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 Willing   (A Translation by Bridget Zhang)

                                   

I would fall into a leaf,

whirling in the drizzle and the breeze;                                  

Or be a swift cloud, at the sky blue,

so tangle no more with the ground.

 

                                   

Holding tight to my shattered heart,

To gather the hopeless affections in bygones;

In the dusk or at midnight, tiptoeing

on the cold, absurd void.

 

To forget the existence of such a world, and of you,

with the dearest lament,

petals of tears withered, to forget

the sentiment in the drops of the rain.

 

That day no trace of mine would be left,

not a fleeting ray or a passing breath

vestige. Forget there have been me,

and the world once I lived.

 

 

 

 

情愿       林徽因   (“I Would Be a Fallen Leaf” by Huiyin Lin)

 

我情愿化成一片落叶,

让风吹雨打到处飘零;

或流云一朵,在澄蓝天,

和大地再没有些牵连。

 

但抱紧那伤心的标志,

去触遇没着落的怅惘;

在黄昏,夜半,蹑着脚走,

全是空虚,再莫有温柔;

 

忘掉曾有这世界;有你;

哀悼谁又曾有过爱恋;

落花似的落尽,忘了去

这些个泪点里的情绪。

 

到那天一切都不存留,

比一闪光,一息风更少

痕迹,你也要忘掉了我

曾经在这世界里活过。

 

 

Rage, Rage Against the Dying Light

 

Her cold dry boned bruised fist

tightened with unfinished words.

Tears left a trace dropping

the last glimmer of strength.

 

Silver rusted thimble on the finger still.

Mourned,

the stitches imprinted on her wedding veil,

that were never taken out.  

 

Wizen golden lotuses

curled up tight on the pale sheet.

Her three-inch feet were once bloomed

in the silent scream.

 

Thousands of stars quietly scattered on the sky,

Now there is a new one.

The shine is all the Rage,

howling against the dying light.

 

 

 

 

 

My poem was inspired by a popular line in the movie Interstellar: “Old age should burn and rave at close of day. Rage, rage against the dying of the light”. This quote is originally from Dylan Thomas’ villanelle “Do not go gentle into that good night”. The sentence originally made me think about the kind of “rage” my grandma experienced before her death. Later in the poem I wrote more about the kind of rage inside of all traditional Chinese womens' hearts when they were forced to sacrifice themselves to “destiny”. Another meaning I tried to convey in the poem is that, while the world created such a significant impact on her, the loss of her left no trace and made little impact to this world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Huiyin Lin is one of my favorite Chinese female poets as I have read her poems since middle school in China. This poem, from my perspective, depicts a woman’s pain of leaving and forgetting the one she loves because of objections from others. It also represents kind of love that transcends the boundary of life and death. The Chinese word “情愿” means someone is willing, not reluctant, to accept something.  The constrasts between expressions in Chinese and English very interesting, and I look forward to continuing to translate more of her pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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