Feng Zhi: Sonnet 27 (From Chinese)


Sonnet 27: Poetic Form
By Feng Zhi
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

To freely overflowing formless water
The water-bearer brings an oval jar

Thus giving definite form to water's matter
Look! The windvane flutters in the Fall air.


It holds that which cannot be held at all.
Let some of the far dark, the distant light,
The glory and decay of leaves in Fall
And the mind launching toward the infinite


Be captured on this banner-vane this way.

In vain we've listened to wind sough all night
Watched grass go yellow and leaves grow red all day. 


How now to focus, hold our thoughts aright?
These verses be a windvane filled with Fall,
To hold some of what can't be held at all.


The Original:

從一片氾濫無形的水裡,  
Cóng yípiàn fànlàn wúxíngde shuǐ lǐ
取水人取來橢圓的一瓶,  qǔshuǐ rén qǔ lái tuǒyuán de yì píng, 
這點水就得到一個定型;  zhè dián shuǐ jiù dédào yígè dìngxíng;
看,在秋風裡飄揚的風旗, kàn, zài qiūfēng lǐ piāoyáng de fēngqí,
 
它把住些把不住的事體,  
tā bǎ zhù xiē bǎ bú zhù de shì tǐ,
讓遠方的光、遠方的黑夜  ràng yuǎnfāng de guāng, yuǎnfāng de hēiyè 
和些遠方的草木的榮謝,  hé xiē yuǎnfāng de cǎomù de róng xiè,
還有個奔向遠方的心意,  hái yǒu gè bēn xiàng wúqióng de xīnyì,
 
都保留一些在這面旗上。  
dōu bǎoliú yìxiē zài zhè miàn qí shàng.
我們空空聽過一夜風聲,  Wǒmen kōngkōng tīngguò yíyè fēngshēng,
空看了一天的草黃葉紅,  kōng kànle yìtiān de cǎo huángyèhóng,
 
向何處安排我們的思想?  
xiàng hé chù ānpái wǒmen de sī, xiǎng?
但願這些詩像一面風旗   Dàn yuàn zhèxiē shī xiàng yímiàn fēngqí
把住一些把不住的事體。  bǎ zhù yìxiē bǎ bú zhù de shì tǐ.











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