用户登錄

中國作家協會主管

麗莎·戈頓:同穿山甲一起封城

來源:香港物流查詢 | 麗莎·戈頓  2020年12月11日16:07

今年我在和吉拉蒙多文學出版社做詩歌編輯。墨爾本封城的時候,我正在編輯李棟翻譯的宋琳詩集《採擷者之詩》。

這本詩集非常美。同詩集相同標題的長詩是這樣開頭的:

用山鶉的方言呼喚着跑出房子

藍漿果裏的聲音我還能聽見

雷達站,木輪車,童年的山岡

整個夏天我們都在尋找

坡地開闊而平緩,死者的甕

半埋着。荒涼的詞,彷彿塗上了蜜……

宋琳的詩閃爍着童年的影像,以及散落在廣漠的歷史平原上殘骸的近景。墨爾本封城的第一個月裏,我每天都會在家跟前的街道和公園走一個小時,我也走進了宋琳詩歌裏的國度。

*

封城的日子裏,我用空閒的時間寫了一首詩,關於穿山甲的詩。穿山甲是地球上遭受最嚴重非法販運的哺乳動物;它們死於囚禁中。

今天我想讀一下這首詩,因為當我們兩國政府的爭吵上了新聞頭條時,我讀宋琳的詩歌的體驗讓我意識到詩歌和小説本身可以為我們創造一個共享的國度,當然是通過翻譯。

我在二月開始寫這首有關穿山甲的詩時,中國科學家沈永義和肖立華宣佈新冠基因組的一部分同穿山甲身上的新冠病毒有99%的相似度。三月,一支由美國科學家克里斯蒂安·安德森領導的科研小組在《自然醫學》上發表了他們的分析,稱也許是蝙蝠身上的新冠病毒轉移到了人體;或者也可能是蝙蝠與穿山甲在囚禁狀態下,它們各自的新冠病毒在同一宿主身上相遇,然後重新組合成為新冠肺炎病毒。

在澳大利亞不是經常會聽到穿山甲,但是八年前令人讚歎的美國詩人瑪麗安·穆爾寫了一首詩,叫《穿山甲》。我的詩有一部分是對她的一行詩句的反思,這行詩句是:如果現存的一切不是永恆的。瑪麗安·穆爾寫下這首《穿山甲》多年之後,我想在我們所有的意象中,我們失去了自然界會永不停止地更新自身這樣的信念。

這首詩是按照斐波那契數列寫的,按照1,2,3,5,8,13或者21個音節,反映處穿山甲鱗甲的螺旋上升。

“神奇”

如果現存的一切不是永恆的

- 瑪麗安·穆爾《穿山甲》

 

它有它的

體系 – 帶鱗甲的哺乳動物可以

將自己蜷起來,在

盔甲裏抵禦掉進獅子的大口

它沒有牙齒,它的

腹部裸露着

它面對的唯一獵食者是人類 –

同樣適應於

乾燥廣漠的草地和赤道雨林

它行走在河道上 – 哈伊根·範林斯霍滕,一位

在果阿的荷蘭人,

當漁民們打撈上來一個穿山甲,他們以為它是

一條怪魚 –

它中間部分跟狗大小,

大象腳,

像野豬哼哼 –

它從頭到腳全部裝在鱗甲裏

比鐵還堅硬

或者鋼 –

鐵砧輕輕地推動着,

他們用武器在砍着它 – 然後

它蜷起身體

怎麼也撬不開 – 它的

圖片,因神奇,他們送給西班牙國王 –

在眼皮的小袋子裏它的

近乎失明的圓圓的黑眼睛寫下

下面 –

看到它 –

循味就可找到它,它

行動的方式 – 穿過

廣漠平原一般的地帶或者濕乎乎的

腐葉堆積上面筆直的樹 –

可以解決問題

描述一個在思考的頭腦這樣概念

就不同行動分離

體驗概念的行動 –

想像一下頭腦巧妙地

往前思考

肯定是在不可預見的思路上

到達地點 –

當它

抵達它時,它

鼻孔緊閉眼睛緊閉頭先衝進

衝進它喜歡的 –

它在螞蟻中沐浴,它

很獨特

扭動着它的舌頭(任意

拉出

從它好像禿鉛筆頭的鼻子)

覺得味道不對 -

接着到了後腿 – 它的

長着手指一樣長的爪子的手,一隻蜷起來

搭在另一隻上,或者

有時拍打着 – 它可以

雕刻水泥地 –

它的尾巴使它保持平衡

像是箍裙一樣挺直

豎立

(每年帶着自然絲一般

粉色之字形邊

小穿山甲轉來轉去)

在下面的腿行走時帶着

與之不相符的輕鬆

在盔甲之下意想不到 –

它的盔甲不是穿上去的 –

像蛇頭的頭盔在

項背上的兩眼之間分散

在重疊的帶着稜的扇貝般的赭色鱗甲裏,

琥珀色,橄欖棕色

每片鱗甲的邊都呈較淺色

所以當它走動時 – 帶着

一浪接着一浪

行走在樹幹上或者在

深夜的草原上好似完整

不破的浪 – 那些重複

多樣的鱗甲閃着亮光

好像遵循成長的原則 – 每一個

替代了另一個

消失之時 – 就好像現存的一切可以永

恆 -

它沒有牙齒,它的

腹部裸露着 –

它面對的唯一獵食者是人類 - 

(翻譯:韓靜)

Lockdown with Pangolins

Lisa Gordon

This year I started working as a poetry editor for Giramondo Publishing. When lockdown started in Melbourne, I was editing Dong Li’s translation of Song Lin’s poetry collection The Gleaner Song.

This is a beautiful collection. Its long title poem starts:

Calling out in a partridge’s dialect while running out of the house, I could hear a voice in the blueberries:

radar station, wooden carriage, childhood hillocks that we had been looking for all summer.

The slopes open and smooth, the urn of the dead half buried. Bleak words, as if dipped in honey…

Song Lin’s poetry is lit up with images of childhood, closely-seen landscapes set on vast plains of history strewn with wreckage. Through the first month of Melbourne’s lockdown, I had daily hour-long walks through my local streets and parks and I had voyages into the country of Song Lin’s poetry.

In my lockdown I spent my spare time writing a poem about pangolins: the most- trafficked mammals on earth; they die in captivity.

Today I’ll read this poem because my experience of reading Song Lin’s poetry while our governments argued in headlines brought home how poetry and fiction alone make for us a shared country—ruled by translators.

I started writing about pangolins when, in February, Chinese scientists Yongyi Shen and Lihua Xiao announced that a section of the Covid-19 genome is 99% similar to

that of a pangolin coronavirus. In March, a team led by American scientist Kristian Anderson published analysis in Nature Medicine suggesting two possibilities: perhaps the bat coronavirus mutated in a human host; or perhaps the bat and pangolin coronaviruses met in the same host, in captivity, and recombined to create Covid-19.

*

Pangolins are not often heard of here but, eighty years ago, the marvelous American poet Marianne Moore wrote a poem called ‘The Pangolin’. My poem was partly a reflection on a line in her poem: ‘if that which is at all were not forever’. In the years since Marianne Moore wrote ‘The Pangolin’ we have lost, I think, such conviction that the natural world can renew itself perpetually, at the back of all our imagery.

The poem is written in Fibonacci syllabics—in lines with one, two, three, five, eight, thirteen or twenty-one syllables—reflecting how a pangolin spirals up in itself.

*

MIRABILIA

 

if that which is at all were not forever

—Marianne Moore, ‘The Pangolin’

 

It is its

own order—scaled mammal that can spiral itself in

armour safe in the lion’s jaws— it is toothless, its

belly is naked, its only predator is man—

Adept alike of

dry savannah and equatorial canopies

it walks on riverbeds—Huyghen van Linschoten, a Dutchman in Goa,

when fishers hauled one out, thought it a strange fish—

it being middle-sized-dog sized, elephant-footed,

snorting like a hog—

its head tail legs all cased in scales harder than iron

or steel—

mild moving anvil,

they hewed at it with weapons—and

it rolled up

and could not be prised open—its

picture, for a wonder, they sent to the King of Spain—

In the pouch of its eyelid its

near-blind round black eye has written underneath—

I

have seen it—

It goes by smell, its

way of going—through

the vast plain-like stretches or dank leafmould straight up trees—

could solve the problem

of depicting a mind thinking so that the idea is not separate from the act

of experiencing it— imagined mind that goes subtly

reasoning forwards on an unforseen line surely to the place—

when it

comes to it, it goes

nose shut ears shut eyes shut headfirst into what it likes—

it bathes in ants, it

is particular—

wries its tongue (free-drawn

line out

from its snout’s blunted pencil tip) against a wrong taste—

It goes on hind legs—its finger- length-clawed hands it folds

one over another or at

times taps down—it can carve concrete—

its tail its counterweight it holds with hoopskirt-like up-

rightness

(yearly with raw silk pink pinking-shear-trimmed

pangopup bustle) under which its legs go with a

separate light ease unexpected under armour— its armour is not put on—the

snake’s head helmet be- tween its eyes at its nape outspreads

in overlapping scallop-shell-ridged scales of ochre,

amber, olive-brown each edged with lighter bands

so when it goes—with wave-through-wave

movement along a branch or in night grasslands as one

unbroken wave—those repeating varied scales track light

like a principle of growth—each one replacing each

other’s vanishing—as if that which is could be for-

ever—

It is toothless, its belly is naked—

its only predator is man—

 

Note: some phrases are taken from Jan Huyghen van Linchoten’s travel writing, Randall Jarrell’s review of Elizabeth Bishop (‘written underneath, “I have seen it”’), and Marianne Moore’s letter to Ezra Pound (‘could solve the problem of depicting a mind thinking so that the idea is not separate from the act of experiencing it’).