2009/7/8

LES FEUILLES MORTES

落葉

Les feuilles mortes by Jacques Prévert

啊!我多希望你會記得,
我們相識的快樂日子。
在那時候,生命多麼美好!
連太陽也比今天熾熱。
漫天落葉如回憶被堆積成山。
你看,我沒有忘記……
漫天落葉如回憶被堆積成山,
也堆積起成思念和遺憾,
教北風帶進
被人遺忘的寒夜
你看,我也沒有忘記,
那一首 你曾為我唱過的歌。

好像一首 我們的歌
你愛著我 我愛著你
我們活在 我倆的世界裡
你曾愛我 我曾愛你
歲月悄悄溜走 分開了相愛的人
慢慢地 聲音也消失無踪
連潮水也抹掉 我們留在
沙灘上 分離的足印

漫天落葉如回憶被堆積成山,
也堆積起成思念和遺憾。
我以沉默 以堅定 的愛,
微笑著 感恩著 回望一生
你是我此生的最美,此生的最愛,
你教我如何能忘記?
曾經如此絢麗的人生!
連太陽也比今天熾熱。
你是我最溫情的愛人,
但我只能悔恨,悔恨。
那一首你為我唱過的歌
一直一直在我耳邊飄過。

好像一首 我們的歌
你愛著我 我愛著你
我們活在 我倆的世界裡
你曾愛我 我曾愛你
歲月悄悄溜走 分開了相愛的人
慢慢地 聲音也消失無踪
連潮水也抹掉 我們留在
沙灘上 分離的足印

翻譯
黃懷琰
2009年2月1日/巴黎


LES FEUILLES MORTES


Oh! je voudrais tant que tu te souviennes

Des jours heureux où nous étions amis

En ce temps-là la vie était plus belle,

Et le soleil plus brûlant qu’aujourd’hui

Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle

Tu vois, je n’ai pas oublié...

Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle,

Les souvenirs et les regrets aussi

Et le vent du nord les emporte

Dans la nuit froide de l’oubli.

Tu vois, je n’ai pas oublié

La chanson que tu me chantais.


C’est une chanson qui nous ressemble

Toi, tu m’aimais et je t’aimais

Et nous vivions tous deux ensemble

Toi qui m’aimais, moi qui t’aimais

Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s’aiment

Tout doucement, sans faire de bruit

Et la mer efface sur le sable

Les pas des amants désunis.


Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle,

Les souvenirs et les regrets aussi

Mais mon amour silencieux et fidèle

Sourit toujours et remercie la vie

Je t’aimais tant, tu étais si jolie,

Comment veux-tu que je t’oublie?

En ce temps-là, la vie était plus belle

Et le soleil plus brûlant qu’aujourd’hui

Tu étais ma plus douce amie

Mais je n’ai que faire des regrets

Et la chanson que tu chantais

Toujours, toujours je l’entendrai!


C’est une chanson qui nous ressemble

Toi, tu m’aimais et je t’aimais

Et nous vivions tous deux ensemble

Toi qui m’aimais, moi qui t’aimais

Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s’aiment

Tout doucement, sans faire de bruit

Et la mer efface sur le sable

Les pas des amants désunis.



Jacques Prévert, Paroles (1945)

Musique : Joseph Kosma

Chanson : Yves Montand

2009/7/2

Kubrick Poetry in HKU


HKU Summer Institute in the Arts & Humanities



Writers' Monday Forum

夏日詩歌/Summer Poetry


時間 Time2009/7/27 (Mon) 7:30pm-9:30pm

地點 Venue:香港大學圖書館一樓 Hong Kong University Library Atrium 

主持 ModeratorPolly Ho

詩人來賓 Guest Poets Zhao Xia (趙霞), Claire Lee(卡兒), Viki Holmes, Adam Radford 


We read in summer. We read poetry in summer. We are going to read summer poetry in this summer. 


We have 2 Chinese poets, Zhao Xia (趙霞) and Claire Lee(卡兒) and 2 poets from the UK, Viki Holmes and Adam Radford. They blossom in the young age and they are going to speak of their experience in writing poems and their unique and sensitivity in the flow of the seasons, especially summer. How do they react to the stingy summer heat? How do they doze off and daydream at the breezy beach? And How do they contemplate at the mid-night alone?


(Kubrick詩會被邀請入香港大學作一次交流,活動形式與以往一樣,只是地點不同,最後我們有10分鐘讀詩時間,歡迎帶你的詩來。)



ABOUT Zhao Xia (趙霞)

Zhao Xia is a versatile poet and artist who is currently working as a music agent in Shanghai. Her poetry work are anthologized in an important literary and poetry magazine “Today” and “Another Kind of Nation: An Anthology of Contemporary Chinese Poetry” which is published in the US in 2007. Part of her work has been translated into German and Dutch. Her books of poetry include “Seven Lilies in Barbarism” (蒙昧中的七朵百合), “Mute” () and Chinese translation of German poems “Small Translation Book” (小譯集). Other translation works include Paul Celan, Ingeborg Bachmann and Günter Grass. She was one of the leading editors in Peking University's online literature magazine Wen Xue Zi You Tan(文學自由譠) and another important poetry website Poemlife(詩生活). 



ABOUT Claire Lee(卡兒)

Claire was born and grew up in Hong Kong, graduated from Hong Kong Arts School, working as illustrator, designer and magazine stylist. The first appearance of her art in a local gallery was a series of mannequin heads installation inspired by war photography, named “Devastated” and followed by her first solo exhibition “Muse” which was held in May 2008 under the theme “Tree as a muse in this city”. Claire has also engaged herself in writing poems in Chinese and English. Her three Chinese poetry books were released from 2005 to 2007. And her English poems have been selected recently and being published in a poetry anthology Not a Muse. Her upcoming second solo painting exhibition “Chirrup cuts my eyeball and bleeds the weight of a feather” will be held in July 2009 in Hong Kong.


ABOUT Viki Holmes

Viki Holmes is a widely anthologised and prize-winning British poet and performer who began her writing career in Cardiff as part of the Happy Demon poetry collective. She has been living and writing in Hong Kong since 2005. Her poetry has appeared in literary magazines and anthologies in Wales, England, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, Macao and Singapore. She was twice a finalist in the John Tripp Award for spoken Poetry (Wales), and was a runner-up in Hong Kong's inaugural Poetry Slam. Her first collection, miss moon's class is published by Chameleon Press (Hong Kong)  and she is  co-editor of the Haven (Hong Kong) anthology of world women's writing  Not A Muse. When not writing, she is a kindergarten teacher, and she has been a guest lecturer at the Hong Kong Institute of Education, St Stephen's College and for The Education Development Bureau. 


ABOUT Adam Radford 


Adam grew up in Hong Kong and received his literature and religion degree in the University of Southhampton. He has been writing for about 15 years in journals. He writes mainly about the small facets of life, simple connections, human experience of the inside and outside world. He is a strong exponent of formed poetry and tends to write in both free and sculpted verse. His influences are Ted Hughes, Elisabeth Bishop, T.S Eliot, Louis Macneice, Vasco Popo and the old fogies: John Milton, John Donne, Shakespeare, et al.

Agnes Lam's Poetry selection

The apple


The apple

glistening with dew --

it has not sinned

and belongs to paradise.


(1976)


The echo of your footsteps


Earth and dust,

I do not presume to touch

the sand moved

in your walk


through the yard,

the corridors, the many rooms,

I can hear

the echo of footsteps


tapping through the silicon chips,

with every stroke lapping the water,

jumping on every grain of rice as it is fried,

chasing the children as kites fly.


Why should I need

to see you face to face 

if I can trace 

the echo of your pace?


(1988)



The flowerpot


“It must have been

very cumbersome

for you to carry

such a big parcel

when you must have 

so many other

things to pack in.

He really shouldn’t have 

bothered you.”

I had thanked

your friends, the couriers...



And now,

it stands before me,

unwrapped from layers

upon layers

of gold and blue

Wedgwood paper--

this Greek flowerpot.


What shall I put in it?


Even a cactus can die

with me --

It seems too valuable,

in any case,

to soil with plants.

Will not the black dirt

lodge itself

into the soft smiles

and loose locks

of these Grecian youths

and maidens?

What if the loam

stains the airy garments?

Earth tarnishes

this ancient imagination? --


And where shall I place it?


The top of the cabinet

is too austere to match.

Next to the telephone,

it may fall in shatters.

If on my table,

files will bury it.

And on the desk behind,

it will be forgotten --


Not knowing what to do with it,


I place it carefully

back into the wrappings,

cradled against the box,

crumpled for its protection,

and lock it safely

in my drawer...


Only I will know it is there --

this Greek flowerpot

from my little brother,

one year my junior,

who now earns enough 

to send me this gift,

when once I had to subsidise,

with my tuition money,

his navy wintercoat,

needed for teen attractions.


My brother,

now a father

of a four-year-old,

smiling at me

from my noticeboard,

beaming as he was

in his rabbit suit

upon graduation

from kindergarten.


My brother,

responsible for 

safety belts in Hong Kong,

representing the government

in London,


and I,

married to another country,

half a world away,

never meeting

on our visits home,

by a month or two,


except in this flowerpot

held briefly in his hands,

now cradle in mine--


let it hold 

what it already holds

and be placed

where it has always been.


(1986)


The road taken


Many routes can take me 

home -- Singapore is 

so small, so round,

you cannot be more

than five kilometres off

or four dollars more by cab.


So why not choose 

the road I like

where driving is freer,

trees greener, sea breeze clearer,

memories dearer,

though it may be longer?


So many other things

in life -- you cannot choose. 


(1990)


Woman to woman


I had met them,

got to know them


as people with offices,

telephone extensions,

bookshelves, tutorial chairs

and notecards

of scrawly handwriting,


people with husbands

and a son or daughter,

who goes swimming,

takes lessons of sorts --

pictures on Kodak paper.


We had exchanged

smiles and greetings

in the corridor,

the pantry

or over the phone.


I had lunched 

and dined with them

at the canteen,

the clubhouse

and the hotel restaurant.


And then I read

their poetry ...

lizards slithering through running sand

crying to escape falling into caves

subterranean  rivers

gushing through buried treasures

the mummies are sleepy


in the early morning

conches glisten with coral dust

proffering the sounds from the deep

all the barracudas have evaporated

and the whales are expecting


a generation of orphans

not yet menstruating walk the city

while women in pain with first babies

labour beneath rubble

and the crocodiles are crying


... woman to woman


What can be said 

in the corridor 

as the cleaners pass

or over the phone 

between classes?


Yes -- that was interesting,

wasn’t it?

the workshop -- 

And how was the poetry

competition you judged? 

I saw you on TV last night --

Oh that -- more exciting

than the conference,

I must say --

there was this man

who just kept asking questions --

okay -- talk to you later --

I have to go --

meeting my publisher --


Poets?


“I’m not coming home

for dinner.”

“It;s okay.”

The toilet bowl

needs disinfecting;

algae on the bathtiles

are colonising. 

It’s time to change

the bedsheets

and the underwear

has to be soaked


throughout the night 


(1986)


Let me die at home


Promise me


when I grow old, if you are

still alive, you will not

send me to a hospital

to die -- a strange place

with unknown faces breathing,

voices walking in the air.


Let me die at home

in our own bedroom

with my seasoned pillows,

faded sheets,

my underwear

in neat cupboard piles.


Let me lie at home

where photos scatter

in different drawers,

magazines open

across the rug,

cushions fall.


Let me stay at home

please , no commotion

after the late news,

nervous calls, loss of tempers,

ambulance admission till 2 AM-

not for you, not for me.


Don’t give me

an operation,

however large the growth,

no brain scan, no endogram,

no drips of nutrition,

no oxygen. 


Don’t move me

from hospital to hospital

in search of best surgeons.

Consider my age,

consider, 

and let me go.


Quietly I came into this world --

my father was fishing in dawn waters --

let me gently leave.


Just hold me as I lie in our bed,

my lips on your fingertips

and I will softly go


home


while my red bougainvilleas 

wait for next pruning,

flowering in some two weeks,

a single stalk of golden showers

flutters

in evening mist.


(1989)


What the body needs

1998 is a bad year.

It began with the bird flu,

no chickens for Chinese New Year.

Then came the red tide with dead fish,


speculators on the Hong Kong dollars.

Unemployment has climbed to 4.8 per cent.

Property prices have almost halved.

The Hang Seng Index goes down and down.


A few million lost on paper,

I am spending money as usual,

hoping to boost the economy

with my little expenditure.


How can I complain?

I still have my job and pay

and someone to welcome me

when I open the door at home.


Whether it’s a Mid-Levels’ apartment

or 400 square feet in old Wanchai,

it’s only three feet by six

that my body sleeps on.


Whatever the feast on the table --

abalone, shark’s fin, sashimi,

what I can eat is limited

by the size of my stomach. 


However we may dream or lust,

bodily needs are fairly constant.

But it’s easy for me to be thankful when

what I have is already someone’s heaven.


If my family were swept away by Yangtze waters

and blisters began festering on my legs,

if I were raped as my home was burning,

would I be grateful still for the breath to utter a prayer?


Perhaps I know what the body needs.

But do I know what the body can endure?

God, the girl in Indonesia raped with a broom--

did she wake up in heaven?


(1998)


Empress for a month


Did you know,

our Empress Dowager,

when you were insisting 

on taking funds

from the national treasury

meant for the protection of the people

to build the Summer Palace

for your personal treasure 

that one day

the fruits of your labour,

or at least your imagination,

could be enjoyed

by anyone? 


They can sleep where you slept,

bathe where you bathed,

gossip in your covered walkways,

frolick in your lake,

smell your flowers of every season,

chase your butterflies or their descendants

and eat a reproduction 

of your thirty-course dinner

even for lunch...


For a certain fee,

so I heard,

anyone can be imperial.

No questions about lineage or

nationality will be asked.

But at twenty thousand a month

(or was it ten?)

even in Renminbi,

the Money of the People,

it is still 

not quite for the people,

the Chinese people. 


(1998) 


Smell the roses


East campus, west campus,

everywhere I walk in May,

roses are blooming.


Blood red and crimson,

fiery orange, lipstick pink,

violet, blush and white.


Long stem roses stand tall,

proud as an English garden.

Low bushes hedge pavements.


Large petals unfurl one by one.

Pon pon clusters fall in confetti.

In shallow cups, yellow centres glow.


No other flower seems to grow

for fifty years on this Chinese campus,

only roses of every fragrant colour.


But everyone is reading on benches,

cycling to classes, rushing for meal times,

listening to the Voice of America.


No one is stopping to be

with roses, except me, 

a visitor.


When I leave

tomorrow, who will

smell the roses?


(1998)


Vanilla in the stars


When I was a child,

I used to gaze at the stars above


our garden of roses, jasmine and lingzhi by the sea,

wondering how far away they really were,

whether they were shining still at the source

by the time their light reached me …


I was told that everyone was born with a star

which glowed or dimmed with the fortunes of each.

I also heard people destined to be close 

were at first fragments of the same star


and from birth went searching for each other.

Such parting, seeking, reuniting might take

three lifetimes with centuries in between.

I had thought all these were but myths …


Now decades later, I read about the life of stars,

how their cores burn for ten billion years,

how towards the end, just before oblivion,

they atomize into nebulae of fragile brilliance –


ultra violet, infra red, luminous white, neon green or blue,

astronomical butterflies of gaseous light

afloat in a last waltz choreographed by relativity,

scattering their heated ashes into the void of the universe …


Some of this cosmic dust falls onto our little earth

carrying hydrocarbon compounds, organic matter

able to mutate into plant and animal life,

a spectrum of elemental fragrances …


Perhaps on the dust emanating from one ancient star

were borne the first molecules of a pandan leaf,

a sprig of mint or basil, a vanilla pod, a vine tomato,

a morning frangipani, an evening rose, a lily of the night …


Perhaps our parents or grandparents or ancestors further back

strolling through a garden or a field had breathed in the scents

effusing from some of these plants born of the same star

and passed them on as DNA in the genes of which we were made …


Could that be why, on our early encounters, we already sensed

in each other a whiff of something familiar, why when we are near,

there is in the air some spark which seems to have always been there,

prompting us to connect our pasts, share our stories even as they evolve …


… till the day when we too burn away into dust

and the aromas of our essence dissipate

into the same kaleidoscope of ether light

to be drawn into solar space by astral winds …


… perhaps to make vanilla in a star to be

before the next lifetime of three?


Agnes received the Nosside International Poetry Prize (Special Mention) in 2008.

Does poetry come from the rain?




(Polly Ho)


Agnes Lam (林舜玲) presents a classical feminine poet impression when I first met her in Kubrick. This primitive impression is confirmed when I read her books of poetry. I hear a tender and sensitive voice. 


Although Agnes was born and raised in Hong Kong, she found herself to be better expressed in English than in Chinese. She started writing English poems at an early age of 13. Why did she write poems? In her book “Women to Women”, she once said “To me, poetry is part of everyday life.” which is so similar to the Kubrick Poetry objective in our website. We also see poetry not only as literary but as a way of living. “Today I arrive earlier and I was sitting looking at the rain outside. Does poetry come from the rain or the people moving in the bookstore? Maybe. I see poetry everywhere in everything. In a sense that it comes from nothing.” 


“Women to Women” is her first poetry book published in 1997 and “Water wood pure splendour” is her second poetry book in 2001. Owing to the name of her first poetry book, she is recognized as a feminine poet but she never has the consciouses to write ONLY from woman’s point of view. It is Agnes’s point of view and feelings. 




Agnes has been teaching in the university for many years. Ever since graduation from the university of Pittsburgh in 1984, she taught at the National University of Singapore until 1990, thereafter, the University of Hong Kong as associate professor. She teaches students as well as teachers how to teach. What is the difference between teaching students and teachers? “It’s easier to teach teachers because they know what and why they are here to learn.”



The poem “Vanilla in the Stars” earns Agnes the Nosside International Poetry Prize special mention in 2008. “This poem can describe the myth of human relationship, the relationship of Polly and me or Mr Leung Ping Kwan and me. This is only the third time I met Polly, first in Kubrick and second in Outloud. For Mr Leung Ping Kwan, he is my most favourite Chinese poet. We both teach in HKU but we never met each other in the campus though we are just a few blocks away. Then we came to know each other in a conference in Toronto in 1992 and remained good friends though we seldom had the chance to meet.”




After the poetry event, I received a few poems inspired by Agnes’ reading and the rain. The light of the stars has reached the heart of the audience. Poetry, sometimes, does come from the rain. 


(photos by Adair)