There is a kisswhich still in transitstoops to gather up its bundle of effectsthe skirt caked withhorseshit and slivers of broken glassthe juicesof a beetled springfloodingcarp frolic among the lotus leaves this way and that allurement this way and that prints on a clavicleslipping through your fingers this way and thatwillow buds are burstingor else it’s just a pageant staged bythis man on horseback approaching our luscious southern climeO these dark and silent types . . .the light failsmy hands fall and I refuse to sayyes this ismyfavorite carousel as well
有一個吻還沒到半路彎腰撿拾掉落的包袱裙裾上碎玻璃及馬糞小甲蟲的春天體液橫流橫著流魚戲蓮葉 不辨方向 影響力 不辨方向 頸上之指印之不易維持 不辨方向但所有柳樹又發了芽或許他為乘馬南來展覽著 江南風景那麼個角色天地皆黑 我兩手垂下 不承認那也是我最愛乘坐的木馬 Listen to Steve Bradbury read his translation of this poem:
“Not Yet” from RAISED BY WOLVES: by Amang.
Published by Deep Vellum April 2021.
Translation Copyright © 2021 by Steve Bradbury.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Winner of the 2021 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation
Incisive and confessional, Raised by Wolves collects the most acclaimed work of Taiwanese poet-filmmaker Amang. In her poems, Amang turns her razor-sharp eye to everything from her suitors ("For twenty years I’ve loved you, twenty years / So why not say yes / You want to see my nude photos ?") to international affairs —"You’d have to win the lottery ten times over / And the U.N. hasn’t won it even once." Keenly observational yet occasionally absurd, these poems are urgent and lucid, as Amang embraces the cruelty and beauty of life in equal measure.
Raised by Wolves also presents a groundbreaking new framework for translation. Far from positing the transition between languages as an invisible and fixed process, Amang and translator Steve Bradbury let the reader in. Multiple English versions of the same Chinese poem often accompany dialogues between author and translator: the two debate as wide-ranging topics as the merits of English tenses, the role of Chinese mythology, and whether to tell the truth you have to lie a little, or a lot. Author, her poems, and translator, work in tandem, "Wanting that which was unbearable / To appear unbearable / Just as it should be."