Simone Weil by Edward Hirsch




"Away from Dogma": In her "Spiritual Autobiography," a letter addressed to her friend Father Perrin, Weil writes: "Keeping away from dogma in this way, I was prevented by a sort of shame from going into churches, though I like being in them." She goes on to describe her three crucial contacts with Catholicism (Waiting for God)

Edward Hirsch:
Earthly Measures
Notes

Away from Dogma 

I was prevented by a sort of shame from going into
churches ... Nevertheless, I had three contacts with
Catholicism that really counted. Simone Weil 

I. In Portugal 

One night in Portugal, alone in a forlorn
village at twilight, escaping her parents,
she saw a full moon baptized on the water
and the infallible heavens stained with clouds.

Vespers at eventide. A ragged procession
of fishermen's wives moving down to the sea,
carrying candles onto the boats, and singing
hymns of heartrending sadness. She thought:

this world is a smudged blue village
at sundown, the happenstance of stumbling
into the sixth canonical hour, discovering
the tawny sails of evening, the afflicted

religion of slaves. She thought: I am
one of those slaves, but I will not kneel
before Him, at least not now, not with
these tormented limbs that torment me still.

God is not manifest in this dusky light
and humiliated flesh: He is not among us.
But still the faith of the fishermen's wives
lifted her toward them, and she thought:

this life is a grave, mysterious moment
of hearing voices by the water and seeing
olive trees stretching out in the dirt,
of accepting the heavens cracked with rain.

2. In Assisi

To stand on the parcel of land where the saint
knelt down and married Lady Poverty, to walk
through the grasses of the Umbrian hills
where he scolded wolves and preached

to doves and jackdaws, where he chanted
canticles to the creatures who share our earth,
praising Brother Sun who rules the day,
Sister Moon who brightens the night.

Brother Fire sleeps in the arms of Sister Water.
Brother Wind kisses Sister Earth so tenderly.
To carry a picnic and eat whatever he ate-
bread and wine, the fare of tourists and saints.

She disliked the Miracles in the Gospels.
She never believed in the mystery of contact,
here below, between a human being and God.
She despised popular tales of apparitions.

But that afternoon in Assisi she wandered
through the abominable Santa Maria degli Angeli
and happened upon a little marvel of Romanesque
purity where St. Francis liked to pray.
She was there a short time when something absolute
and omnivorous, something she neither believed
nor disbelieved, something she understood-
but what was it?-forced her to her knees.

3. At Solesmes 

From Palm Sunday to Easter Tuesday,
from Matins to Vespers and beyond, from
each earthly sound that hammered her skull
and entered her bloodstream, from the headaches

she sent into the universe and took back
into her flesh, from the suffering body
to the suffering mind, from the unholy breath
to the memories that never forgot her-

the factory whistle and the branding-iron
of the masters, the sixty-hour work week
and the machine that belched into her face,
the burns that blossomed on her arms-

from whatever weighs us down to whatever
lifts us up, from whatever mutilates us
to whatever spirits us away, from soul
descending to soul arising, moment by moment

she felt the body heaped up and abandoned
in the corner, the skin tasted and devoured;
she felt an invisible hand wavering
over the rags she was leaving behind.

Between the voices chanting and her own recitation,
between the heartbeats transfigured to prayer,
between the word forsaken and the word joy,
God came down and possessed her. 

Note: Mấy bài thơ này, đã post trên tanvien.net, nhưng chưa có bản tiếng Việt. Nay post lại trên New Tinvan, thêm phần tiểu chú của Hirsch, và sẽ có bản tiếng Việt sau. NQT


Away from Dogma

I was prevented by a sort of shame from going into churches ...
Nevertheless, I had three contacts with Catholicism that really counted.
-SIMONE WElL

1. In Portugal

One night in Portugal, alone in a forlorn
village at twilight, escaping her parents,
she saw a full moon baptized on the water
and the infallible heavens stained with clouds.

Vespers at eventide. A ragged procession
of fishermen's wives moving down to the sea,
carrying candles onto the boats, and singing
hymns of heartrending sadness. She thought:

this world is a smudged blue village
at sundown, the happenstance of stumbling
into the sixth canonical hour, discovering
the tawny sails of evening, the afflicted

religion of slaves. She thought: I am
one of those slaves, but I will not kneel
before Him, at least not now, not with
these tormented limbs that torment me still.

God is not manifest in this dusky light
and humiliated flesh: He is not among us.
But still the faith of the fishermen's wives
lifted her toward them, and she thought:

this life is a grave, mysterious moment
of hearing voices by the water and seeing
olive trees stretching out in the dirt,
of accepting the heavens cracked with rain.

Edward Hirsch: The Living Fire





Note: Bài đầu, trong ba bài, đã có bản tiếng Mít



Tránh xa Tín điều

Tôi bị ngăn trở một cách tủi hổ không được vô nhà thờ…
Tuy nhiên, tôi có được ba lần tiếp xúc với Ca Tô Giáo, và điều này thực sự đáng tính đếm tới

Simone Weil

1. Ở Portugal

Một đêm ở Portugal, một mình tại một ngôi làng khốn khổ buồn bã vào lúc chập tối, chạy trốn cha mẹ
Bà nhìn thấy một vừng trăng đầy được nước rửa tội
Và những khoảng trời không thể sa xuống,
Điểm lấm tấm bởi những đám mây

Sao hôm ở với chiều hôm
Một chuyển động tả tơi
Là những bà vợ ngư phủ kéo nhau xuống bãi biển
Mang những cây đèn cầy, trong những chiếc thuyền
Và hát những bài thánh ca thật là não lòng. Bà nghĩ:

Thế giới này là một ngôi làng xanh mờ mờ
Vào lúc mặt trời lặn
Sự chấp nhận xẩy chân vào cái giờ kinh điển thứ sáu
Khám phá ra những cánh buồm hung hung vào lúc buổi chiều
Cái tôn giáo đau đớn của những kẻ nô lệ.

Bà nghĩ:

Tôi là một trong những nô lệ
Nhưng tôi không quỳ gối trước Người
Ít ra vào lúc này
Không, với những chân tay bị hành hạ này, vẫn còn hành hạ tôi
Chúa không hiển hiện trong thứ ánh sá
ng lầm than như thế này
Trong cái thân thể, thịt xương bị sỉ nhục như thế này

Tuy nhiên niềm tin của những bà vợ ngư phủ vẫn nhấc bổng Bà lên và,
Bà nghĩ:

Cõi đời này là một nấm mồ
Khoảnh khắc bí ẩn, nghe những giọng nói bên bờ nước
Nhìn những cành ô liu vươn khỏi bùn bụi
Và chấp nhận những khoảng trời vỡ vụn ra với mưa.



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