrows can their song.) The words won't change again. Sad friend, you cannot change.


我能在一英哩外看清一艘 纵帆船的桅索;我能数出 云杉上的新球果。如此静寂 苍白的海湾披着一层乳白色皮肤,天空 无云,只有一条长长的,梳理过的马尾。 自去年夏季以来,那些海岛没移动过, 尽管我喜欢假装它们移动过 ——以一种梦幻轻柔的方式,漂游, 向北飘一点,向南飘一点,或向两边, 在海湾的蓝色边界内它们有自由。 这个月,我们最喜欢的岛上鲜花盛放: 毛莨,红苜蓿,紫巢菜, 山柳菊仍在燃烧,雏菊斑斓,小米草, 香猪殃殃那些白炽的星星, 还有更多,都回来快乐地绘饰草坪。 金翅雀回来了,或类似的鸟, 还有白喉带鹀的五音歌, 恳求又恳求,催人泪盈盈。 大自然重复自己,或几乎如此: 重复,重复,重复;修订,修订,修订。 多年前,你跟我说是在这里 (是1932年?)你第一次“发现女孩” 并学会了驾驶船只,学会了接吻。 你玩得“如此开心,”你说,在那经典的夏季。 (“开心” ——似乎总带给你惘若有失的怅恨......) 你离开了北哈芬,缆绳锚在其岩层里, 于神秘的蓝色中浮动......而现在——你永远 离去了。你无法再弄乱,或重新整编 你的诗篇。(但雀鸟却能重编它们的歌。) 那些词语不会再变。忧伤的朋友,你无法改变。 注: [1] 位于缅因州的佩诺布斯科特湾。 [2] 美国著名诗人,作者的好友,於1977年去世。


About the size of an old-style dollar bill, American or Canadian, mostly the same whites, gray greens, and steel grays —this little painting (a sketch for a larger one?) has never earned any money in its life. Useless and free, it has spent seventy years as a minor family relic handed along collaterally to owners who looked at it sometimes, or didn't bother to. It must be Nova Scotia; only there does one see gabled wooden houses painted that awful shade of brown. The other houses, the bits that show, are white. Elm trees, low hills, a thin church steeple —that gray-blue wisp—or is it? In the foreground a water meadow with some tiny cows, two brushstrokes each, but confidently cows; two minuscule white geese in the blue water, back-to-back, feeding, and a slanting stick. Up closer, a wild iris, white and yellow, fresh-squiggled from the tube. The air is fresh and cold; cold early spring clear as gray glass; a half inch of blue sky below the steel-gray storm clouds. (They were the artist's specialty.) A specklike bird is flying to the left. Or is it a flyspeck looking like a bird? Heavens, I recognize the place, I know it! It's behind—I can almost remember the farmer's name. His barn backed on that meadow. There it is, titanium white, one dab. The hint of steeple, filaments of brush-hairs, barely there, must be the Presbyterian church. Would that be Miss Gillespie's house? Those particular geese and cows are naturally before my time. A sketch done in an hour, "in one breath," once taken from a trunk and handed over. Would you like this? I'll Probably never have room to hang these things again. Your Uncle George, no, mine, my Uncle George, he'd be your great-uncle, left them all with Mother when he went back to England. You know, he was quite famous, an R.A.... I never knew him. We both knew this place, apparently, this literal small backwater, looked at it long enough to memorize it, our years apart. How strange. And it's still loved, or its memory is (it must have changed a lot). Our visions coincided—"visions" is too serious a word—our looks, two looks: art "copying from life" and life itself, life and the memory of it so compressed they've turned into each other. Which is which? Life and the memory of it cramped, dim, on a piece of Bristol board, dim, but how live, how touching in detail —the little that we get for free, the little of our earthly trust. Not much. About the size of our abidance along with theirs: the munching cows, the iris, crisp and shivering, the water still standing from spring freshets, the yet-to-be-dismantled elms, the geese. Note: The following poems are translated from Complete Poems by Elizabeth Bishop (Chatto and Windus, 2004)


大约一张美国或加拿大 的旧式一元钞票那么大, 基本上是一样的白色,灰绿色,和铁灰色 ——这小幅的画(为一大幅的画作的草图?) 一生中从未卖过什么钱。 无用且空闲,它度过了七十年, 作为一件不起眼的家族遗物 给附带传至不同的物主, 他们有时会看看它,或甚至看都不看。 那肯定是新思科舍省;只有那儿 才会见到三角墙的木房子 给涂上那种讨厌的棕色。 其他房子,看起来一点一块的,都是白色。 榆树林,矮山岗,教堂的细长尖顶 — 那青灰色的一缕 — 是吧?前景中 的一片洼地里有些小母牛, 每头只画了两笔,但肯定是母牛; 两只微小的白鹅在碧水中, 背靠背,啄食,还有一条歪曲的枝条。 凑近点看,是一株野鸢尾,白黄相间, 刚从颜料管里扭动出来。 空气清新寒冷;寒冷的早春 像灰玻璃一样明朗;铁灰色的 暴风云下是半吋大的蓝天。 (这都是这位艺术家的独特画法。) 一只类似斑点的鸟飞向左边。 或只是苍蝇留下的看起来像鸟的斑点? 天哪,我认得这地方,我知道! 是在後面 — 我几乎能想起那农夫的名字。 他的谷仓背靠着那片洼地。就在那儿, 钛白色,轻轻的一抹。尖顶的影迹, 画笔的毫毛,仅仅可见, 一定是长老会教堂。 会不会是吉里斯皮小姐的房子? 那些个母牛与鹅 自然是我出世以前的。 一小时内完成的草图,“一气呵成,” 曾经从车尾箱取出来给人。 要不要这玩意?我大概永远也不会 有地方再挂起这些玩意。 你的乔治叔叔,不,我的,我的乔治叔叔, 他该是你的叔公,把这一切留给了妈妈 然後回英格兰去了。 你知道,他挺有名的,皇家艺术学会的会员... 我从不认识他。我们都知道这地方, 很明显,这是个乏味闭塞的小地方, 我们在不同的年代,长久地观看它, 足以把它记住。真怪。我们却仍然爱它, 或只是爱对它的记忆(那肯定变了许多)。 我们的洞察力相同——“洞察力”这词 太严肃——我们的观察,两种观察: “摹仿生活”的艺术和生活本身, 生活和对它的记忆经过压缩, 它们相互转化了。哪个是哪个? 生活和对它的记忆,有些模糊, 给限制在一块布里斯托纸板上。 模糊,但多麽有生命力,细节多麽动人 ——我们免费得到的那一点东西, 我们在尘世看护的那一点东西。不多。 大约有多少要看我们能留存多久,以及它们 能留存多久:那些啃草的母牛, 鲜嫩而颤悠悠的鸢尾, 纵有春洪仍静止的水面, 终将被拆除的榆树林,那些鹅。 注:以上诗作译自伊丽莎白-毕肖普的《诗全集》 (查托温德斯出版社,2004)

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