old fool

What do they think has happened, the old fools,
何辜啊何辜,人老了糊塗,

To make them like this? Do they somehow suppose
何苦啊何苦,有苦說不出。

It's more grown-up when your mouth hangs open and drools,
當你嘴合不攏,口水如注,

And you keep on pissing yourself, and can't remember
當你尿不自禁,濡身溼褲,

Who called this morning? Or that, if they only chose,
當你掛了電話,誰記不住。

They could alter things back to when they danced all night
當你只願回顧,那一夜舞,

Or went to the wedding, or sloped arms some September?
那婚禮,那某年九月的小幸福,

Or do they fancy theirs is really been no change,
晉冠成古丘,唯獨你不服。

And they're always behaved as if they were crippled or tight,
老朽的動物,蹣跚地行路,

Or sat through days of thin continuous dreaming
呆坐到日暮,尋夢千百度。

Watching light move?
敢情你張目,在察光飄忽?

If they don't (and they can't), it's strange:
如果不是(不不不不),還真恐怖!

Why aren't they screaming?
怎沒人喊救命乎?

At death, you break up: the beat that were you
當大限已屆,心跳如落葉,

Start speeding away from each other for ever
跟生命訣別,加速不停歇。

With no one to see. It's only oblivion, true:
沒人能發覺,真相遭忘卻,

We had it before, but then it was going to end
我們皆無缺,是老天絕決。

And was all the time merging with a unique endeavour
若聲嘶力竭,流光能凝結,

To bring to bloom the million-petalled flower
化作百萬瓣,綻放的花顏,

Of being here. Next time you can't pretend
擋在你面前,百口莫能辯:這就是「時間」。

There'll be anything else. And these are the first signs:
人老可預見,

Not knowing how, not hearing who, the power
不知何以故,不察誰做主

Of chosen gone. Their looks show that they're for it:
萬般皆遲暮,一一得暴露:

Ash hair, toad hands, prune face dried into lines
雞皮鶴髮像蟾蜍,風乾腐橘當神木,

How can they ignore it?
有誰傻得看不出?

Perhaps being old is having lighted rooms
也許老化就像是,腦內打光的密室,

Inside your head, and people in them, acting.
室內住著不少人,各忙各的有私事,

People you know, yet can't quite name; each looms
這些室友你認識,偏偏不詳其姓字,

Like a deep loss restored, from known doors turning
他們內心有黑子,表情深深重得失,

Setting down a lamp, smiling from a stair, extracting
有時為了推扇門,點一盞燈好靜思,

A known book from the shelves; or sometimes only
有時為了拾級上,取書下架再讀之。

The rooms themselves, chairs and a fire burning,
有時抽離人事物,徒留板凳和壁爐,

The blown bush at the window, or the sun's
窗外風起搖矮樹,渺渺陽光沿牆鋪,

Faint friendliness on the wall some lonely
時令就在某孤獨,雨後向晚的仲暑。

Rain-cased midsummer evening. That is where they live:
他們都在彼方住,非此刻也非此處,

Not here and now, but where all happened once.
但全經歷同一幕,週而復始如上述。

This is why they give
於是他們常失蹤,

An air of Baffled absence, trying to be there
寧願密室不透風,不願回神此時空,

Yet being here. For the rooms grow father, leaving
密室愈來愈大洞,難禦寒天劃冷鋒。

Incompetent cold, the constant wear and tear
老朽呼吸總困頓,

Of taken breath, and them crouching wear and tear
卻又抵死不承認,

Extinction's alp, the old fools, never perceiving
困頓源自蹲其中,

How near it is. This must be what keeps them quiet:
死火山之最高峰。他們噤聲有原因:

The peak that stays in view wherever we go
不管我們八達通,山頭總是靜如松,

For them is rising ground. Can they never tell
但對老糊塗來說,山頭筆直朝天衝。

What is dragging them back, and how it will end? Not at night?
他們可曾能分辨,究竟誰拉誰歸天?如何才算最終點?

Not when the strangers come? Never throughout
是否悄悄趁夜間?當真死神會露臉?

The whole hideous inverted childhood? Well,
傳說當下會逆轉,重溫不堪的童年?噫,

We shall find out.
遲早我們會體驗。

animated films:The Old Fools
director: Ruth Lingford
based on Philip Larkin poem

給一指 給一屎


YA教授說他在翻譯動畫影展,有部短片通篇口白,是首詩。他自謙翻不好(我猜真正原因是時間少翻不完),所以丟給我。我是患強迫押韻官能症的人,很高興地接下諸如此類的挑戰。誰知一著手開始翻譯,才驚覺我答應得太早,而英文太難了。我搞了兩夜,約六個多小時,才把《Old Fool》改寫成中文。直到畫上最後一個句點,我仍對本文中的火山隱喻一知半解。歡迎網友批評指教。


jul/14/2004

我姥姥現在差不多就是這樣了,話說不清楚,尿解不出來。萬分感慨。


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