Kinh Cầu

Kinh Cầu có hai lời Bạt. Epilogue.

Epilogue I, Gấu đã dịch. Post lại sau đây

Bạt II, mấy lần tính dịch, nhưng cứ lần lữa. Lần này, chắc là đúng lúc của nó:
Tưởng Niệm Huế Mậu Thân

Đúng lúc?
In time

Every poem in time becomes an elegy
Mọi bài thơ, tới lúc, trở thành một bi khúc

Borges: "Possession of yesterday"


This is one of the most evocative poems that I'm aware of that treats of the human preoccupation with memories and time passing and a Golden Age. Other poets have and have done it well, but this one seems special and that last line . . .

Possession of Yesterday

I know the things I've lost are so many that I could not begin to count them
and that those losses
now, are all I have.
I know that I've lost the yellow and the black and I think
Of those unreachable colors
as those that are not blind can not.
My father is dead, and always stands beside me.
When I try to scan Swinburne's verses, I am told, I speak with my father's
Only those who have died are ours, only what we have lost is ours.
Ilium vanished, yet Ilium lives in Homer's verses.
Israel was Israel when it became an ancient nostalgia.
Every poem, in time, becomes an elegy.
The women who have left us are ours, free as we now are from misgivings.
from anguish, from the disquiet and dread of hope.
There are no paradises other than lost paradises.
-- Jorge Luis Borges --

Hôm Qua, Có

Tớ biết những gì tớ mất thì nhiều lắm đến nỗi tớ không thể bắt đầu đếm chúng
Và tất cả những gì đã mất, bây giờ, là tất cả những gì tớ có
Tớ biết tớ mất màu vàng, và màu đen và tớ nghĩ
Tới những màu sắc không thể nào với tới được
Như là những màu, mà, không mù, là thua luôn.
Ông cụ tớ mất, và luôn luôn đứng kế bên tớ
Khi tớ tính scan những vần thơ của Swinburne, tớ được biểu là, tớ nói bằng giọng của ông cụ tớ
Chỉ những người đã chết là của chúng ta
Chỉ những gì đã mất thì là của chúng ta
Ilium biến mất, tuy nhiên Ilium sống ở trong những vần thơ Homer
Israel là Israel khi nó trở thành một hoài hương xưa cũ
Mọi bài thơ, tới lúc, trở thành một bi khúc
Những nàng bỏ chúng ta thì là... của chúng ta
Vô tư như là chúng ta,
Từ ngần ngại, âu lo
Từ xao xuyến, thống khổ,
Từ bất an và khiếp sợ hy vọng
Không có thiên đàng nào khác
Ngoài những thiên đàng đã mất

Kinh Cầu


Anna Akhmatova



Ta biết
Như thế nào
Những bộ mặt bầm rập
Khi té xuống
Như thế nào
Nỗi kinh hoàng
Ánh lên
Dưới những cặp mi mắt
Những cơn đau rạch những vết hằn cứng ngắc
Trên má
Như thế nào
Những lọn tóc mầu vàng tro, hay màu đen
Bất thình lình trở thành bạc
Những nụ cười thất lạc trên những đôi môi chịu đựng, ẩn nhẫn
Và nỗi sợ run rẩy trong tiếng cười héo khô
Nhưng ta cầu nguyện không chỉ cho ta
Nhưng mà cho tất cả những người đứng đó cùng với ta
Trong cái lạnh độc ác của Mậu Thân
Nơi bức tường mù đỏ của đế đô những ngày thê lương đó



I learned how faces fall,
How terror darts from under eyelids,
How suffering traces lines
Of stiff cuneiform on cheeks,
How locks of ashen-blonde or black
Turn silver suddenly,
Smiles fade on submissive lips
And fear trembles in a dry laugh.
And I pray not for myself alone,
But for all those who stood there with me
In cruel cold, and in July's heat,
At that blind, red wall.
Anna Akhmatova
Trans. Judith
J'ai appris comment les visages tombent,
Comment la terreur sort de sous les paupières,
Comment la souffrance trace des lignes
De cunéiforme raide sur les joues,
Comment des mèches de blond cendré ou noires
Tournez l'argent soudainement,
Les sourires s'estompent sur les lèvres soumises
Et la peur tremble dans un rire sec.
Et je ne prie pas pour moi seul,
Mais pour tous ceux qui étaient là avec moi
Dans le froid cruel et dans la chaleur de juillet,
À cet aveugle, mur rouge.


There I learned how faces fall apart,
How fear looks out from under the eyelids,
How deep are the hieroglyphics
Cut by suffering on people's cheeks.
There I learned how silver can inherit
The black, the ash-blond, overnight,
The smiles that faded from the poor in spirit,
Terror's dry coughing sound.
And I pray not only for myself,
But also for all those who stood there
In bitter cold, or in the July heat,
Under that red blind prison-wall.
Trans. D.M. Thomas.



J'ai appris comment les visages se désagrégeaient,
Comment la peur se cache sous les paupières,
Quelle est la profondeur des hiéroglyphes
Couper en souffrant sur les joues des gens.
Là j'ai appris comment l'argent peut hériter
Le noir, le blond cendré, du jour au lendemain,
Les sourires qui ont disparu des pauvres en esprit,
La toux sèche de Terror.
Et je prie non seulement pour moi-même,
Mais aussi pour tous ceux qui étaient là
Dans le froid ou la chaleur de juillet,
Sous ce mur de prison aveugle rouge.

Epilogue II

Once more the day of remembrance draws near.
I see, I hear, I feel you:

The one they almost had to drag at the end,
And the one who tramps her native land no more,

And the one who, tossing her beautiful head,
Said: "Coming here's like coming home."

I'd like to name them all by name,
But the list has been confiscated and is nowhere to
be found.

I have woven a wide mantle for them
From their meager, overheard words.

I will remember them always and everywhere,
I will never forget them no matter what comes.

And if they gag my exhausted mouth
Through which a hundred million scream,

Then may the people remember me
On the eve of my remembrance day.

And if ever in this country
They decide to erect a monument to me,

I consent to that honor
Under these conditions-that it stand

Neither by the sea, where I was born:
My last tie with the sea is broken,

Nor in the tsar's garden near the cherished pine stump,
Where an inconsolable shade looks for me,

But here, where I stood for three hundred hours,
And where they never unbolted the doors for me.

This, lest in blissful death
I forget the rumbling of the Black Marias,

Forget how that detested door slammed shut
And an old woman howled like a wounded animal.

And may the melting snow stream like tears
From my motionless lids of bronze,

And a prison dove coo in the distance,
And the ships of the Neva sail calmly on.

March 1940
Anna Akhmatova
Trans. Judith


Again the memorial hour's drawing near.
You are the one I see and feel and hear:

Who was barely able to come to the window and stand,
The one who does not tread her native land.

Who looked at me and tossed her beautiful head,
And "Coming here is coming home," she said.

I'd like to call each one by name, in turn,
But someone took my list away to burn.

For them I've woven a wide shroud today
Of insufficient words I heard them say.

I've thought about them everywhere I've been,
I won't forget them in the new misfortune.

Someone might close my lips, I have no doubt,
Through which a hundred million people shout,

Let them remember me the selfsame way,
On the eve of my memorial day.

And if it ever be this land's intent
To honor me with any monument,

I give permission to that future nation,
With one condition, for the celebration:

Don't put it in my birthplace, ocean-battered,
My last connection with the sea's been shattered,

Nor in the Czar's park by the hallowed tree, *
Where an inconsolable spirit looks for me,

But here where for three hundred hours I had to wait,
And still they didn't open that certain gate.

Because even in blissful death I'd be afraid
To forget the clatter black marias made,

To forget the way the hated door slammed shut
And an old lady wailed like a wounded creature, but

Let from the lids of bronze, unmoving eyes
Snow melt and stream like the tears each human cries,

And let in the distance the prison pigeons coo,
While along the Neva, ships pass quietly through.


* This tree or stump in Tsarskoe Selo often figures in Akhmatova's poetry. It connects her with Pushkin, symbolizes her ties to Russian poetic tradition, etc.

Trans. Lyn Coffin

from “Requiem”

Instead of a Preface 
During the terrible years of the Yezhov Terror I spent seventeen  months waiting in the queues outside the Leningrad prisons. Once someone happened to 'recognize' me. Then a woman with pale blue lips who was standing behind me, and who had never before even heard of me, awoke from the blank numbness common to all of us and said in my ear (everyone there spoke in a whisper):
'Can you describe this?'
And I answered:
Then something resembling a smile slid over what had once been her face.
 (1 April I957)

Second Epilogue 
Once more the hour of remembrance:
I can see you all, hear you all, sense you all:

one they could barely help to the window, (1)
one who no longer treads this earth,

one who once tossed her beautiful head
and said, 'It's like coming back home.'

I'd wanted to call each one by name,
but the list's gone and there's nowhere to ask;

I've woven a broad shroud for them
out of thin words I heard from their lips.

I remember them always, everywhere;
even new sorrows won't make me forget;

and if they gag my worn-out mouth
through which a hundred million people

scream, then may I be remembered too,
each anniversary of my death.

And if ever in this country of mine
they should decide to put up a statue

to me, then I will accept this honor
on one condition: that it be placed

neither where I was born, by the sea -
my last tie with the sea has been torn -

nor by the tree stump I love in that charmed park,
the haunt of a spirit I can't console,

but here, where I stood for three hundred hours
and they never drew back the bolts:

because I fear that, in the bliss of death,
I may forget the rumble of Black Marias,

forget how they slammed that vile door
and a woman howled like a wounded beast.

And may its unmoving bronze eyelids
stream with tears of melting snow;

may a prison dove call in the distance,
and ships sail quietly by on the Neva.
(1940, Fountain House)
Robert Chandler
(1)            The window: i.e, the prison-building window outside which people queued, hoping to be able to hand in letters and parcels to be sent on to relatives who had been imprisoned [Robert Chandler’s]


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