When I was at college in Class 77, we were lucky to have Miss Wang as our teacher. Most of us did not know the difference between “ok/alright” and “Yes” when answering a request. One day, Miss Wang asked Student A:
“Would you do me a favor …?”
A replied, “Ok.”
Miss Wang asked Studet B the same question and B said: “Alright”.
Miss Wang lost her patience:
“Can you guys be more positive?”
We were still lost, thinking that we were all positive.
Finally, she pointed out: “can you say something like ‘Yes, I will’?”
王老师是我的恩师。本科阶段,师资紧缺,幸亏有王老师的加入。还记得20多年前的一个笑话。有一次，王老师重感冒，带病上课，打喷嚏不止，忍不住小声咕哝道：“Such nuisance！” 我坐前排，轻声回应道:”It’s really not a new-sance. It’s an old ’sance’. You have caught cold for days now.” (顺便一提,在西方,别人打喷嚏时最合适的话应该是,”Bless you!”) 王老师本想批评我不认真听讲,但终于忍俊不住笑了。同学中有听到的跟着笑, 有没听见的觉得莫名其妙。
王老师是我的恩师。本科阶段,师资紧缺,幸亏有王老师的加入。还记得20多年前的一个笑话。有一次，王老师重感冒，带病上课，打喷嚏不止，忍不住小声咕哝道：“Such nuisance！” 我坐前排，轻声回应道:”It’s really not a new-sance. It’s an old ’sance’. You have caught cold for days now.” (顺便一提,在西方,别人打喷嚏时最合适的话应该是,”Bless you!”) 王老师本想批评我不认真听讲,但终于忍俊不住笑了。同学中有听到的跟着笑, 有没听见的觉得莫名其妙。一晃30年了,祝愿王老师健康快乐,长寿无疆。
Is there a way, whatever, any such,
in all the world existing, to unlade,
unlock, unlatch, enliven by a touch
magical the long-lonely weighed-
down soul, that, waking like an apple tree
frost-fettered, now reviving, trembling,
with wind and rain rollicking in glee,
it brightens to a loveliness of spring?
Yes, there is one, one only, one alone –
not love uncomprehending, singeing, blind,
self-happy-seeking; but there is a known
way, thing, fine thing, consoling, gracious, kind –
What? Sympathy! Reverberating wide
and wider, when the asking is replied.
１９４２年，我插班进入金女大英文系。当时，金女大、燕京、南京、齐鲁四所教会大学，已先后迁至位于成都的华西大学宽阔的校园内。各校英文系的学生都可选听任何一校英文教授开的专业课，”资源共享”。南大英文系主任 Dr. William P. Fenn 开的”英诗概论”和燕大教授 Grace Boynton 开的”现代诗歌”课（注：２００３年１１月３日《中华读书报》所载章开沅的”教会大学在中国”文中，曾评价并引用过 Fenn 的言论。Boynton 的名字也曾在几年前”博览群书”某文中被提起过），都讲授得十分精彩。这就引发了我自中学始即跃跃欲试的”大胆妄为”的写诗冲动，照着我特别喜爱的一些诗的语言风格，”依样画葫芦”，课余逐渐写了几十首。后来，精选出１６首十四行，作为我的毕业论文（Dr. Fenn 就是我的导师），居然引起华西大校园中许多外籍教师的瞩目。
不过，”万事开头难”。一个小插曲至今留在记忆中，鲜活常青。Miss Boynton 除教”现代诗歌”外，还开过英文作文课。１９４３年某日，下课后我拿着自己的几首诗请她指教。她微笑着接过去，却不紧不慢、温和地说：”呀，你们中国学生能把英文句子写通就不错了，还写诗呀！”但诗页既已递到她手，我也不便再要回来。这样，我的”处女作”，就进入了她的审读视线。再次课余见面，Boynton 态度大变，她惊喜地评说了两三句。此后，她曾邀请我到她独居的小楼去喝过一二次午茶，谈天、说诗。作文课上，她常向全班朗读我写的散文。再后，华西大各校外籍教师中曾传来过对我实际上很幼稚（尤其在意韵方面）的作品的溢美之辞，比如说，”She’ll burst into print any time”……
想不到的是：那竟成了我此生仅有的一段原创性英文诗写作的实践了！至于”burst into print” (应该说, struggle into print) ，至少在有关英诗方面，那是在整整半个世纪以后，当陪衬”运动员”和沦为囚犯１９载、最终幸逢拨乱反正以后的事了。－－也就是你帮忙上网介绍的那本《古今爱国抒情诗词选》的出版之时的事了。
当年暑假在师院，我常跟王老师一起吃早饭，听她谈她一生的坎坷和传奇。她最怀念的是大学时代和她大学时代所写的英诗，当时出类拔萃，才气横溢，极受教授和校长器重。这一篇小诗就是当年她给我回忆记录下来的片断。还记得王老师跟我讲解诗句“He sits and reads the pool”时，说sits是短元音，reads是长元音，相互配合使得诗句抑扬顿挫。并做出鸟儿神情专著盯着池塘的神态，作为此句的演示。
He is a flame of emerald,
With a shining ruby breast,
Of all things most beautiful,
By Mother Nature drest;
Inhabits the deep woodland green,
By some water calm and cool,
And on a wayward stretching bough,
He sits and reads the pool.
Then darts he like a light’ning flash
With winning fleeting grace,
Dips his winglets in the pool,
And wrinkles its halcyon face.
Then the flame of emerald
Has vanished out of sight.
UNTITLED by Li Shang-yin
So hard for us to meet,
Harder still to part.
Languid though the east wind,
Faded flowers are blown apart.
The silkworm’s silk is exhausted
Only when its life is spent;
The candle’s tears are dried,
When itself to cinder’s burnt.
Successively, the battlefield,
The prison, I have all gone through;
And these have not deprived me yet
Of my pure, music-like virtue.
Not e’en with Death confronting me
Have I lost heart or bowed my head,
How, then, could poverty be brought
To bear on me, my nerves to shred?
Twenty ounces of cotton wool
Between tattered sheets for a quilt,
A virtually empty pot above
A fire with three pinewood sticks built;
E’en so, I do feel I have passed
A rigorous winter fine and swell,
And scorn the tenet that the world
Holds trump cards o’er us each and all!
A thunderbolt cracks out of the sky,
The earth collapses as though lost its stay.
All silence – the nation at once appears,
Dumb-founded, speechless, all in tears!
To tell the news, No one his voice could find,
About to speak, sobs shove the words behind.
Having heard, no one dares believe,
Believing, the heart’s broken in grief.
White tissue, black armbands,
In anguish we cut and wind.
green pine and cypress branch,
With tears we fondly bind.
Who says it’s a mode outdated
To offer flowers to those we admire?
Wait till she dies, surely she’s fated
To have no flowers at her pyre!
《古今爱国抒情诗词选》SELECTED LYRICS ON THEMES OF PATRIOTISM AND MORAL INTEGRITY(FROM
ANCIENT TO MODERN CHINESE CLASSIC POETRY) / 王知还 选译. – 北京: 中国对外翻译出版公司, 1995；239页;
19CM; 汉英对照；ISBN 7-5001-0378-6
Since I cannot read Chinese, I cannot comment on the accuracy of the translation.
But what I have read, I like it very much. The English translation reads
very well and worthy of publishing. Since this work is conceived as a
bilingual manuscript, I would very much like to see it published in Chinese
and English. This would entail certain problems. I recommend that you write
to the organization below, to ask for publishers who might be interested
in printing this book in two languages.
You might like to send a sample of the poems as well. You could mention
that their address was recommended by myself who is a friend of Luo Qing,
the Chinese painter and publisher.
而最令我没齿不忘的，是1983年春我赴宁拜望老校长兼访邓昊明老先生的那次。彼时吴老正住在北京西路省委大 院（？记不清确切地址了）的一幢小楼里“避寒”，因她原住处尚未装暖气。这次较长的逗留让我目睹了她极为简 朴、整洁的生活常态；听她讲了些文革中的遭遇；问起我家庭出身方面的一些情况；还主动具体告知到省政协 （原蒋介石总统府旧址找邓老怎么个走法）。告别时，90高龄且已一个多月未曾下楼的她，颤巍巍地非要扶杖送 我下去不可。几番劝阻无效，我只得扶着她一级一级慢慢地往下挪。那天她特别高兴，在互相搀扶着笨拙地迈步 时，她突然想起一个发生在楼梯上的英文笑话。说的是男女二青年并排下楼，不慎绊倒，两人执扭在一起骨碌碌 一直滚到楼梯底部。这时，女青年笑着说：“That’s as far as we can go！”（双关语：这是极限了！潜词： 不能逾越这个界线了！）我大笑不止，为老校长的兴致和前所不知的幽默感而怦然心动。
Her Last Words
(The poet’s original note: A woman comrade was wounded in an encounter with the enemy while crossing a river. As death approached, her companions all wept. She opened her eyes and said, “For the Revolution, blood, not tears, is shed.” With these words she passed away. When I heard about it, I was moved by the heroism of her words. Hence this poem in memory of this comrade.)
”For th’ Revolution, blood, not tears, is shed!”
(So the dying heroine, gasping, said.)
Or live or die, all is quite commonplace!
Complaint, regret, there is never a trace.
O so much loyal blood has been in flood,
That not even the Yangtse’ course can hold.
And her one sentence truly bears the weight
Of th’ Nine Tripods (1) —(symbol of power of state),
And will last ages, ’til Time itself grows old!
(1)As an old Chinese legend has it, the Great Yu collected all the copper from the Nine States of China and cast it into nine tripods, symbolizing the Nine States.
1. Gong Bo, heir to the Duke of Wei (one of the fiefdoms during the Chunqiu Period—8th to 5th century B.C.), died early. His young widow Gong Jiang refused his parents’ order to remarry. She wrote the poem entitled Bozhou to express her unchanged, lasting love for her late husband.
(1) Yue Fei (1103-1141) is among the most revered and commemorated national heroes inChinese history. He is chiefly remembered for his unswerving, staunch and successful resistance ofthe Jin (the Nu Zhen Nationality) invasions and his tragic end—murdered for his very merits. Butwhat is handed down of his poetry can hold its own in the history of Chinese literature, as seen inthe instance of this poem.
(2) The Jingkang Humiliation refers to the capture of the two emperors Qinzong and Huizong bythe Jin invaders in 1127.
2010-5-4 11:54| 发布者: sisu04| 查看: 429| 评论: 0
The Autumn Chrysanthemums
Autumn chrysanthemums scorn the frost,
Though wind and frost rage oft and again.
If by nature they’re made cold-proof,
How can wind and frost bring harm then?
张依成姆姆是拯亡会的修女，一九五八年她和我一起被押解到白湖农场，她端庄的外表和优雅的仪态马上博得了大家的尊敬，连外教人也推崇她是出污泥的白荷，她时时守好静默，她常提醒我说：“沉默就是力量！（Silence is strength ）”那时白湖农场女队中约有二十位教友一起干活，教友们因不会抢工具，又不擅长农活，常为了任务没完成而在工作结束后被罚坐在露天一、两小时。依成姆姆总是提醒我善用这机会念晚课、念玫瑰经，不要抱怨，也不要浪费时间。