Yidan Han

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Peter Feng


Peter Feng is a poet and translator from Qingdao, China. He received a PhD in English Literature from Nanjing University in 2011, and since then he has been exploring the interconnections between poetry, philosophy, and psychoanalysis. He has translated a number of American poets, including elsewhere by Scott Alexander Jones and The Collected Poems of Sylvia Plath (Shanghai Translation Publishing House). He is the author of Parallel Tongues, The Desert Swimmer, and Cruel Raven (co-authored with Sun Dong, Nanjing University Press). His poems appear in Poetry Sky, American Poetry Review, Big Scream, Grey Sparrow, Napalm Health Spa, and others.


Peter Feng


Parmenides, by the Gate of Athens

他会让你觉得他闭着眼睛或全然没有眼睛 ——柏拉图《智者》 你永远驳不倒一个没有眼睛的人 他说他看见影子的闪光,着火的空气 他在同一与差异的悖论中追得你团团转 然后单脚站立于针尖,说运动不可分有静止 你也驳不倒从非存在者出发的人 他,到底是不是巴门尼德的弟子,他坐在 城邦入口,说这座城既不相似于影子 也不相似于实在,天色暗下来 他对这城说,你分有影子的种族与血统 阳光下的事物中,你为最短暂者 但路边的人不领会一个没有眼睛或闭着眼睛的人 只有一个小孩跑过来坐在他旁边 他问那小孩,你是少年苏格拉底还是老年柏拉图 或者你是他们两个,但假装成一个 我燃起影像的火光时,你们就晕头转向了 我打磨仿像的模具时,你们就惊呼我为技艺制作者 我以幻像之光示青年时,你们就指控我为迷惑青年的人 小孩一边点头一边摇头,若有所思 他接着说,我虽没有眼睛,却看到人之相,城邦之相 它们并非永恒制作出来的某个不变的东西,我 不仅看到这城毁于一场战争,我还看到城邦之相毁于一场战争 这个判断现在乃是虚假,下雨了,我预感 在我一切的教导中,你看见的仍是尚未存在的东西 既非整体也非部分地进入存在的东西 我死后几千年人们还争论,我们生活 在像的世界、真实世界、或二者居间的世界 他刚说完这话,大雨顿时磅礴,他拉着小孩 躲入墙沿,他的手颤抖,像一场地震发生于年幼的心灵


He will make believe to have his eyes shut, or to have none. —Plato, Sophist You cannot argue with a philosopher of no eyes who claims to have seen glittering shadows, air on fire who whips you around identity and difference and pirouettes on the needle-head and cries, "neither has any share in either" Neither can you argue with him who starts from non-being Is he a disciple of Parmenides? He sat by the city gate. "This republic is not imagined yet not real," he said. It's getting darker He pointed at the walls, "You came from shadows among all things under the sun, you are the most transient" The Athenians passed him by; they thought he had no eyes Only a boy came to sit with him He asked the boy, "Are you young Socrates or old Plato? Or both, feigning to be one When I light the fire of images, they are agitated When I polish shadows, they call me the magician of appearance When I show them the fantastic light, they accuse me of corrupting youth" The boy nodded, then shook his head, seeming to think The philosopher went on, "I have no eyes but see the ideas of man and polis—they are neither eternal nor immutable. I also see this polis destroyed in a war. The same with the idea of polis" "This dictum is now false. It's raining If you follow at my heels, you will see the unborn, the non-being coming into being, neither partially nor wholly Thousands of years after my death, they are still arguing about the imagined, real, and in-between worlds" The rain hit the ground when he stopped. With trembling hands he led the boy into a corner—an earthquake in a young heart

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