Autumn




Autumn

The air deals blows: surely too hard, too often?
No: it is bent on bringing summer down.
Dead leaves desert in thousands, outwards, upwards,
Numerous as birds; but the birds flyaway,

And the blows sound on, like distant collapsing water,
Or empty hospitals falling room by room
Down in the west, perhaps, where the angry light is.
Then rain starts; the year goes suddenly slack.

O rain, O frost, so much has still to be cleared:
All this ripeness, all this reproachful flesh,
And summer, that keeps returning like a ghost
Of something death has merely made beautiful,

And night skies so brilliantly spread-eagled
With their sharp hint of a journey - all must disperse
Before the season is lost and anonymous,
Like a London court one is never sure of finding

But none the less exists, at the back of the fog,
Bare earth, a lamp, scrapers. Then it will be time
To seek there that ill-favoured, curious house,
Bar up the door, mantle the fat flame,

And sit once more alone with sprawling papers,
Bitten-up letters, boxes of photographs,
And the case of butterflies so rich it looks
As if all summer settled there and died.

October 1953

AGAINST THE POETRY OF PHILIP LARKIN

I learned to live with my despair,
And suddenly Philip Larkin's there,
Explaining why all life is hateful.
I don't see why I should be grateful.
It's hard enough to draw a breath
Without his hectoring about nothingness.

My dear Larkin, I understand
That death will not miss anyone.
But this is not a decent theme
For either an elegy or an ode. 


Czeslaw Milosz: "New and Selected Poems" 1931-2001



Mùa Thu


Đất trời chuyển động, hẳn là mạnh quá, nhiều quá?
Không: Nó quyết tâm giảm trừ mùa hè
Lá chết, rời hàng, rã ngũ, bỏ chạy, như sa mạc, như cát sông Hằng, cõi ngoài, cõi trên
Nhiều như chim, nhưng chim rồi bay, rồi bay mãi, mất…

Và đất trời rền rĩ, như con nước vỡ oà, từ xa.
Hay những nhà thương bịnh viện trống rỗng
Từng phòng, từng phòng tơi tả
Dạt về cõi Tây, có thể, nơi ánh sáng giận dữ
Rồi mưa khởi lên, năm tháng bất thình lình hoàn tất

Ôi mưa, ôi băng giá, còn quá nhiều điều
Đang đợi được thu vén:
Tất cả những chín mõm, những tươi sống đáng trách này
Và mùa hè, hăm he trở lại
Như bóng ma lởn vởn
Của một điều chi đó, cái chết khiến nó mới tuyệt vời
Quyến rũ làm sao! (1)

Và những bầu trời đêm trải ra, vãi ra, sáng ngời
Với gợi ý sắc bén về 1 chuyến đi theo kiểu Nguyễn Tuân –
Tất cả phải được trải ra, phải được vung vãi
Trước khi mùa màng mất tích, tiêu trầm, hoang phế….
Và trở thành vô danh, không còn những xuân hạ thu đông
[cái còn mẹ gì hết]!
Như 1 cái sân ở Luân Đôn, người ta không chắc tìm thấy nó.

Nhưng ích chi đâu, có còn chi đâu em, (2) ở đằng sau,
Ở cuối cõi sương mù
Mặt đất trần trụi, một ngọn đèn, những kẻ nạo, vét
Đã đến lúc tìm kiếm ngôi nhà kỳ cục, không được yêu thương
“Căn nhà của 1 tên thất tình”, thì cứ gọi đại như vậy – cette maison mal-aimée et curieuse –
Cài then cửa; choàng, che ngọn lửa mập

Và 1 lần nữa, ngồi một mình
Với những trang đời tan tác
Những tờ thư thời gian gậm nhấm
Những bức hình, hộp ảnh
Và ngăn bướm quá giầu có
Như thể tất cả mùa hè được chi li sắp xếp và chết, ở đó.

Autumn

The air deals blows: surely too hard, too often?
No: it is bent on bringing summer down.
Dead leaves desert in thousands, outwards, upwards,
Numerous as birds; but the birds fly away,

And the blows sound on, like distant collapsing water,
Or empty hospitals falling room by room
Down in the west, perhaps, where the angry light is.
Then rain starts; the year goes suddenly slack.

O rain, O frost, so much has still to be cleared:
All this ripeness, all this reproachful flesh,
And summer, that keeps returning like a ghost
Of something death has merely made beautiful,

And night skies so brilliantly spread-eagled
With their sharp hint of a journey - all must disperse
Before the season is lost and anonymous,
Like a London court one is never sure of finding

But none the less exists, at the back of the fog,
Bare earth, a lamp, scrapers. Then it will be time
To seek there that ill-favoured, curious house,
Bar up the door, mantle the fat flame,

And sit once more alone with sprawling papers,
Bitten-up letters, boxes of photographs,
And the case of butterflies so rich it looks
As if all summer settled there and died.

October 1953
Philip Larkin: "Collected Poems"

L'automne

L'air souffle: sûrement trop fort, trop souvent?
Non, il est déterminé à réduire l'été.
Les feuilles mortes désertent en milliers, vers l'extérieur, vers le haut,
Nombreux comme des oiseaux; mais les oiseaux s'envolent,

Et les coups retentissent, comme une eau lointaine qui s’effondre,
Ou des hôpitaux vides qui tombent pièce par pièce
Dans l'ouest, peut-être, là où se trouve la lumière fâchée.
Puis la pluie commence l'année s'achève soudainement.

Ô pluie, ô gelée, il reste encore beaucoup à faire:
Toute cette maturité, toute cette chair de reproche,
Et l'été, ça revient comme un fantôme
De quelque chose que la mort a simplement rendu beau,

Et le ciel nocturne si brillamment étalé
Avec leur allusion de voyage - tous doivent se disperser
Avant que la saison soit perdue et anonyme,
Comme une cour de Londres, on n'est jamais sûr de trouver

Mais n'en existe pas moins, au fond du brouillard,
Terre nue, une lampe, des grattoirs. Alors il sera temps
Pour y chercher cette maison mal-aimée et curieuse,
Bar la porte, manteau la grosse flamme,

Et asseyez-vous une fois de plus seul avec des papiers tentaculaires,
Des lettres mordues, des boîtes de photographies,
Et le cas des papillons si riches qu'il en a l'air
Comme si tout l'été s'installait là et mourait.

[Bác Gúc]

Note: Bài thơ -mùa thu - quá đỗi tuyệt vời!
(1) Đây là ý câu thơ & hình ảnh của FB Tường Vân
Có những thứ tàn úa nhưng không tàn tạ...mà còn diễm lệ hơn lúc tràn trề


https://www.facebook.com/luudieuvan/posts/3073889345960541

(2)

To U: Gửi hình cho mi chỉ làm khổ mi thêm, ích chi đâu?



Philip Larkin
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/48417/high-windows
When I see a couple of kids
And guess he’s fucking her and she’s
Taking pills or wearing a diaphragm,
I know this is paradise
Everyone old has dreamed of all their lives—
Bonds and gestures pushed to one side
Like an outdated combine harvester,
And everyone young going down the long slide
To happiness, endlessly. I wonder if
Anyone looked at me, forty years back,
And thought, That’ll be the life;
No God any more, or sweating in the dark
About hell and that, or having to hide
What you think of the priest. He
And his lot will all go down the long slide
Like free bloody birds. And immediately
Rather than words comes the thought of high windows:
The sun-comprehending glass,
And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows
Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless.
Philip Larkin, "High Windows" from Collected Poems. Copyright © Estate of Philip Larkin. Reprinted by permission of Faber and Faber, Ltd.
Source: Collected Poems (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2001)
****
Annus Mirabilis

Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three
(Which was rather late for me) -
Between the end of the Chatterley ban
And the Beatles' first LP.
Up till then there'd only been
A sort of bargaining,
A wrangle for a ring,
A shame that started at sixteen
And spread to everything.
Then all at once the quarrel sank:
Everyone felt the same,
And every life became
A brilliant breaking of the bank,
A quite unlosable game.
So life was never better than
In nineteen sixty-three
(Though just too late for me) -
Between the end of the Chatterley ban
And the Beatles' first LP.
Larkin didn't want to be thought nice, and sometimes wasn't.
A friend of mine - the writer Neville Smith - was a student
at Hull and found himself at a bus stop with Larkin. It was
pouring with rain and Larkin had an umbrella. Neville edged
closer and closer to the poet until finally Larkin said, 'Don't
think you're coming under my umbrella.'
'Don't think you're coming under my umbrella' could
serve as a description of a number of his poems. The
temptation of all art is to console, but Larkin's poems seldom
attempt to.
Philip Larkin

1922-1985

Philip Larkin was born in Coventry. He was educated at King Henry VIII School, Coventry, and St John's College, Oxford, where he was a contemporary of Kingsley Amis.
1945 saw the publication of his first book of poetry, North Ship, followed by two novels, Jill (1946) and A Girl in Winter (1947). Subsequent collections include The Less Deceived (1955), The Whitsun Weddings (1964) and High Windows (1974). He wrote two books of journalism, All What Jazz: A
Record Diary and Required Writing: Miscellaneous Prose, and edited the Oxford Book of Ttueniietb Century English Verse. For twelve years he worked in campus libraries before taking charge of the Hull University library from 1955 until his death. He was the recipient of innumerable honours, including the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. One critic said that Larkin was 'a laureate too obvious to need official recognition'. He died in 1985.

Alan Bennett




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