Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A1054-W691

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号:A1054-W691

 

Release Date: October 15, 2017

发布日:2017年10月15日

 

Topic: My Affinity With Poems -- Huang Ciping (Chinese European Post)

标题:我的诗缘 -- 黄慈萍(欧华导报2017年9月版首发)

 

Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)

此号以中文为准(英文在前,中文在后)

 

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A Selected Work of "Wandering and Singing For Freedom - Chinese Literature and Art from Exile Series" by the Wei Jingsheng Foundation

 

 

My Affinity With Poems (or Fateful Coincidence?)

-- Huang Ciping

published by Chinese European Post, September 2017 issue

 

 

I had never imagined that my first published translated poem would be in German, instead of English.  In fact, in the past, I occasionally read some English poetry and never thought to translate any of them into Chinese.  So it is more incredible for me to even think of translating a German poem into Chinese.  After all, poetry is a language art so delicate.  Whether translating from Western language to Chinese, or vice versa, while trying to maintain the original charm yet have the rhythm and keep the rhyme in the new language, that could be said to be impossible.

 

My own poetic writing has been ceased for 28 years.  Long time ago, I occasionally wrote a few poems that I do not know where to find anymore.  I thought that I was smart when I was a kid.  My neighbors knew that when I was less than 6 years old I could count into hundreds of millions if I wished, but they did not know I had read a lot of poems even before I was 6 and started to write analogy poems as if I truly understood them.  Unfortunately, for more than 10 years after I arrived the USA I did not use any Chinese and by 1998 I would speak Chinese with difficulty.  Even now, I rather type in English instead of Chinese when I can, because I could type much faster.

 

Before 1989, I was still an idealistic romantic girl who wrote sentimental poems, at least the kind that was described by the old poem: "to make sentiment for the purpose of writing a new poem".  At that time I had just graduated from the University of Science and Technology in China, and was on my way to my dream to become Madame Curie in China, along with a prideful attitude as a "god favored prodigy child".  To be a "god favored prodigy child" meant that I could do everything.  This arrogant state of mind needs to be criticized, but also prompted my attitude to be successful in the fields of my interests.  In the past almost 4 decades, my life has been constantly challenged and stroked, and I have had to face life with my ability to overcome, or at least with courage and determination.  Now I am taking on an endeavor that I consider as a cause I must do morally and reasonably, yet it is extremely difficult.  To this end, I am very grateful for my college time at University of Science and Technology of China.

 

Many Chinese think those of us who are in science and technology sections do not know much about liberal arts, which is not correct.  Not to mention back then even if we were good at liberal arts we were not encouraged to study them.  But people who live in a society will always be dealing with liberal arts inevitably and indispensably.  I also felt that people remembered me often due to my knowledge and analysis in social sciences, rather than physics and science.  I view poetry the height of humanity.  I remember when I graduated from college I went to Ning Bo, my college classmate and friend, for a souvenir of remembrance; he gave me a poem as the gift.  We were so young and naive back then.

 

In 1989 (after the June 4 Massacre) I wrote my last poem in great pain (of the death of my classmate Hao Zhijing), and have not resumed writing poetry since.  The harsh reality stifled my talent to write poems.  After that, I no longer want to choose what I do because of the wayward path of being a gifted girl.  Instead I chose an endeavor that is sacred, but I am not good at and do not even really like.  There are other people who have similar experiences.  Not long ago I read fragments of Dr. Qian Yuejun's large song cycles "White Rose" in tears, the verses were so beautiful and moving.  "What had happened afterwards?" I asked him.  "Since then, I cannot write a poem," he replied me.

 

I chose the road full of thorns, which not only requires self-sacrifice, but also has to deal with boring business affairs most of the time.  This life is totally different or even in contradiction to the job I once had and loved, mostly research and design of machinery by way of science, which was full of innovation and self-realization on the cause.  Even the majority writing I do now is the boring arrangements and replies, without much creativity or excitement.  The only thing that needs some elegance in my writing is our annual dedication of "the Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize", of which most are written by me in recent years.  I have found out that only the verses in poetry can best express my theme and emotion.  Most of the times, I used verses from poetry as the main titles of the dedications for our prizes:

 

2008: "In This Long Road of Searching for Truth, I Shall Try All I Can." (by Qu Yuan, 278 BC)

2010: "I Shall Leave My Heart to Shine in the History." (by Wen Tianxiang, 1283 AD)

2012: "You Died before Winning the Battle, Which Made all the Heroes Cry." (by Du Fu, 760 AD)

2013: "I Shall Laugh Loud Even As the Sword Crosses on My Neck; Our Brave Hearts Are Just As Noble As the Kunlun Mountains Regardless Whether We Live or Die." (by Tan Sitong, 1898 AD)

2015: "I Was Worried Before Everyone Got Worried, I Will Be Happy When Everyone Is Happy." (by Fan Zhongyan, 1045 AD)

2016: "The Wind Blows, the River Freezes.  The Hero Fights, Knowing He Will Never Return!" (by Jing Ke, 227 BC)

 

These are verses that both paint great portraits of the outstanding Chinese heroes, but also are poetic sentences that are full of sacred spirit and encourage people.

 

Moreover, verses of poetry reach to a more personal emotional world.  Recently I was touched by two sentences presented to me, which were altered from two well-known poetic sentences: "It was difficult to meet, and it was even more difficult to separate; the east wind holds its tears, hundreds of flowers withered."  (Original by Li ShangYin, 828 AD: "It was difficult to meet, and it was difficult to separate; the east wind lost its power, hundreds of flowers withered.")  This talent and sentiment filled me with emotion.  Even if there are thousands of words to use, I do not expect myself to catch up anymore.  This is one of the motivations for me to turn a little bit and thus decide to translate this poem by Heinrich Heine.

 

Life will always come with some regrets.  Regrets of lost and unretainable love can easily resonate with many people.  Life experiences have left some eternal poems for others to read, thus to share and shoulder these sorrows and regrets, love and happiness.  With my full love for the romanticism on the bank of Rhine, I leave my Chinese translation of "The Spruce and the Palm" poem by Heinrich Heine and my own poem in response to Heinrich Heine, "My Spruce Tree" to the people living in the region of the Rhine River.

  __  __  __

 

Der Fichtenbaum und die Palme
-- Heinrich Heine

Ein Fichtenbaum steht einsam
Im Norden auf kahler H
öh';
Ihn schl
äfert; mit weißer Decke
Umh
üllen ihn Eis und Schnee.

Er tr
äumt von einer Palme,
Die, fern im Morgenland,
Einsam und schweigend trauert
Auf brennender Felsenwand.

 

 

p.s. Note of translation of Heine's poem "The Spruce and the Palm" by Ciping HUANG:

This poem expresses the painful love that the lonely spruce (i.e. male author) has for the palm, as he knows that they do not have affinity and any hope to get together.  The last two sentences could be described as the tall and straight spruce would rather die than live, as he could only live in a cold and high place.  I also read some English translation and comments, and thus conclude indeed Fichten-baum should be (shorter needled) spruce (male) instead of pine (female).  Some Chinese (and also English) translations translate Fichten-baum into "pine" which is not as accurate as "spruce".  One of the main points by this poem is about "no fateful coincidence" or no "affinity" in his life.  After all, spruce and palm grow in two totally different regions.

 

 

 (Website of the Chinese European Post: www.chinesen.de or www.ouhua.de)

 

Photo of the author, Ciping HUANG:

http://www.weijingsheng.org/pic/newsletters/newsletters2017/newsletters2017-4/HuangCP170825palms-2.jpg

http://www.weijingsheng.org/pic/newsletters/newsletters2017/newsletters2017-4/HuangCP170928inGermany.jpg

 

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中文版

 

Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A1054-W691

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号:A1054-W691

 

Release Date: October 15, 2017

发布日:2017年10月15日

 

Topic: My Affinity With Poems -- Huang Ciping (Chinese European Post)

标题:我的诗缘 -- 黄慈萍(欧华导报2017年9月版首发)

 

Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)

此号以中文为准(英文在前,中文在后)

 

如有中文乱码问题,请与我们联系或访问:

http://www.weijingsheng.org/report/report2017/report2017-10/HuangCPpoems171015CEPpublishedA1054-W691.htm

 

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“为自由而浪迹天涯 -- 中国流亡文学及艺术系列”作品选

 

 

(欧华导报2017年9月版首发)

欧华导报网页:www.chinesen.de 或 www.ouhua.de

 

 

我的诗缘

-- 黄慈萍

 

万万没想到,我翻译的第一首外文诗的原文是德文,而非英文。其实,过去偶尔也读过一些英文诗歌,从不曾想过翻译成中文。而将德文诗歌译成中文更是不可思议。毕竟,诗歌是如此精巧的语言艺术,不管从西文到中文,还是反之,既达意又保持原有韵味,可以说是不可能的。

 

我自己的诗歌创作停止28年了。许久前我偶尔还写过几首,都不知哪去了。小时候还是挺聪慧,别人都知道我不到六岁就能从零数数上亿,但并不知我不到六岁就读了不少诗,开始似懂非懂地模拟写作了。可惜到美国后十多年根本不用中文,到1998年时连中文都说不出了。即使现在,能用英文还是用英文,打字速度快多了。

 

1989年前的我可以说是个理想的浪漫少女,写的诗也是多愁善感,最起码是"为赋新诗强说愁"那一类。那时我刚从中国科技大学毕业不久,还带着我成为中国居里夫人的梦想,还多少有着天之骄子的心态。天之骄子就意味着样样都行。这种狂妄心态固然需要被批判,但也促使我在各方面都有好强取胜的心态。近四十年来,我的人生经历就是不断地为此受到挑战和打压,而我则必须面对并有战胜的能力,最起码是勇气和决心。我现在还进行的就是这么一件我认为道义上和情理上都必须做、又极其艰难困苦的事业。为此,我很感激我在中国科技大学的时光。

 

不少人以为我们这些理工科的人不知文科,这是不正确的。且不说我们当年即使文科好,也不提倡去学文科,而文科的许多内容是人在社会上不可避免、且不可缺少的。我自己也觉得,人们记得我,往往是因为我在社会科学方面的知识和分析,而非物理和科学。在我看来,诗歌可以算是上乘。记得大学毕业时,我向我当时的同窗兼好友宁铂讨样纪念品,他送我的就是一首诗。唉,我们曾经如此年轻和天真。

 

1989年我写了最后一首诗歌后,近28年来不再写诗。严酷的现实扼杀了我最后的一点诗作天赋。那以后,我做的不再是一个有天赋的少女的任性选择,而是选择了一个神圣、我却并不善于、也并不喜欢的事业。也有别人有着类似的经历。不久前我含泪读完钱跃君博士的《白玫瑰组曲》片段,那么美丽而动人的诗句。"后来呢?"我问他。"从那以后,我就写不出诗了。"他说。

 

我选择的充满荆棘之路,不仅需要自我牺牲,更无奈的是平常做的也多是枯燥无味的事务性工作。这和我曾经做过、我所热爱的充满创新、自我实现的科研工作的性质大相径庭。就是文字方面的工作,绝大多数也是千篇一律的事务性的安排与回复,没有什么新意。唯一不同的是,我们基金会一年一度的颁奖词,最近这些年大多是我写的。我发现,唯有诗句最能表达我的主题思想,我采用的诗句为主标题的颁奖词有:

    2008年:路漫漫其修远兮,吾将上下而求索。

    2010年:留取丹心照汗青

    2012年:出师未捷身先死,长使英雄泪满襟。

    2013年:我自横刀向天笑,去留肝胆两昆仑。

    2015年:先天下之忧而忧,后天下之乐而乐。

    2016年:风萧萧兮易水寒,壮士一去兮不复还。

 

这些既是中华民族优秀人物的写照,也是鼓励人心、富有牺牲精神的高尚诗句。

 

更多诗句,则属情感世界。最近我为之感动的是两句赠送给我、更改得美妙上口的名句:"相见时难别更难,东风含泪百花残。"如此的才情使得我感慨万千。纵然有千诗万句,也不敢再指望能迎头赶上了。这也是我转个小弯,决定翻译这首海涅的诗的动力之一吧。

 

人生总会有遗憾,感情上的遗憾人们很容易共鸣。留下首人们永世吟唱的诗歌,多少能弥补一些遗憾。满怀着对莱茵河畔浪漫主义的留恋,我将这首"一颗云杉树"的译文和"我的云杉树"献给莱茵河畔的人们。

  __  __  __

 

一颗云杉树

-- 海涅 诗

黄慈萍 译

 

在荒芜的北方,

云杉独立在山上。

昏然欲睡中,

披上了冰雪的衣裳。

 

它梦想的棕榈树,

在遥远的东方。

燃烧的峭壁上,

它孤独又悲伤。

 

译注:这首诗表达了男性作者(云杉)对女友(棕榈)没有缘分、孤独无望的痛苦相思。最后两句可谓是只能生活在寒冷高处的云杉痛不欲生的表述。又看了一些英文译文及评语,觉得译为"云杉"更准确。Fichten-baum的英文为spruce,短叶寒冷高处的松,高大挺拔,德语为阳性(相对阴性的棕榈),怕热(这大概也是最后一句的由来,心哀欲死--炽热的岩壁能烧死他)。相比较,很多松树能在平原甚至温暖地带生存。这首诗表达点之一就是"无缘",云杉与棕榈生长在两个完全不同的区域。

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作者黄慈萍:

http://www.weijingsheng.org/pic/newsletters/newsletters2017/newsletters2017-4/HuangCP170825palms-2.jpg

http://www.weijingsheng.org/pic/newsletters/newsletters2017/newsletters2017-4/HuangCP170928inGermany.jpg

 

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