在一顆小星下 (Under One Small Star)

我和Ricci花了整整兩個鐘頭反覆品讀Wislawa Szymborska的這首題為Under One Small Star的詩。這樣的一個乍暖還寒的春夜,讀這樣的機智卻又毫不討巧,略帶反諷卻又有些嬉戲的詩,真讓人沉醉。

第一句:

My apologies to chance for calling it necessity.

就足以讓人震撼。什麼是偶然,什麼是必然,有誰能分得清楚?有誰知道自己是否分得清楚?人們常常誇大自己境遇的獨特性,但遇到真正的巧合卻又認為非如此不可,非如此不可!

但Szymborska縱然聰明絕頂,也決不偽裝萬能,所以第二句稍稍給necessity一點面子:

My apologies to necessity if I’m mistaken, after all.

接下來,”forgive me,” “I apologize,” “please don’t pay me much attention”亂飛,全詩都是道歉。道歉到後來,幾乎發展成了毫無節制的跪地求饒:

My apologies to everything that I can’t be everywhere at once.
My apologies to everyone that I can’t be each woman and each man.
I know I won’t be justified as long as I live,
since I myself stand in my own way.

這位執著於微觀的老太太,寫出了肯定是前無古人後無來者的最為浩大的道歉。我以為中間最有意思的一句是:

Soul, don’t take offense that I’ve only got you now and then.

真的是這樣 ,我們多數情況下都生活在沒心沒肺(soulless)的狀態了。不止忙碌起來容易失去心靈,悠閒起來更加如此。我們很容易時而萬丈豪情,時而心情低落,不止缺乏智慧,更缺乏自嘲。諸位,我們有幾人曾經想到對自己的心靈鞠躬致歉?

Wislawa Szymborska肯定是我最近兩年的閱讀中最有意思的發現。Emily Dickinson說過:

If I read a book and it makes my whole body feel so cold no fire can ever warm me I know that is poetry.
If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.

以此而論,我不知道有多少詩可以稱得上詩,而Szymborska的詩絕對符合Dickinson的標準。

附Szymborska的原詩:

Under One Small Star

By Wislawa Szymborska

Translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh

My apologies to chance for calling it necessity.
My apologies to necessity if I’m mistaken, after all.
Please, don’t be angry, happiness, that I take you as my due.
May my dead be patient with the way my memories fade.
My apologies to time for all the world I overlook each second.
My apologies to past loves for thinking that the latest is the first.
Forgive me, distant wars, for bringing flowers home.
Forgive me, open wounds, for pricking my finger.
I apologize for my record of minuets to those who cry from the depths.
I apologize to those who wait in railway stations for being asleep today at five a.m.
Pardon me, hounded hope, for laughing from time to time.
Pardon me, deserts, that I don’t rush to you bearing a spoonful of water.
And you, falcon, unchanging year after year, always in the same cage,
your gaze always fixed on the same point in space,
forgive me, even if it turns out you were stuffed.
My apologies to the felled tree for the table’s four legs.
My apologies to great questions for small answers.
Truth, please don’t pay me much attention.
Dignity, please be magnanimous.
Bear with me, O mystery of existence, as I pluck the occasional thread from your train.
Soul, don’t take offense that I’ve only got you now and then.
My apologies to everything that I can’t be everywhere at once.
My apologies to everyone that I can’t be each woman and each man.
I know I won’t be justified as long as I live,
since I myself stand in my own way.
Don’t bear me ill will, speech, that I borrow weighty words,
then labor heavily so that they may seem light.

Advertisements