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华章英韵 |和梦得夏至忆苏州呈卢宾客║总第7期

发表于 2019-6-21 21:10:02 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
本帖最后由 宛城卧龙 于 2019-6-21 23:10 编辑


王如利(Wang Ruli)
丁立群(Ding Liqun)

    Today is the Summer Solstice. This issue of  Chinese Verse in English Rhyme presents to you “In Reply to Mengde’s 'Recalling Suzhou on the Summer Solstice — Presented to Advisor Lu'” written by Bai Juyi and translated by Wang Ruli. Let's see how Souzhou people of the Tang Dynasty celebrated the Summer Solstice, and how such celebration always lingered in the poet's mind.





In Reply to Mengde's
"Recalling Suzhou on the Summer Solstice —  Presented to Advisor Lu"
Written by Bai Juyi (The Tang Dynasty)
Translated by Wang Ruli

The days in Suzhou I always recall
With Summer Solstice Feast and all:
Sweet Zongzi, tender bamboo shoots,
Grilled meat crispy and savory goose;
The water town with pavilions fair,
And melodious music in the air;
Every household hosting a banquet of wine,
Boats carrying people everywhere to dine.
One succeeding the other, you took office,
Before that, I had been there in service.
Retired to this land, now we are all old,
But to memories of the East we still hold:
The month in Luo to harvest wheat grains,
South of the Yangtze, is season of plum rains.
Since the gatherings on Cloud High,
Thirteen solid years have gone by.

The Translator's Reflections

  此诗写于唐开成三年(公元838年),从题目《和梦得夏至忆苏州呈卢宾客》可知它是一个连锁反应的结果。原诗有注曰:“予与刘、卢三人,前后相次典苏州,今同分司,老于洛下。” 也就是说,白居易和他的朋友刘禹锡、卢周仁都曾先后任苏州刺史,所以到了“老于洛下”的时候,苏州便成了他们共同的怀念。这一年卢周仁继白、刘之后授职“太子宾客分司东都”来到洛阳,成为题目中所说的“卢宾客”,引发了既是苏州人又是前任父母官的刘禹锡对家乡的思念之情,于是写下《夏至忆苏州呈卢宾客》(已佚),该诗继而触动了曾在苏州做少年游又最终实现理想得而治之的白居易对故地的怀旧之思。时值夏至,故而“夏至筵”首先涌入诗人脑海:香粽嫩笋,脆炙鲜鹅,舞榭歌台,船来人往,吃的、听的、看的一派水国吴风气象。接着诗人说:“你我都曾在苏州为官,而今老了,赋闲东都,苏州是我们的共同怀念,看着洛阳的麦收,想的都是江南的梅雨。齐云楼上的风雅际会,转眼已是十三年前的事了!”齐云楼原名“月华楼”,白居易将其更名为“齐云楼”,取“高与云齐”之意。有这样非同一般的缘分,难怪白太守念兹在兹。

  这首诗虽然写于夏至,但内容无关永日炎天,而是对苏州人情风物的美好回忆。时值毕业季,看莘莘学子依依别去,读到这首诗,曾经在苏州度过三年研究生岁月的笔者也不禁抚今追昔,心中颇有戚戚焉。白居易因病卸任时,“苏州十万户,尽作婴儿啼”(刘禹锡《白太守行》),笔者虽然没有白太守那样热爱苏州又受苏州人民爱戴,但苏州的丘山园林、小桥流水、美酒佳肴、良师益友也同样是我一生中最美好的回忆,故而译诗时情以共之,以情驭笔,不拘字栉句比,为求整体神韵贯通,对断句和韵式等形式特征有所调整。原诗偶行押韵,译诗难以做到一韵到底又意韵相合,故采用了八对双行押韵韵式。笔者以下智逮高情,当然只有“瞻望邈难逮”( 陶渊明《癸卯岁始春怀古田舍二首》)的份儿,或曰附庸风雅,或曰自不量力,但自念与三位太守“东望共依然”的赤子之心相同,故不揣浅陋自荐主笔,但求略达一二,或也无伤风雅,毕竟“模仿是平庸对伟大的最诚挚的夸赞”(奥斯卡•王尔德)。
  (上文有关诗人和诗作的背景知识参考了《一个节气读首诗•夏至 》特此致谢!)

      Written in 838, third year of the brief reign of Tang Dynasty Kaicheng (836-40), the title of the poem, “In Reply to Mengde’s ‘Recalling Suzhou on the Summer Solstice — Presented to Advisor Lu’”, indicates a chain reaction. The annotation by the poem's author, declares “I, Liu and Lu were sequentially in charge of Suzhou. Now, as advisors to the Crown Prince, we have retired to Luoyang.” That is to say, Bai Juyi and his friends, Liu Yuxi and Lu Zhouren, had all held the post of governor of Suzhou before retiring to Luoyang, the second capital of Tang in Henan Province, where their time in Suzhou became a shared reminiscence. Following in the footsteps of Bai and Liu, Lu was appointed “advisor to the Crown Prince in charge of the Eastern Capital” in 838, coming to Luoyang and becoming “Advisor Lu” as mentioned in the title. This move provoked Liu Yuxi’s nostalgia for Suzhou as his hometown and the place he had once governed. It was against this background that he wrote the poem “Recalling Suzhou on the Summer Solstice — Presented to Advisor Lu” (lost). His poem, in turn, evoked Bai Juyi’s longing for Suzhou, where he spent several of his adolescent years and later fulfilled his teenage dream of becoming its governor. The poem was written at the time of the Summer Solstice, so that what first came into the poet’s mind was the feast associated with its celebration: sweet Zongzi [glutinous rice wrapped in triangular shape in reed leaves] and tender bamboo shoots, crispy grilled meat and savory goose, beautiful pavilions and melodious music, hospitable locals and boats bustling here and there. The food, the music, the scenery, everything had a special taste of the ancient southern water town. Then the poet related how “we had all been the governor of Suzhou. Now retired to Luoyang as three old men, Suzhou is still our shared memory. The month of the wheat harvest in Luoyang reminds me of the plum rain season in Suzhou. Alas, it has been 13 years since my last gatherings on Cloud High Tower” [previously known as ‘Moonlight Tower’, renamed by Bai Juyi for its height penetrating the clouds]. Unforgettable anecdotes such as these explain Bai Juyi’s strong attachment for this place.
      Though written on the Summer Solstice, this poem has nothing to do with the longest day of the year of scorching sunshine; rather, it recalls “the good old days” in Suzhou. In the graduation season when students are bidding reluctant farewell to each other, as one who spent three memorable years of postgraduate study in that particular city, this poem strikes a chord in my heart. When Bai Juyi resigned from the governorship due to health problems, “thousands of households in Suzhou cried like babies” [from ‘The Departure of Governor Bai’ by Liu Yuxi]. Although not loving Suzhou and loved by Suzhou people as much as Governor Bai, I also have the most cherished memories about the city: its gardens and hills, its bridges and canals, its good wine and delicious food, and, most important of all, my beloved teachers and friends. Sharing such good memories, I have great empathy with the poet’s attachment to Suzhou and have tried to express what I feel through this poem in a freer way, adjusting the pauses and rhymes to achieve an overall aesthetic effect, instead of sticking to the literal meaning and original sentence pattern. The original poem has a monrhyme for each even line, while the rhyme scheme in the translation is a pattern of eight rhyming couplets, adopted due to the difficulty of finding a suitable rhyme for all the even lines in English. Attempting to render the poet’s sublime feelings with my slow wit, “my aspiration is meant to fail” [from ‘Two Poems Reminiscing about the Past in the Early Spring’ by Tao Yuanming]. Some may say I’m just hanging on to the lips of men of letters, someone may say I’m biting off more than I can chew. However, like the three governors, I have the same childlike love for Suzhou, and “to memories of the East we still hold”. Therefore, despite my benighted inabilities, I venture to recommend myself to translate this poem, wishing to convey a little bit of the original, hopefully doing no harm to the literary pursuits. After all, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.” [OscarWilde]
      (My thanks to Mr. Geoffrey Murray for reading and making helpful comments on the earlier draft of this essay.)

About The Translator

      Wang Ruli, also known by her pen name Orchid (Lanruo), is an Associate Professor of English with a BA in English Education, an MA in English language and literature and a Ph.D. in linguistics, who is currently teaching in School of Foreign Studies, Minzu University of China. She visited the English Department of Boston University from 2008 to 2009, working with professor John T. Matthews, the former president of William Faulkner Society, dealing with modern American novels. Her academic interests range from English literature, sociolinguistics to biography, poetry and academic translation. She is the author of the monograph Research on the Social Variation of New English Lexical Borrowings (2009), the translator of June Dally-Watkins’ autobiography Still Smiling (2016) and has published dozens of journal articles on literature and linguistics. She co-hosts with Professor Ding Liqun the poetry translation column Chinese Verse in English Rhyme sponsored by Chinese Poetry Network. Her WeChat public account Poetry Translation of Orchid is dedicated to the translation, spread and inheritance of classical Chinese poetry.

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总策划:周占林 宛城卧龙


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