Poetry: Learn New Words with Song

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Wang Xiong was born in July, 1985 in Taipei, Taiwan, where he still lives with his two cats. He graduated from the Department of Chinese Literature and dropped out of the Master's Program of the Graduate Institute of Taiwanese Literature, he is currently working in journalism. He has previously been awarded National Taiwan University Prize for Modern Verse.This poem won the Modern Poetry Judge's Award of the 34th United Daily News Literature Prize.

Amidst the drudgery of every day life, I hope to say something more. I am still yet to gain an understanding of life, god, and the nature of truth in the world, and I haven't given up on asking. In the face of towering bafflement, I write down a few lines, if they happen to have a little bit of rhythm to them, then I call it a poem. This poem is an attempt at setting down in words all the things that I've yet failed to grasp, to crystalise all my expectations and efforts in the form of a "you".

 

Learn New Words with Song

 

That's a cloud, this is a bird

That's the sky, the stars, the moon

That's a horse, this is time.

This is you, and that is me

That which we

Cannot see

Must be called love

 

That's a cat, that's an elephant

Further still are the mountains and trees

This is language

Language is an ocean, we're boats upon it

Language flows between us

Laden as we are with memories

We stir up ripples in the plane of consciousness

 

This is a number

This is a letter, this is the world

At times we think things over at others we'd rather not

But they're usually just there

Perhaps with bad intentions

But not with lies. Lies are sincere

As sincere as we are

 

That is good; it's also evil

I don't know if that's god or not

but I hear He is made in our image

Perhaps it's better to believe

But that's all I can tell you

 

This is man.

Every man should have a name

They can be addressed and identified

known and loved

Adored or detested

I hope you'll not be like me

That you can live alone

Just you against the world

I'll teach you everything I know

A written promise I make to you

標題:識字歌

 

那是雲,那是鳥

那是天空和星星和月

那是馬,是時間。

這是你,而那是我

我想我們

看不見的

稱作愛

 

那是貓,那是象

更遠有山和樹

這是語言

語言是海,我們是舟

語言在我們之間流過

記憶被我們載著

划皺一片意識

 

這是數字

這是文字,是世界

我們有時候思考有時候並不

通常它們只是在那裡

可能有惡意

但不是謊。謊言是真實

真實如我們

 

那是善;也是惡

我不知道那是不是神

但聽說祂和我們有同樣形象

也許應該要相信

但我只能教你這麼多

 

這是人。

人都要有名字

可以被稱呼,被指認

被識被愛

被善或惡

我希望你不會是我

能夠一個人

對抗生活

我將教你我所知的全部

這是文字寫就的承諾

 Translated from the Chinese by Wang Xiong and Conor Stuart. The Chinese original was first published in United Daily News on 31st October 2012.

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 08 January 2014 17:34

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