于坚 (Yu Jian)

Speed  The Beer Bottle-top  The Naming of a Crow  Mouse  Rivers 


Speed

the people planting potatoes are infected by dawn
infected by the sun as it rises
quickly they work     the world is quick at this time
quickly the dew dries     quickly the field voles scamper off
at times like this you need to be quick     labourers
are quick to remove their jackets     to bare their arms
a whole day's work depends on a good morning start     this is how
primary school teachers educate their students     they
react with speed     the invisible world in their classrooms
the morning’s Chinese lesson     is understood on paper as
a few     set phrases left over from yesterday
at dusk     the world slows right down
the ranks of the earth slow down facing westwards
formations of corn-fields and low hills
formations of rivers and forests
formations of villages and sunflowers
everything slows down facing westward
all those shadows dragged over things slow right down
like silk wrapped round the body of night
slipping away, bolt by bolt
the potato planters     carrying their tools
mingle with the kids coming home from school
they walk slowly over the uplands
home ahead of them     not worried about time
the children dawdle
no more homework to do
the adults dawdle
because the potatoes have all been planted
they’re all so slow
as if the earth had somehow got into their bodies
but those things planted at speed
have in no sense slowed down     nor have they ever gained speed
incapable both of speed and slowness
they’ve simply begun   and all they have to do is grow
is be     from morning to night
from spring to autumn
neither hurried nor slow     right to the very end

速度

种马铃薯的人们遭到拂晓的感染
遭到正在上升的太阳的感染
活干得很快这时分国际是快的
露珠干得很快田鼠逃得很快
在这样的时分应该从速劳动者
很快就脱去了上衣光起了肩膀
一日之计在于晨小学教师
也是这样教育学生他们
快速反应着教室里看不见国际
早晨的语文在纸上被理解为
一些昨日剩余的成语
在傍晚中国际就慢下来
大地的部队朝着西方慢下来
玉米地和山岗的行列
河流和树林的行列
村庄和向日葵的行列
悉数都朝着西方慢下来
悉数拖在物体上的影子都慢下来
像裹着黑夜之身的丝绸
一匹匹滑落下去
种马铃薯的人们拎着东西
和离开了校园的孩子们会集
在高地上缓慢地走着
前面是家他们不忧虑时刻
孩子们慢悠悠的
再没有课外作业
大人们慢悠悠的
由于马铃薯现已悉数种下
他们那么缓慢
好像大地进入了他们的身体
那在快速中被种下的东西
并没有慢下来也从未快过
它们不能快也无法慢
仅仅开端了就要生长着
就要从早到晚从春天到秋天
在着不紧不慢直到完毕


The Beer Bottle-top

unsure how to address it     it was still sitting at the head of the table only a moment ago
the custodian of a bottle of stout     absolutely indispensable     it has a sense of its own status
signifying conviviality as the sun goes down     and the depth of froth in a glass
opened with a pop at the start of the evening meal     the action strikingly similar to that of a bullfrog
the waiter even believes that it really is a frog
believes that something on this table covered with cooked food has unexpectedly been brought back to life
he is vexed by his misunderstanding     and immediately shifts his attention to a toothpick
he is the last one     after him     the world gives it no further thought
with no other entries on it in the dictionary     no original meanings extended meanings transferred meanings
but those dishes originally arranged in submission before it     signify nothing less than the flavours of Sichuan cuisine
the napkin is touched by the hand of a general     the roses in full bloom     an allusion to privilege
in an eccentric arc it exited this gathering     an arc not its own
the brewery     never designed such a line for its product
it now lies on the floor with the cigarette butts     footprints     bones and other rubbish
an unrelated jumble     an impromptu design     of no use to anyone
but its plight is even more wretched     a butt reminds the world of a slob
a bone brings to mind a dog or a cat     and footprints of course allude to a human presence
it is waste     its whiteness being nothing more than its whiteness     and its shape nothing more than its shape
it falls beyond the reach of our adjectives
I wasn’t a drinker then     it was I who opened the bottle of beer
and for this reason I noticed its strange leap     its simple disappearance
I suddenly tried to imagine the pop it made     jumping out into space     but was unable to
mine was the body of an author of a collection of poetry and sixty kilograms of corporeal existence
all I did was bend down     and pick up this alluring small white object
it was hard     with a serrated rim     which cut into my finger
and made me feel a sharpness so unlike that of knives

啤酒瓶盖

不知道叫它什么才好 方才它还位居宴会的高处
一瓶黑啤酒的守护者 不可或缺 它有它的身份
意味着一个傍晚的好心境 以及一杯泡沫的深度
在晚餐开端时嘭地一声跳开了 那动作很象一只牛蛙
仆人还认为它真的是 认为摆满熟物的餐桌上竟有什么复生
他为他的幻觉沮丧 当即去留意一根牙签了
他是最终的一位 尔后 国际就再也想不到它
词典上不再有关于它的词条 不再有它的转义 引义和转义
而那时原先屈居它下面的瓷盘 正意味着一组川味
餐巾被一位将军的手使用着 玫瑰在怒放 暗喻出尊贵
它在一道古怪的弧线中离开了这场合 这不是它的弧线
啤酒厂 从未为一瓶啤酒规划过这样的线
它现在和烟蒂 足迹 骨渣以及地板这些赃物在一起
它们互不相干 一个即兴的图画 谁也不会对谁有用
而它还更糟 一个烟蒂能使国际想起一个肮脏鬼
一块骨渣意味着一只猫或狗 足迹当然暗示了某个人的终身
它是废品 它的白色仅仅它的白色 它的形状仅仅它的形状
它在咱们的描述词所能触及的悉数之外
那时我没有喝酒 是我把这瓶啤酒翻开
因而我得以看它那么陌生地一跳 那么简略地不在了
我遽然也幻想它那样“嘭”地一声 跳出去 但我不能
身为一本诗集的作者和一具六十公斤的躯体
我仅仅是弯下腰 把这个白色的小尤物拾起来
它那坚固的 齿状的边际 划破了我的手指
使我感遭到某种与刀子无关的尖利


The Naming of a Crow

from somewhere invisible the crow kicks aside blocks of autumn cloud with its toes
and dives into the sky in my eyes hung with the wind and the light
the sign of the crow sulphur brew of a nun of black night
croaking and piercing a hole in a flocking bird mattress
to perch on a branch in my heart
just as in the days of my youth conquering crows’ nests in the treetops of my home town
my hands will never again touch that autumn landscape
hands scaling another tall tree intending to pluck another crow
from its darkness
crow once it was a kind of bird meat a pile of feathers and entrails
now a desire for narrative the impulse to speech
and perhaps it is self-consolation in the face of adversity
escape from a mass of inauspicious shadow
this kind of labour is invisible compared to childhood days
reaching with my bravest hand into black nests full of pointed beaks this is even more difficult
when a crow perches in the wilds of my heart
what I wish to give voice to is not is symbol not its metaphor or its mythology
what I wish to give voice to is crow just as in years gone by
I never found dove in a crow’s nest
since childhood my hands have been covered in the thick calluses of language
but as a poet I have never given voice to a crow

with the circumspection and far-sightedness of age proficiency in various inspirations styles and rhymes
just as when one begins to write dipping the brush deep into the ink-well
I thought that the syllables had to be drenched in black from the very start to handle this crow
skin flesh and bones the flows of the blood as well as
the flight-paths disclosed in the sky all drenched in black
a crow begins in this blackness in flight towards an outcome drenched in black
from the moment of birth it enters into solitude and prejudice
into universal persecution, pursuit and capture
no bird it is crow
in a world full of evil every single second
ticks its ten thousand pretexts in the name of the forces of light or beauty
guns are trained on this living representative of the powers of darkness and fired
but for all that it cannot escape beyond the bounds of crow-being
neither fly higher encroaching on eagle territory
nor condescend to the lowly realm of the ants
cave-maker of the skies both its own black hole and black drill-bit
on high and alone from the heights of a crow
it sets a course according to its bearings its time its passengers
it is one happy-go-lucky big-mouthed crow
and outside it the world is a mere fabrication
no more than the boundless inspiration of crow
you people the vastness of the land and the sky the vastness beyond the vastness
you people Yu Jian and ensuing generations of readers
are nothing but food in the nest of a crow

I thought that a few dozen words would be enough to handle this crow
description has made it a black box in words
but I do not know who holds the key to the box
who thinks up secret codes in crow-darkness
in another description it appeared as a priest wearing puttees
beneath the mighty walls of Heaven, this holy one in search of an entrance
but I know now that the abode of the crow is closer to God than the priest’s
perhaps while perched on the spire of a church one day
it saw the fair body of the Nazarene
when I describe the crow as a swan nourished on the everlasting blackness of night
the actual bird shining with the light of a swan flies past that radiant swamp beside me
and at once I lose all faith in this metaphor
I attach the verb to descend to its wings
yet it soars to the Ninth Heaven like a jet
I call it taciturn and it immediately comes to rest on wordless
as I look at this lawless wild witch-bird
a swarm of verbs is drawn to my head crow verbs
I cannot utter tongue fastened down with rivets
I see them speeding up into the sky vaulting
diving down into the sunlight then gathering again above the clouds
leisurely and carefree forming crow-motion pictures

that day like a hollow-hearted scarecrow I stood in an empty field
and all my thoughts were steeped in crow
I clearly sensed that crow felt its dark flesh
its dark heart but I could not escape the sunless fortress
as it soared so I soared
how would I ever get back out of crow in order to catch it
that day when I looked up into the blue sky each crow was already drenched in darkness
a corpse-eating crowd I should have turned a blind eye earlier in the sky of my home town
I stalked them once so innocent then
a whiff of the stink of death and I’d panic and loosen my grip
as for the sky I should have kept my eyes on the skylarks white cranes
how I love and understand those beautiful angels
but one day I saw a bird
an ugly bird the colour of crow
hanging from the grey ropes of the sky
with mangled legs stiff and straight as the limbs of a puppet
in crooked flight on the slopes of the sky
circling a centre of some kind out tracing
an enormous insubstantial circle
and I heard a chorus of ominous cawings
suspended somewhere out of sight
and I wanted to say something
to declare to the world that I was not afraid
of those invisible sounds

对一只乌鸦的命名

从看不见的某处
乌鸦用脚趾踢开秋天的云块
潜入我的眼睛上垂着风和光的天空
乌鸦的符号黑夜修女熬制的硫酸
咝咝地洞穿鸟群的床垫
堕落在我心里的树枝
像少年时期在故土的树顶降服鸦巢
我的手再也不能接触秋天的景色
它爬上另一棵大树要把另一只乌鸦
从它的黑私自掏出
乌鸦在往昔是一种鸟肉一堆毛和肠子
现在是叙说的希望说的激动
或许是厄运当头的自我安慰
是对一片不祥暗影的逃脱
这种活计是看不见的比幼年
用最斗胆的手伸进长满尖喙的黑穴更难
当一只乌鸦栖留在我的心里的原野
我要说的不是它的标志它的隐喻或神话
我要说的仅仅一只乌鸦正像当年
我从未在一个鸦巢中抓出过一只鸽子
从幼年到今日我的双手已长满言语的老茧
但作为诗人我还没有说过一只乌鸦

远见卓识的年岁通晓各种创意辞格和韵脚
像写作之初把笔整枝地浸入墨水瓶
我想抵挡这只乌鸦词素一开端就得黑透
皮骨头和肉血的走向以及
披露在天空的翱翔都要黑透
乌鸦便是从黑透的开端飞向黑透的结局
黑透便是从诞生就进入的孤单和成见
进入无所不在的虐待和追捕
它不是鸟它是乌鸦
充溢歹意的国际每一秒钟
都有一万个托言以光亮或美的名义
朝这个代表漆黑实力的活靶开枪
它不会因而逃到乌鸦以外
飞得高些僭越鹰的座位
或许降得矮些混迹于蚂蚁的海拔
天空的打洞者它是它的黑窟窿它的黑钻头
它只在它的高度乌鸦的高度
驾驭着它的方位它的时刻它的乘客
它是一只高兴的大嘴巴的乌鸦
在它的外面国际仅仅臆造
仅仅一只乌鸦一望无垠的创意
你们广阔的天空和大地广阔之外的广阔
你们于坚以及一代又一代的读者
都是一只乌鸦巢中的食物
我判定一这只乌鸦只消几十个单词就能说出
描述的成果它被说成是一只黑箱
但是我不知道谁拿着箱子的钥匙
我不知道是谁在构思一只乌鸦藏在黑私自的暗码
在第2次描述中它作为一位裹着绑腿的牧师呈现
这位圣子正在天堂的大墙下面寻觅进口
可我理解乌鸦的居所比牧师更靠近天主
或许某一天它在教堂的尖顶上
已窥见过那位拿撤勒人的玉体
当我描述乌鸦是永久黑夜养殖的天鹅
一群详细的鸟闪着天鹅之光正焕然飞过我身
旁那片亮堂的沼地
这现实当即让我丧失了对这个比方的悉数决心
我把"落下"这个动词安在它翅膀之上
它却以一架飞机的风姿"扶摇九霄"
我对它说出"缄默沉静"它却伫立于"无言"
我看见这只无法无天的巫鸟
在我头上的天空中牵引着一大群动词乌鸦的动词
我说不出它们我的舌头被这铆钉卡住
我看着它们在天空快速上升跳动
下沉到阳光中又聚拢在云之上
无拘无束改变组合着乌鸦的各种图画

那日我像个空心的稻草人站在空位
悉数心思都浸淫在一只乌鸦中
我清楚地感觉到乌鸦感觉到它漆黑的肉
漆黑的心可我逃不出这个没有阳光的城堡
当它在翱翔便是我在翱翔
我又如何能抵达乌鸦之外把它抓住
那日当我仰视苍天悉数的乌鸦都已黑透
餐尸的族我早就该视若无睹在故土的天空
我早年一度抓住过它们那时我多么单纯
一嗅着那股逝世的臭味我就错愕地把手松开
关于天空我早就该只注目于云雀白鸽
我生来就了解并酷爱这些美丽的天使
但是当那一日我看见一只鸟
一只丑恶的有乌鸦的那种色彩的鸟
被天空灰色的绳子吊着
受难的双腿像木偶那么绷直
斜搭在空气的坡上
围绕着某一中心旋转着
巨大而虚无的圆圈
当那日我听见一串串不祥的叫喊
挂在看不见的某处
我就想说点什么
以向国际表达我并不惧怕
那些看不见的声响


Mouse

you, little uninvited pest
made your stronghold in my room
sneaking in, creeping out     never stopping to say “hello”
it was only this evening when I saw your illustrious name
listed beside that of Donald Duck on the TV     that I realized you were a movie star
that was the end of my peace of mind
there was a mouse in my room
like a lump     growing inside my body
many times I’d been to the hospital     but they’d never found anything
half a steamed bread bun had been sawn away
there were suspicious black specks in my rice
who, after all, was the culprit?
I became more cautious     ears straining to hear the slightest noise
listening to cupboards     listening to floorboards
of course, I tracked down those small but solid sounds
but I had no way of knowing for sure
whether the little runt was nibbling on my favourite clothes
or gnawing away at antiques left to me by my grandfather
you were always so light on your feet
it was almost as if you wanted to spare my feelings
my mother’s mother used to be like this
in the middle of windy nights     she would quietly get out of bed     and close all the windows
you dance on cakes     piss on tablets
the books I like are riddled with gaping wounds
but when it came to the crunch, you had no idea what made a noise     and what didn’t
so when you knocked over my chinaware     which then jumped to the ground from a great height
you triggered, much to your surprise, an earthquake
that startled me from dreams     on tip-toes
unable to fly into a rage
having to be lighter on my feet than you
I felt my way from the bed-head to the book-shelf     worried that you would hear me
like you were in the middle of writing something     not to be disturbed
but I was clumsier than you     in the end, I knocked over a chair
panicked, I looked left and right    ashamed of something, it seemed
in fact, you, you little runt, were probably already fast asleep
after a drink of milk     and a change of bedroom
hiding in your hole     eyes like a couple of black beans, twitching in your head
watching me, big and lumbering     stark naked     stripped of all poise
and learning about what I looked like at night
you kept quiet     in this you were different from your father
this quality of yours     put me in an unbearable position
I couldn’t stand it any longer     I knocked and poked at random
hell-bent on a thorough search     to arrest you     and to put you to death
but when I saw the massive articles of furniture around me
and the bunkers concealed within countless household odds and ends
frustration got the better of me    and not knowing what to do
I called off the hunt
outsiders were under the mistaken impression that I had the room to myself
that I was calm and steady     devoted to study
actually, I was a nervous wreck     I avoided going out
I’d hurry home as soon as work was over
and, once inside, start opening cupboards    and cases
checking up on that rotten bastard who always kept me guessing
to see what new tricks he’d played on me

灰鼠

不速之客的小坏蛋
在我房间里建立了据点
神出鬼没 从来不打照面
晚上在电视里看到你的台甫
和唐老鸭并排 方知你是明星
我再也不得安定了
灰鼠已来到我的房间
像是一个肿瘤 已长在我身体内部
屡次去医院透视 什么也没有查出
我的馒头被锯掉一半
我的大米有可疑的黑斑
究竟作案者是谁
我开端小心谨慎 竖耳谛听
听听衣柜听听地板
我当然搜到那细微而坚固的声响
可我无法判定
你小子是在咬我心爱的衬衣
仍是在啃外公留给我的古董
你总是轻溜溜地走动
好像出于对我的关怀
早年外祖母也喜爱如此
在深夜 悄然下床 关好风中的窗子
你在蛋糕上跳舞 在药片上撒尿
把我的好书咬得衣不蔽体
但毕竟你不知道什么会响 什么不会
所以撞翻瓷器 又越过某个高度
竟然形成一回地震
吓得我从梦中逃出 踮起脚尖
又不能怒发冲冠
还必须干得比你更轻
从床头摸到书架 忧虑着被你听见
好像你正在写作 不能打扰
我比你蠢笨 总算撞倒了椅子
我惶惶然左顾右盼 显得心中有愧
其实你小子或许已酣然睡去
喝了牛奶 换了一个套间
你在暗处 转动着两粒黑豆似的眼球
看见我又大又笨 一丝不挂 毫无风姿
你发现我在夜里的姿态
你保持缄默沉静 这一点和父亲不同
这种道德 使我深觉尴尬
我总算不能忍耐 乱敲乱捅
找决议彻底搜查 把你拘捕 处死
但一看到周围这些巨大无比的家俱
那些隐藏在很多什物中的掩体
我就心慌意乱 茫然失措
只好抛弃举动
外面都认为我独处一室
必定神清思静 悉心学识
其实我担惊受怕 防止出门
一下班就仓促回家
一进门就翻开柜子 翻开箱子
查看那个不露神色的家伙
又干了些什么阴谋


Rivers

there are many rivers in the mountains where I grew up
in deep gorges they flow
they rarely catch a glimpse of sky
there are no expansive sails hoisted high over their surfaces
nor huge flocks of river gulls drawn on by boat-songs
it’s only when you’ve climbed endless ridges and hills
that you hear this river sound
it’s only on rafts made of great tree-trunks lashed together
that you dare ride upon these waves
some areas will stay forever unknown to humankind
the freedom of those places belongs to the eagles alone
in the rainy season the waters turn brutal
gale winds on the high plateau push boulders down into valleys
mud dyes the rivers red
as if the mountains were actually bleeding
only when it’s calm
do you see the plateau’s bulging veins
those people who live on either side of these rivers
may never come to know of one another’s existence
but wherever you go in the place I grew up in
you will here people talking about these rivers
as if discussing their gods

河流

在我故土的高山中有许多河流
它们在很深的峡谷中流过
它们很少看见天空
在那些河面上没有高扬的巨帆
也没有船歌引来大群的江鸥
要翻过千山万岭
你才听得见那河的声响
要乘着大树扎成的木筏
你才敢在那波澜上飞行
有些地带永久没有人会知道
那里的自在只归于鹰
河水在旱季是粗犷的
高原的劲风把巨石推下山沟
泥巴把河流染红
真像是大山流出来的血液
只要在安静中
人才看见高原兴起的血管
住在河两岸的人
或许永久都不会碰头
但你走到我故土的任何一个当地
都会听见人们议论这些河
就像谈到他们的神


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