Khai Bút Đầu Năm
Note: Toan tính văn học lớn của Gấu, cho năm 2019: Dựng lại Huế, qua những dòng thơ văn của Anna Akhmatova, khi bà viết về Petersburg và Kinh Cầu có thể được coi như là để tưởng niệm vụ Mậu Thân, Huế.
Trước mắt, dịch toàn bộ Kinh Cầu, qua bản của Judith Hemschmeyer, The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova
No, not under the vault of alien skies,
And not under the shelter of alien wings-
I was with my people then,
There, where my people, unfortunately, were.
Instead of a Preface
In the terrible years of the Yezhov terror, I spent seventeen months in the prison lines of Leningrad.
Once, someone "recognized" me. Then a woman with bluish lips standing behind me, who, of course, had never heard me called by name before, woke up from the stupor to which everyone had succumbed and whispered in my ear (everyone spoke in whispers there):
"Can you describe this?"
And I answered: "Yes, I can."
Then something that looked like a smile passed over what had once been her face.
April 1, 1957
Mountains bow down to this grief,
Mighty rivers cease to flow,
Hut the prison gates hold firm,
And behind them are the "prisoners' burrows"
And mortal woe.
For someone a fresh breeze blows
For someone the sunset luxuriates-
We wouldn't know, we are those who everywhere
Hear only the rasp of the hateful key
And the soldiers' heavy tread.
We rose as if for an early service,
Trudged through the savaged capital
And met there, more lifeless than the dead;
The sun is lower and the Neva mistier '
But hope keeps singing from afar. '
The verdict ... And her tears gush forth,
Already she is cut off from the rest,
As if they painfully wrenched life from her heart
As if they brutally knocked her flat,
But she goes on ... Staggering ... Alone ...
Where now are my chance friends
Or of those two diabolical years?
What do they imagine is in Siberia's storms,
What appears to them dimly in the circle of the moon?
I am sending my farewell greeting to them.
Note: Trên Tin Văn, tanvien.net đã từng dịch lai rai, nay dịch trọn bài thơ, mở ra năm 2019.
Năm 1998, khi vợ chồng Gấu qua Cali, lần đầu tiên, nhân dịp xb cuốn đầu tiên của Gấu, do nhà Văn Mới xb và phát hành, cùng với chuyến đi, là toan tính giới thiệu Steiner, nhưng khi đưa bản dịch bài viết Nhân Văn mở ra Ngôn Ngữ và Câm Lặng, cho NMG, và cùng với ông, ban biên tập tờ Văn Học, thì NMG lắc đầu, phán, cao quá, không hợp với độc giả Văn Học, thì, Gấu bèn nghĩ thầm, thôi đành bye bye tờ Văn Học. Về 1 phát, là bèn liên lạc với Phạm Chi Lan, chủ nhân diễn đàn VHNT trên lưới, và được vị này OK liền, và Tin Văn ra đời, rồi ra riêng, rồi, rồi…
Lần này, đánh cú chót: Viết 1 cái truyện vừa, dịch Anna Akhmatova, tưởng niệm và hồi sinh Huế!
Bản của D.M. Thomas
No, not under a foreign heavenly-cope, and
Not canopied by foreign wings-
I was with my people in those hours,
There where, unhappily, my people were.
In the fearful years of the Yezhov terror I spent seventeen months in prison queues in Leningrad. One day somebody 'identified' me. Beside me, in the queue, there was a woman with blue lips. She had, of course, never heard of me; but she suddenly came out of that trance so common to us all and whispered in my ear (everybody spoke in whispers there): 'Can you describe this?' And I said: 'Yes, I can.' And then something like the shadow of a smile crossed what had once been her face.
1 April 1957, Leningrad
The mountains bow before this anguish,
The great river does not flow.
In mortal sadness the convicts languish;
The bolts stay frozen. There's someone who
Still feels the sunset's glow,
Someone who can still distinguish
Day from night, for whom the fresh
Wind blows. But we don't know it, we're obsessive,
We only hear the tramp of boots, abrasive
Keys scraping against our flesh.
Rising as though for early mass,
Through the capital of beasts we'd thread.
Met, more breathless than the dead,
Mistier Neva, lower sun. Ahead,
Hope was still singing, endlessly evasive.
The sentence! and now at last tears flood.
She'd thought the months before were loneliness!
She's thrown down like a rock.
The heart gives up its blood.
Yet goes ... swaying ... she can still walk.
My friends of those two years I stood
In hell - oh all my chance friends lost
Beyond the circle of the moon, I cry
Into the blizzards of the permafrost:
In those years only the dead smiled,
Glad to be at rest:
And Leningrad city swayed like
A needless appendix to its prisons.
It was then that the railway-yards
Were asylums of the mad;
Short were the locomotives'
Stars of death stood
Above us, and innocent Russia
Writhed under bloodstained boots, and
Under the tyres of Black Marias.
They took you away at daybreak. Half wak-
ing, as though at a wake, I followed.
In the dark chamber children were crying,
In the image-case, candlelight guttered.
At your lips, the chill of an ikon,
A deathly sweat at your brow.
I shall go creep to our wailing wall,
Crawl to the Kremlin towers.
[to be continued]