法国诗人描写今天的上海 |《中外笔会》 Vol.30
CHINESE AND FOREIGN PEN CTALOGIUE
（France) Poem of Nicolas Kurtovitch
（Japanese）Poem of Zhao Qing
（Taiwan China）Poem of Chen Li
（Amercia）Poem of Xu Yingcai
（Amercia）Essay of Deng Siyu
Love of the people
Haïbun of Shanghai（Excerpt）
In the early morning I sit on the terrace and drink a glass of water
at noon I walk in the shade of the lime trees of Lu Xun Park
nothing is waiting for me outside or inside if not the cheeky bird
a few words exchanged with a passer-by we continue on our way
men and women are individual shadows
through the opening in the glass wall they stand at my sight
the grey of the sky fell on everything that moves
there, outside it’s my turn to go and mix my shadow with others
Here neither we do not remember
great builders of walls
the names of women in the kitchen
wherever I look at Barcelona or Xi'an cathedrals palaces etcetera I see unnamed workers
where are the brave stout men who piled up
stones and breaths make walls and castles
How are they tied up from one building to another
and smells and promiscuity
the elders experienced the bamboo forests
modern men do not imagine
brown or white cement, glass towers instead of wood
blocked in the east, the horizon stuck to the west, even in the sky
crammed how do they cope but how do they cope
We are under the protection of Jing An
nothing will happen to us, it shines with all its gold
at night nothing better, empty your glass
look at the street and the Jing An taking it easy
We moved away a few steps
the ferry disappeared the friends in its trail
have left us their affection
no smoke escapes from the thickets
the empty huts shelter for the night
the shadow of my memories
all this water flowing like rain to the river
the river goes to the sea the sea will grow
the sea has grown touching your window in the kitchen
from there filling up the house then your heart, with bliss and beauty
Tr. by Rumme Paul
Boarding a ship
Glittering light on the waves keeping to itself
Under the eaves
Listless shadows are falling
Boatmen are singing out songs
Previous memory vaguely recalls
Spreading painfully through the chest
Passengers cheering excitedly
Some of them shedding tears
Maple leaves on the shore
As if on fire
I gaze on them with tensed breath
Forlornly sinking into silence
Chanting chasing the vibrato
In my chest
A gentle breeze blows
Autumn colors flutter down
Scattering on the surface of the water
Applause and acclaim and cheering and sobbing increase
The boatmen’s song cannot be heard
The melody permeating the breast spreads throughout the body
I continue to gaze at the outer scenery
As before without letting out a cry
Remaining in silence
The undulating in this heart rises
The passions dance
At this moment again
It is hardly necessary to mention it
By the time it is spoken it is no longer there.
（英訳：RUMME PAUL 椙山女学園大学 准教授 ）
Tr. by Chang Fen-ling
You didn’t come as you’d promised.
You simply sent a breeze at sunset
to blow to me what smelled like
your shampoo. I failed to tell
its brand. Or maybe it was not
shampoo at all, but the smell of
your perfume, given forth from your neck,
armpits, navel, or breasts...
It was getting dark. Standing
in front of the exposed concrete wall of the church,
how I wished myself to be a follower of some
secret religious sect, and you
a saint, preaching via hidden aroma.
Even on the night campus,
they allow us, senior schoolchildren
retaking the course of introduction to physics,
to ponder on mechanics experiments
outside the classroom at the break.
For nearly thirty years, I’ve been flying
toward your sky like a ball.
How come I’ve never fallen and vanished
in the void universe behind you, even though
I’m an obstinate nihilist.
Under the swing, I’m grateful for your
tolerating my dissoluteness, which has swung you
from the horizon of disappointment to
a transient climax. Which is heavier
or hurts you more, a newton of
longing or a newton of sorrow?
I’m still a learner who is
not very attentive in class.
When we stand up from the seesaw,
I see that placed on one end are
the few metaphors which occur to me in class,
and on the other, the starry sky.
By Xu Yingcai
The road that takes me away from my hometown
Is a tow rope
This end strapped on my shoulder
The other tied to my childhood
Wherever I go
And the farther I go
The heavier my shoulder feels
Although at different ends
We are never separated
I carry what you’ve rooted in me
And by my nostalgia you seize me
What makes the rope vibrate
Is a jointly performed symphony of life
礼拜一大早，房东太太在洗脸台上出示了一张文告，大意是：“洗脸台只为洗脸之用，不准洗衣服。”晚上， 老王去给她请安时解释说“一切的衣服，他都是送到外边洗。只有手巾，为了卫生起见，须自己洗。”房东太太很肯定地说“手巾也不能在洗脸的地方洗。实在要洗，只好到地窖洗衣间去洗。每个礼拜准允你洗一次，这就是礼拜四早上。”老王说：“这不成。因重伤风，一天要好些手巾，隔一天去洗一次如何？”房东说：“那不行。”老王接着问“礼拜四早上要办公，晚上去洗如何？”她说“也不行。”而且说“你们中国人老是爱争论，毫无道理。”老王的要求都未能办到，面子上有点难堪。末了，还是那个先是和狗玩，后来又和他玩的房东太太的女儿，却插了嘴“呵，妈妈 ！”这句感叹词的意思，好像是表示抗议，觉得妈妈对这个中国人太刻薄了。
The American Landladies
Tr. by Jing Peng
A summer day in 1937, Mr. Wang met his old friend Mr. Fang at the train station. After the two packed up the car, they drove off. A zigzag drive took them through some long winding alleyways, before a signboard caught their eyes. He saw a window hanging "auspicious room for rent" small sign. Mr. Wang needed a place to live and here came a room for rent.
“How much? ” asked Mr. Fang，“Five and half dollars”，“Five we will take it”，“ Yes, deal.”
They got the room. They unloaded the car and moved the luggage in. With no time to catch a breath, they went off for lunch. It was Sunday, Mr. Fang and his wife decided to give their old friend a treat. They took Mr. Wang on a tour around the town – the Capitol, the botanical garden, and a few museums. After they had dinner at a Chinese restaurant, they took a stroll to see the neon-lit water fountain near the train station, there they bid goodbye and departed.
After four days spent on the train, Mr. Wang badly needed to catch up some sleep. It was a rather tiring day, after a full day of activities. Mr. Wang felt like a country fellow led into the emperor’s palace, a poor man blundered into a lord’s estate. Though he could hardly remember everything he saw, the tall buildings, streetful of automobiles, the crimson-lipped waitresses’ professional politeness, and their graceful moves to the beats of radio music left a good impression on him. Life began to resemble a dream, he thought. Just when he was about to undress, he heard knocking at the door.
Before he could reach it, a mid-aged bespectacled woman, who was also the housekeeper, already stood in front of him. She was apparently in her fifties with vigilant eyes. Wang felt pinned by her sight shot from the top of her pair of spectacles:
“Are you Chinese? Japanese?”
Mr. Wang answer :”I’m Chinese.”
“If you want to live in my place, you can not speak just a little English. “
Something in her tone provoked Mr. Wang, making him bolder:
Then more than a little, maybe. You see, I work for the Capitol Library, if my English is bad, they wouldn’t give me the job.
The woman rolled her eyes upwards, as of not convinced by what she just heard.
Forget it. But tell you something - you are living in my house, and every household has its rules. Here are mine: Always walk gently, I don’t see the point why you Chinese always make such noises when walking. Turn off the light and make sure the windows are closed before you leave. The Chinese like to leave the windows open and lights on. Keep things tidy and in order. I have to say that Chinese people are the messiest room keepers that I ever know. By the way, what time do you go to bed?
Around ten. Mr. Wang tried his best to suppress his annoyance.
Too late. All respectable Americans keep good hours. Go to bed early and rise earlier.
To such platitude Mr. Wang responded with a big yawn – which sort of worked. The woman cut short her speech:
I was about to tell you something more, but it is getting late, so we will have to find another time. But remember, live under my roof, you have to follow my rules; otherwise, there is a good chance that I will see you off. Goodnight, Mr. The door slammed shut.
Lying on bed, Mr. Wang was still absorbing the shock. It had been a tiring day, but the tender care he just received did enough to jolt him out of his craving for sleep, which was reduced to nil. How different the real Americans were from those that he met at the Christian school back in China, he thought, or those that he saw on the films. Back home, people thought America was land of milk and honey and envied him so much. They wouldn’t understand how the thought of the landlady made him shudder. Only if he were back home. He wouldn’t let anyone talking to him like that, he wouldn’t hesitate to quarrel. He would rather go sleep on the street rather than put up with such humiliation. Patience, he told himself.
The next morning when he woke up, the fatigue was hardly gone. But the terrible voice still rang in his head. He got off bed, with the foreboding that another censure would strike anytime. He didn’t dare to wear his shoes. Walking in socks, he felt like a thief sneaking in someone else’s home. He was so afraid that the landlady would suddenly break in and shout that he was being too noisy. Thank god there was a piece of carpet, so he wouldn’t soil his socks. After a moment, he sneaked out and washed his face, making sure that the marble basin was scrubbed clean when he finished. Then he returned to his bedroom to tidy up the bed.
The bed was wide, with width almost equal to its length. That made the work at hand extra hard. He had to go a half a circle to stretch the blanket, which was worn and washed for at least a hundred times. But no matter how hard he stretched it, it refused to cooperate – Last night, it was impeccably wrinkle-free; the place where the pillow was placed, a crate was made, like some American men’s hair. Now to great annoyance, the blanket defied his best effort to return to the state. As soon as he got the left side under control, the right rose up rebelliously, and when he got the foot side in order, the head side bucked into the air. Tired and defeated, Wong stopped and sat down. But in just a few minutes, his fear for the landlady got the better of him; afraid that she might come to tell him some other terrible things committed by the Chinese, he rushed to work again, despite his legs getting heavier and heavier.
The knocking at the door gave Wang a start. Must be the landlady who wanted to give another lecture.
It was rapid and he barely had time to get his clothes on, but not enough to wear his shoes. The door opened, without seeing who was out there, he bowed a ninety-degree bow, ready to apologize for anything that he was accused of.
But it was not the landlady, but his friend Mr. Fang, who came to invite Wang for breakfast and go to the government office to do registration stuff. Seeing the frustrated look on Wang’s face, Fang was rather confused:
What did you do last night? It is almost 8 o’clock, you had yet even properly dressed.
Wang said: I got up quite early, but couldn’t get the bedding stuff tidy. Something I may have to learn to do properly. Or maybe I need a wife to do it for me.
Fang laughed out loudly. This made Wang nervous and with what the landlady said in the back of his mind, he put his hand to cover Mr. Fang’s mouth.
Why are you laughing? He asked in a suppressed voice.
Why put your hand over my mouth?
The rule. The landlady hated laughter.
I laugh because you are such a country pumpkin, doing work that is not yours. Tidy up the bed, you don’t know that the Americans use a special tool that can do that sort of thing very easily? They also have machines to clear the floor. It is the landlady’s job and you don’t need to worry a bit about it.
Really? But I am afraid of her. She gave me a hard time last night.
Waiting when Wang put his clothes on the two went off for breakfast. On the way, Wang told his friend how terrible the landlady was. Then he went for work at the Capitol Library, where Mr. Wang asked his Chinese colleagues there not to visit him because the landlady hated visitors. But those Chinese had been here in America for so long that they were Americanized: some of them had cars, some had families, or “sweethearts”. After work, they had better things to do than visiting a bachelor like him.
After work, Mr. Wang had supper and took a lone stroll. A car taxi driver sounded the horn from behind. He must know that Wang was a foreigner by the way he walked.
Sightseeing? Five dollars, you will see the best sceneries of Washington.
Wang didn’t care for sightseeing. Trying to evade his stalker, he turned a few corners, before he realize that he had lost his way completely. In the end, he had to take a taxi to get home. Cost him one quarter of a dollar.
Now back in his room, Wang was about to write a home letter. Then he heard knocking again. Must be Mr. Fang, he thought, or his colleagues. The door opened, it was the landlady. Dressed in black, the window looked like she was in mourning. She carried a broom in her hand. Wang entertained the idea that it was not a tool for cleaning but one that she would sit astride and shoot into the sky.
Mr. whoever – remind me your name please… I am rather disappointed in you that this morning you didn’t say good morning when you left. And then when you came back from work, you didn’t greet me either. I appreciate that you understand there is only my daughter and me in this house - she is fourteen, and just started high school, by the way. When you live here, I believe we should treat each other like a family.
Mr. Wong felt rather moved by the suggestion that they should be like a family. Then he realized that making him feel good was not her intension.
I would also like to know the reason you didn’t clean the basin this morning.
Mr. Wong protested:
But I did. I washed it with my hands! It was clean!
She interrupted impatiently:
When I say washing the basin, I mean using the towel to dry it up – that is a rule. If there is still water on it, it is not considered “washed” by my standard. If you want to live here, then you have to follow my rules. Neither do I want to hear arguments from you since we are certainly not having a debate here. Goodnight, Mr.
The door was slammed shut.
In Mr. Wang’s head, he imagined that the woman flew out of the window, on her broom. I hope you would drop in Romania and got burnt by the locals, he thought.
Mr. Wang’s life settled down. Everyday, he went to work in the morning and came back in the evening rather tired. He had yet acquired neither books nor friends. He didn’t know the town enough and was too intimidated to explore it alone. All he could do was walking inside the room, but he had to be careful not to make noise to annoy the landlady. After some walking, he turned off the light and imagined that he was in China, seeing through the darkness, he saw the gunfire and dead bodies. Bored, he went to bed. He heard tree leaves rustling. He calculated how many days were still left before Sunday finally arrived.
A few days later, Mr. Wang caught flu. Everyday he sneezed profusely and coughed noisily. Now the first thing everyday he came home would be washing the half dozen of handkerchiefs soaked in mucus.
He managed to keep out of the way of trouble during the weekdays. But during the weekends, every time he went out, the persistent taxi drivers would leave him alone, pestering him with the sight seeing invitations. As a result, he found himself spending more and more time indoors. From one of the two windows, he saw the quiet street, covered in fallen leaves, scrap paper and cars. Below another, there was a yard, where there was nobody but a large dog, slow moving as if deep in thought. A young girl joined the dog and the two seemed to enjoy each other’s company enormously. The girl hugged the animal and nearly kissed him. Then she climbed onto his back and ride him, cuddle him, which made an exotic picture for Wang behind the window. Then the girl noticed him watching, was embarrassed and left. The dog stayed for a little longer and left too.
Another morning, Mr. Wang noticed a handwritten note on the washing basin: No clothes washing please.
That night Wong went to say goodnight and explain to the landlady:
All my dirty clothes were sent to the laundry, only the handkerchiefs were hand washed for sanitary reasons.
The woman said firmly: You can’t wash the handkerchiefs in the basin; if you have to wash them, you should go to the basement, and only once in a week, that is Thursday morning.
Mr. Wang protested: He got a runny nose. He used lot of handkerchiefs. He had to wash at least every other day.
The landlady rejected his plea resolutely.
Then he asked if he could do the laundry at night, this too was possible.
Why You Chinese like to argue so much. I hated argumentativeness.
Mr. Wang’s face blushed.
Oh, mother… The daughter of the landlady interjected, who was angry at the mother’s lack of sympathy.
Mr. Wong couldn’t take it anymore, he asked some friends to find him another place. Later, decided to move to the International apartments – although it was a little far away, but he made up his mind.
The landlady was rather surprised when he made the announcement.
You are not bad a tenant why do you want to move? Isn’t this place comfortable?
Why? He smiled, thinking: This is not a debate. He would prefer to keep her guessing. He turned his head away.
A couple days after he moved, he remembered that he didn’t return the keys, so he went back to return them. The landlady was not at home. Her daughter was there alone. Seeing him, she said: Mr. Wang, you are a good man… But why didn’t you want to live with us? She reached for her hand, as if he was an old friend already. But mindful of the dog that she was intimidate with, Wang recoiled from her touch.
The International apartment’s landlady was once married to a diplomat. She spent a few years in Europe and spoke German and French. Although no longer in her prime, she was nonetheless a charming lady, especially when she smiled. Although the woman was different from the predecessor, she had her own dark sides – a good actress, she kept many masks in reserve - when she was dealing with Europeans, the British, French or German, she was at her warmest and most admiring; to south Americans, she was friendly, to the Japanese, she was respectful, but when there was a Chinese or Pilipino standing in front of her, she turned patronizingly compassionate. She talked about China’s plight that it suffered from the bad Japanese, giving one the impression that she was sympathetic and on the verge of tears; but when she saw a Japanese, she was almost servile, a sight hard to bear for a Chinese. The Japanese embassy sometimes sent their chefs to make food for the tenants, and the landlady would be invited as well. In contrast, the Chinese embassy always kept their door shut; all one could see was the silk stockings hanged on their balcony. Occasionally, they held a dinner party, but the landlady was never invited. This obviously affected the way that the Chinese tenants were treated.
After a year in Washington, Mr. Wang moved to Harvard University. The first week he lived in a professor’s home. During the day, he did research; in the morning and afternoon, he went out looking for lodgings. Needless to say, this gave him more opportunity to see more American landladies.
At the university dormitory, he got a sheet of housing rental information. He traced to the address, only to be told to go off:
We don’t rent to Chinese – Why do you want to bother at all?
Despite such treatment, Wang always made sure that he was well-groomed, clean-shaven, hair combed, before he left. He hoped that the landlady would be impressed favorably by his appearance. After pressing the bell, he always remember to say excuse me before asking about the house.
Some landladies were so old that they could barely walk, when they opened the doors, you could hear their rattling lungs.
“What do you need? ”
“I would like to rent a room.”
Then the old lady examined Wong from head to toe.
In a slow voice, she said:
“I am afraid I don’t have one for you.”
Wang said thank you nonetheless and left.
Sometimes when the doors opened, seeing an Oriental face, the landladies didn’t bother to conceal her disappointment; there were all sorts of pretexts to be made – The house was rented out already. Those who were politer would tell you sorry, whereas those who were less so would just slam the door shut. Sometimes the landladies would tell you that the room they were renting was too small – that you were just looking for a small room played no role in the situation at all. Some say that your house is too large, and she didn’t care if you want to rent a bigger room and plan to find a roommate.
There is a third type. Who would ask you if you are Chinese, Japanese or Pilipino. If you say that you are Chinese, she would tell you that she only rent to Japanese and Filipinos. But had you told her that you were Japanese, she would probably tell you that she only rent to Chinese. Some experienced would say that they were Orientals, but the American landladies would say that they wanted nothing to do with all Orientals and shut the door in your face.
There was a more tactful type. Who saw that you were Chinese and didn’t know how to turn you down, they would tell you with a slight stutter – I have to wait for my husband to come back and discuss with him before I can give you an definitive answer. He remembered that in 1938, he spent a full week to find a room in Cambridge, after taking all sorts of quizzes from landladies. If your answer was ready and your way of phrasing it pleasant enough, then it wouldn’t be too hard, but for those who were duller, and clumsy with words, you would in all likelihood receive a cold face that would stay with you for the rest of the life.
Occasionally, there were landladies who were so kind to the Chinese – they would even hug you. Even the housing they provided were not ideal and they would have the grace to invite you for a chat, a cup of coffee, or even dinner. Even though you decide not to rent the room – too small, too hot, or too far away, you feel being treated as a friend, or maybe you are already a friend.
After three or four years, Wong was already an “old American” in the eyes of new-comers – when he met friendly landladies, he sometimes asked why, the answers would usually be that about more than a decade ago, a Chinese tenant made a good impression – diligent, quiet, clean and had a good relationship with her children and generous - taking them to dinners, so they were willing to make friends with the Chinese. For those who said that they didn’t want to rent to the Chinese, usually the reason is that two decades ago, when they were young housewives, a Chinese tenant made a terrible impression – he was vulgar, constantly joking with women, had too many visitors and kept an owl’s hours, typing in the night, didn’t turn off the lights, his room always a mess, usually the impression outlasted the tenant, as they swore that they would never take chances with other Chinese.
There was once a landlady who was near-hostile – When Wang pressed the button of the door bell, she didn’t respond but walked upstairs. When Wang persisted and pressed a few times more. Finally, she came out:
I don’t like your people.
Mr. Wang was angered by such an answer:
“Did you go to collage?”
“No, I went to high school”
That perhaps explains your narrow-mindedness.
I am not narrow-minded. Had a Chinese tenant some ten years ago. Terrible man. Had lots of students coming to visit him during the day – loud talkers, impossible to have a moment of quiet. At night, his two American girlfriends would come alternately; would stay until four or five in the morning. While they were here, all the five lights would be lit and they would drink and sing and caused a immense stir in the neighborhood. We kept getting complaints from neighbors. Since then we never let a Chinese to come close.
It appears to Mr. Wang that just like Chinese thought Americans were all millionaires, the Americans saw the Chinese as ambassadors of their people. If the ambassadors left good impressions on the Americans, then the rest the Chinese would be automatically good; if this Chinese left a bad impression, then all the Chinese must be bad. Such epiphany gave Mr. Wang a sense of foreboding to the prospect of Sino-American friendship, it seems that all the good will can be ruined by the bad impression of one man, which is mightier than all the treaties, loans and aids.
Before and after the war, American housing supply was in short supply. This shortage was also reflected on the American housewives’ faces. All these signboards were gone. The house agents didn’t care to answer your enquiries – there were too many of them and no houses for rent. It was really hard time for the Chinese renters.
Under such difficult circumstances, it would take great amounts of luck to find lodgings; for those who were less fortunate, sleeping outdoors in the open was the only option. After three years, Wang finally found a place to have his family settled down, then the war began, within a few weeks, situation changed – rooms were plenty. However, this has nothing to do with change of American perception of the Chinese people or China, but due to that many American housewives had sent their sons off to the Pacific to fight the Japanese. For these people, they might understand that China was fighting the Japanese and although it had lost battles, it had yet given up fighting.
Finding a house was like finding a spouse, sometimes, it take a great deal of effort and you can still come back empty-handed, sometimes, it was so easy and all it took was a willing heart. If the house is a fortress, then this fortress had a weakness, which are the daughters of the landlady. If only one can impass this knowledge to the students before sending them abroad.
The Chinese students like to make jokes about the LLD, which stands for Landlady’s Daughter. Quite often the warmth of the landladies’ daughters made the Chinese tenant forget the coldness that they received from their mothers. Even when they went home, the warmth lingered. Many years later they could hardly remember the harsh landladies, but the good impression left by the good daughters had a way of staying in their memories, so much so that it was so overwhelming they forgot the bad things that they should better keep in mind.
艾伦·昭琼（美国）、埃纳斯蒂娜•佩伦（阿根廷）、安妮特·胡克（瑞士）、Bita Ashrafi（伊朗）、陈东东（中国）、程庸(中国)、褚水敖（中国）、华纯（日本）、河崎深雪（日本）、葛红兵（中国）、Gy holton（英国）、高海涛（中国）、妮吉娜（乌兹别克斯坦）、梁小曼（中国）、玛丽娜•波尔切利（阿根廷）、尼古拉斯·克托维奇（法国）、南妮（中国）、邱辛晔（美国）、萨莎（俄罗斯）、Sabine Hesemann M.A.（德国）、塔考姆•珀伊•拉吉夫（印度）、王宏图（中国）、王明韵（中国）、严力（美国）、杨炼（英国）、Zraidi El Houcine （摩洛哥）、詹姆斯·谢里（美国）
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