© 2015-present EDWARD RAGG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chongwenmen Market

 

Its doors are winter coats, dressed for the season

like dumpling wrappers: the snapped dough

rolled in wafer rounds, deft hands cupping

pork mince and scallion into ear-nipped jiaozi.

Ahead, river trout squirm on wet marble

like sprung bows as fresh as a definition,

flipping alongside crates of blue crab;

and, fresher still, whole tanks of catfish

plucked from the water in barely a cleaver’s drop.

I intone in snail Mandarin the prices of eggs,

pork belly, mutton, counting change in the abacus

of a new speech and would like to say more:

something about the colours of the aubergines,

the less recognized fruits, the tastes of them.

 

- from A Force That Takes (2013)

 

 

A Side of Gravadlax

 

Orange-pink fillet slipped from its vacuum pack,

sinews and scent of dill, crystals of salt and sugar,

a knife so sharp its blade can neither slide nor slip.

 

Then debates of serving like lovers’ tiffs: lemon

no lemon, rocks of black pepper, a dusting of cayenne,

sandwich sheets or box-cut ‘sashimi’ strips.

 

This fish, caught in Scotland, cured as the Scandinavians

preserve, freighted to Oxford, pressed in my winter hands,

then driven two and a half hours home in a car as cold

 

as the December night, is part of the love for which

we hunger, one of all the sides of your desire:

its fibrous oils a longing, its buxom flesh a carnival.

 

- from New Poetries IV (Carcanet Press, 2007)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

崇文门市场

 

它的一扇扇小门是冬装,为季节穿戴

就像饺子的面皮:揪下来的面团

擀成圆片,灵巧的手把猪肉

和大葱馅箍住,包进双耳捏紧的饺子。

前面,河鲑在湿淋淋的大理石上扭动,

像那弹出的弓,新鲜有如一个定义。

旁边翻来爬去的,是柳条筐里蓝色的螃蟹;

同时,生猛的是整水箱的鲶鱼

仅仅用刀子一扎,就能从水里弄出一条。

用慢如蜗牛的普通话,我吟咏着鸡蛋,猪肚,

和羊肉的价格,在新言辞的算盘上

琢磨着应该找多少钱,并想说出更多:

关于茄子颜色的一些事情,

不太容易辨认的果实,它们的滋味。

 

©王敖 'Chongwenmen Market' translated by Wang Ao.

 

腌三文鱼的一个侧面

 

橘黄与粉色的鱼片,从小真空袋里滑出,

肉的纹理,莳萝的气息,盐与糖的晶体,

一把飞快的刀子,锋芒不可以轻挥乱划。

 

而关于怎样食用的争论,像爱人的口角:

柠檬,不要柠檬,大块黑胡椒,辣椒面,

做三明治切片,还是方格碗里的刺身条。

 

在苏格兰被捕,又在斯堪的纳维亚被腌,

被防腐保藏,船运到牛津,握在我手里,

冬天的手,在冰冷如十二月之夜的车里

 

走了两个半小时,这条鱼,属于让我们

感到饥渴的爱,你所有欲望的一个侧面:

纤维渗的油是渴望,丰盛的肉体是狂欢。

 

©王敖 'A Side of Gravadlax' translated by Wang Ao.

Chinese poet, Wang Ao, has kindly shared some of his translations of my poems into Mandarin Chinese. Wang Ao is an Assistant Professor of Asian Languages and Literatures at Wesleyan University. He received his B.A. from Peking University, M.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, and Ph.D. from Yale. His main academic interest is classical Chinese poetry.

 

He has also published five books of his own poetry and has been the recipient of prizes such as the Anne Kao Poetry Prize and the New Poet Prize from People's Literature. He has translated the work of poets such as Wallace Stevens, Hart Crane, W. H. Auden, and Seamus Heaney into Chinese.

 

王敖,现任美国维斯里安大学助理教授。毕业于北京大学,华盛顿大学(圣路易斯)和耶鲁大学。他的主要研究兴趣是古典诗歌,亦从事诗歌写作,出版过五本诗集,获得过安高诗歌奖和人民文学新人奖。另翻译有史蒂文斯,哈特克兰,奥登,希尼等人的作品。