Posts Tagged ‘songs’

PENCIN‘ IN THE PENCE

十一月 27, 2016

img_20161031_120014_062

PENCIN’ IN THE PENCE
(another apology to B.D.!)

How many pence must a pence pence down,
before you pence him a pence?
And how many pence must a white pence pence, before he pens
in the pence?
Yes, and how many pence must the pence’s balls pence,
before they’re forever penced?

The pences, my pence are pencin’ in the pence, the pences are pencin’ in the pence.

How many pence can the pences expense,
before they are penced to the pence?
And how many pence can some pence expense,
before they’re allowed to be pence? Yes, and how many pence can a pence turn his pence,
pretending he just doesn’t pence?

The pences, my pence are pencin’ in the pence, the pences are pencin’ in the pence.

How many pence must a pence pence up before he can pence the pence?
Yes and how many pence must one pence pence before he can hear pences pence?
And how many pence will he pence till he pens that too many pences have penced?

The pences, my pence are pencin’ in the pence, the pences are pencin’ in the pence.

MW November 2016

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TWO SONGS – 伊沙

七月 2, 2015

YI SHA

Yi Sha 《兩首歌》
TWO SONGS

my nephew from america
eric wan
spent a year in china to learn chinese
now he’s going back
he sums it up for me:
“in my year in china
I ’ve learned two chinese songs ….”
he sings them to me
oh! I know at once
the first is the national anthem
of the people’s republic
“march of the volunteers”
the second one is the song of the young pioneers
”we carry on for communism …”
he makes me laugh
I ask him,
“they made you a young pioneer?”
he says,
“I don’t know,
I got a red scarf
from our teacher”

June 2015
Tr. MW, 2015

Yi Sha 《親眼所見》
SAW IT WITH MY OWN EYES

a rainy day
a sprinkler truck
still spraying water
and with a song
one of those red
revolutionary anthems
just like a cartoon

June 2015
Tr. MW, 2015

Yi Sha painted

Yi Sha 《在北京仲夏詩歌節上》
BEIJING MIDSUMMER POETRY FESTIVAL

somehow I pity him
before and after
he reads a poem
he has to stress
his understanding of poetry
making him different
how many times I’ve heard him say
exactly the same with my own ears?
on the other hand
I put three centuries between me and him
between myself and other people
but I don’t explain that
it would be beneath me

June 2015
Tr. MW, 2015

Yi Sha painting

《两首歌》

我那生于美国的外甥
艾瑞克·万
跑来中国学一年中文
转眼就要回去了
他自我总结道:
“这一年里
我学会了两首中文歌……”
然后唱给我听
哦!我一耳朵就听出来了
第一首是中华人民共和国国歌
《义勇军进行曲》
第二首是中国少年先锋队队歌
“我们是共产主义接班人……”
把我听乐了
我问他:
“他们吸收你加入少先队了吗?”
他回答:
“我也不知道
反正老师送给我一条
红领巾”

《亲眼所见》

雨天里
一辆洒水车
还在洒水
伴奏音乐
是红歌
很卡通

《在北京仲夏诗歌节上》

他怪可怜的
每次朗诵前后
都要强调
他所理解的诗
与他人不同
这是我第N次
亲耳听他这么说了
反倒是
把他和他们
甩出三个世纪去的我
从来不说
我不屑于解释

JAILBIRDS AND HEROES – 西毒何殇 Xidu Heshang

十月 19, 2014

Xidu Heshang

Xidu Heshang
JAILBIRDS AND HEROES

that year our teacher loved chi zhiqiang
actor who went to jail for loose behaviour
we had a contest for prison songs
my “tears on prison bars” earned me first prize:
black “hero” fountain pen

2014-09-08
Tr. MW, Oct. 2014

AVENUE OF ETERNAL PEACE – 春樹 Chun Sue

六月 3, 2014

chun sue questionsChun Sue
QUESTIONS BEFORE GOING TO SLEEP

do you think you are an intellectual?

du you think you are an existentialist?
do you think you like to eat zha jiang mian?
do you think you are collecting antiques?

do you think you are following fashion?
do you think you have improved since you started?
do you think you have fulfilled your ideals?
do you think you’re a patriot?

do you think you love the truth?
do you think you dare to say it?
do you think you don’t fear retribution?
do you think you’re a good writer?

do you think you’re a poet?
do you think you’re a good mother?
do you think you’re a good father?
do you think you have loved?
do you think you are moral?
do you think microblogging makes China improve?

question mark mark mark
do you think they are prophets?
do you think you’re a groupie?

do you think there are things you don’t talk about?
do you think there are people you cannot offend?
do you think this novel is your autobiography?
do you think you have talent?

do you think your stuff is going to last?
do you think you have secrets?
do you think you have a big heart?

do you think you are fair to everyone?
do you think you’re responsible?
do you think you play by the rules?
do you think you have nothing to be ashamed of?

do you think you are self-important?
do you think you want revenge?
do you think you are scared of dying?
do you think you make people like you?
do you think you make people hate you?
do you think you have a future?
do you think you are falling behind?
do you think you are lonely?
do you think you are writing a poem?

this girl makes you crazy
let her go on babbling
asking herself

Tr. MW, June 2014

Chun Sue TraumChun Sue
DREAMING OF LIVING INSIDE A DREAM

Tr. MW, June 2014

Published in EPIPHANY magazine, fall 2014. Go on, look for this great Chinese Dream! I spent October 2014 at Vermont Studio Center with Yi Sha, editor of the daily New Century Poetry series 新世纪诗典. Chun Sue is one of the most well-known figures within this huge independent circle of poets.

Chun Sue Avenue of Eternal PeaceChun Sue
MORNING, AVENUE OF ETERNAL PEACE

Little Brother says: dad, Avenue of Eternal Peace
take a good look
This is the road you walked for over 20 years
I am sitting with Papa and Little Brother
I am almost crying
Finally I know
why I like the Avenue of Eternal Peace
Slowly the car passes the Military Museum
and the red walls of Zhongnanhai
and Xinhua Gate
Papa is small now he fits in an ash box
sitting between us
doesn’t take up much space
We pass the Gate of Heavenly Peace
and I see him
He stands on the square
watching us while we’re passing

Why was it so hard to write about you
You’re the son of a peasant
I was born in a village
I am also the child of a peasant
I put on army songs for you all night
Crying my heart out —
I like all that too.

2012-03-03
Tr. MW, May 2014

WE PLANT SUNFLOWERS – Li Khin-huann

四月 9, 2014
阮種日頭花
We Plant Sunflowers

李勤岸Li Khin-huann
Translated by Tiunn Boo-thinn 譯

We planted sunflowers at Parliament
To bring some sunshine inside
To bring all that mold to light
To bring the people’s rights to light

We planted sunflowers on the president’s lawn
To throw the floodgates wide open
And flood away the steel webs of a dictator
And let the young whales of democracy swim on, and on and on

We planted sunflowers in the streets
To bloom come rain and bloom come wind
To bloom for always and for all days
By the darkening roads we must yet take

We’re planting flowers in every alley and every valley
In the cities and in the country
In the mountains and by the sea

The sun will still flower
May the will of young hearts
Rise up high in our free skies

阮種日頭花
–《人面冊ê花蕊》264

李勤岸
Li Khin-huann
WE PLANT A SUNFLOWER

we plant a sunflower in parliament
to draw in the sun
stir up the poor state of our congress
stir it up for the rights of our people

we plant a sunflower in the president’s palace
to call a young sea spirit of Taiwan democracy
to stir up a flood
to sweep away the iron nets of dictatorship

we plant a sunflower on every street
to brave wind and rain
to stir and bloom
to shine a light on our dark road ahead

we plant a sunflower on every corner
in the village in the city
on the mountains at the sea
to stir and bloom
our spirit of youth
will brighten our homeland and our skies

April 9th, 2014

Tr. MW, April 9th, 2014 (没學台語,懇請大家多指教!)

 

阮種日頭花
–《人面冊ê花蕊》264

李勤岸

阮kā日頭花種tiàm立法院
吸引日光照入來
Kā臭殕ê國會曝曝咧
Kā人民ê權利曝曝咧

阮kā日頭花種tiàm總統府
予台灣民主ê少年海翁
泅做大水流ê烏潮
溢過獨裁ê鐵線網

阮kā日頭花種tī滿街路
無管透風抑落雨
阮堅持一直開花
堅持照明台灣暗淡ê路途

阮kā日頭花種tī逐角落
種tī庄腳種tī都市
種tī山頂種tī海邊
日頭會一直開花
青春ê意志
會照光咱台灣家己ê天

–2014/4/9 台師大台文系

 

日頭花

李勤岸
Li Khin-huann
SUNFLOWERS
Translated by Alice Lee 英譯

The eyes of the young are bright,
Opening into big sunflowers
To clearly see molds on the dark undersides.

The ears of the young are sharp,
Opening into big sunflowers
To hear the sadness behind pleasant words.

The brains of the young are fine,
Opening into big sunflowers.
Petals and petals of brilliant rays of light,
Piercing through the wall of fog ahead.

The sunflowers of justice,
Flower by flower,
Blossoming upon faces of the stalwart,
Blossoming within the island’s dark age.

The radiant sunflowers,
Flower by flower,
Herald the coming of our daybreak.

少年人ê目睭真金
開出大大蕊ê日頭花
會當看清生菇ê陰暗面

少年人ê耳空真利
開出大大蕊ê日頭花
會當聽著好聽話背後ê悲哀

少年人ê腦筋真活
開出大大蕊ê日頭花
一瓣一瓣ê光芒
鑿破頭前阻擋ê罩雺

正義ê日頭花
一蕊一蕊
開tī青春堅強ê面上
開tī島嶼暗暝ê世代
光phiâng-phiâng ê日頭花
一蕊一蕊
照出咱天光ê明仔載

Taiwan Demo

Taiwan paper

CALLING THE GHOSTS – 李成恩 Li Cheng’en

十月 18, 2013

seele1

Li Cheng’en

CALLING THE GHOSTS

In a hotel in a dream

very softly, I hear the ghosts.

“I give my flesh to the mud for keeping.

When I need it, please give it back!

I give my bones to the stones for keeping.

When I need them, please give them back!

I give my blood to the rivers for keeping.

When I need it, please give it back!

I give my brains to the mountain for keeping.

When I need it, please give it back!

I give my eyes to the sun and the moon.

When I need them, please give them back!

I give my warmth to the stove for keeping.

When I need it, please give it back!

Only the heart I have to carry … ”

After I wake up

I open the window

and see the mountain slowly moving.

One tiny stream down from the snow

like it’s flowing in my dream.

Has my soul

gone wandering?

Or is it back?

I retain

one dusty heart.

But my soul,

where is it hidden?

Who gives it back?

Tr. MW, Oct. 2013

Li Cheng’en, born in the 1980s. Published poetry, essays and a novel.

As soon as I read this, I was reminded of Woeser 唯色, the Tibetan poet. Didn’t know Li Cheng’en was also a woman. All those verses with “I give” could be “I gave”. In the Chinese, there is no difference. The sentence construction is also unique. It is the “ba-construction”. Sometimes the “ba” is a “jiang”, but not here. Anyway, it’s a construction often discussed in Chinese grammar. Literally I think it’s like saying “I take my flesh and give it to the mud for keeping”. Maybe you could also just say “I put my flesh into the mud”, or into the soil. But why would you call on the mud to hold it for you?  MW

My translation was originally based on this picture version sent around on Tencent Weibo and Sina Weibo as part of Yi Sha‘s regular New Century Poetry Canon. Li Cheng’en has since told me about a mistake in the copying process. In the Weibo image “warmth” or literally body warmth occurs twice. Li Cheng’en says it should be “eyes” instead of warmth the first time. So originally I had “I give my warmth to the sun and the moon. When I need it, please give it back!” I like both versions. Somehow I’m glad about the mistake. Makes for closer attention.

In German, I first had “ich borg’ meine wärme der sonne dem mond – wenn ich sie brauche, gebt mir’s zurück!”.

I am still not sure about how to translate all these “ba-construction” – verses in German. Now they sound stranger than before, but this is how I had them first. The German equivalents of “please give it back” or “please give them back” sound very colloquial. It’s not standard grammar. Some people don’t like that. Maybe I’ll find a better version later.

MW

Li Cheng’en

GEISTERBESCHWÖRUNG

im traum im hotel

hör’ ich ein lied

“ich nehme mein fleisch und geb’ es dem lehm.

wenn ich es brauche, gib mir’s zurück!

ich nehm’ meine knochen und gib sie den steinen.

wenn ich sie brauche, gebt mir’s zurück!

ich nehme mein blut und geb es den flüssen.

wenn ich es brauche, gebt mir’s zurück!

ich nehme mein hirn und geb es dem berg.

wenn ich es brauche, gib mir’s zurück.

ich borg’ meine augen der sonne dem mond –

wenn ich sie brauche, gebt mir’s zurück.

ich nehm’ meine wärme und geb sie dem herd

wenn ich sie brauche, gib mir’s zurück.

nur das herz muss ich selbst mit mir tragen … ”

ich wache auf

öffne das fenster

seh’ eine kleine bewegung am berg.

ein dünner bach

aus meinem traum.

ist es meine

wandelnde seele?

kommt sie zurück?

ich behalte

ein staubiges herz.

doch meine seele

wo ist sie verborgen?

wer gibt sie zurück?

Übersetzt von Martin Winter im Oktober 2013

Li Cheng’en, geboren in den 1980er Jahren. Publizierte einen Roman, Gedichtbände, Essays.

Picture by Sara Bernal

Picture by Sara Bernal

李成恩

招魂歌咒

我在旅馆的梦里

隐隐听到了招魂歌咒

“我把肉体寄存给泥土

要的时候你可得还啊

我把骨头寄存给石头

要的时候你可得还啊

我把鲜血寄存给江水

要的时候你可得还啊

我把脑浆寄存给雪山

要的时候你可得还啊

我把眼睛寄存给日月

要的时候你可得还啊

我把体温寄存给炉火

要的时候你可得还啊

只有心我得自己带走… …”

我醒来后

推开窗户

看见雪山缓缓移动

一条薄薄的河流

像是从我的梦里流出

我的魂魄

游走了?

还是回来了?

我守住了

一颗沾满灰尘的心

但我的魂魄

寄存在哪里?

谁又能还我?

Li Cheng’en

GEISTERBESCHWÖRUNG

im traum im hotel

hör’ ich ein lied

“ich habe mein fleisch dem lehm anvertraut.

wenn ich es brauche, gib’s mir zurück!

ich hab’ meine knochen den steinen gegeben.

wenn ich sie brauche, gebt mir’s zurück!

ich habe mein blut den flüssen gegeben.

wenn ich es brauche, gebt mir’s zurück!

ich hab’ mein gehirn dem berg anvertraut.

wenn ich es brauche, gib mir’s zurück.

ich borg’ meine wärme der sonne dem mond –

wenn ich sie brauche, gebt mir’s zurück.

ich nehm’ meine wärme und geb sie dem herd

wenn ich sie brauche, gib mir’s zurück.

nur das herz muss ich selbst mit mir tragen … ”

ich wache auf

öffne das fenster

seh’ eine kleine bewegung am berg.

ein dünner bach

aus meinem traum.

ist es meine

wandelnde seele?

kommt sie zurück?

ich behalte

ein staubiges herz.

doch meine seele

wo ist sie verborgen?

wer gibt sie zurück?

Übersetzt von Martin Winter im Oktober 2013

Li Cheng’en, geboren in den 1980er Jahren. Publizierte einen Roman, Gedichtbände, Essays.

寒気、玩具

十二月 17, 2012

Family
spielzeug

irgendwann beisst die kaelte zu
wenn du draussen wohnst
kennst du die wege
unten am bach, wo das licht nicht hinkommt
koennen enten im wasser schlafen?
enten stecken den kopf in die federn
im schilf in den straeuchern im haus auf der insel
obdachlose schlafen am spielplatz
jedesmal wenn sie ein spielzeug verliert
einen kleinen drachen eine matrioschka
ist meine tochter traurig.
manchmal singt sie dem spielzeug ein lied.

MW Dezember 2012

不知何時寒氣咬住
住郊外曉得了
小路
在下面小溪黑暗的地方
鴨子可以在水中睡覺嗎?
鴨子把頭插進羽毛
在水草、樅樹、島上小屋
沒有屋頂的人睡在遊樂場
每次她失掉玩具
小恐龍、俄國小人形
我女兒很傷心
有時她為玩具歌唱

toys and the frost

one day or another you feel the jaws
when you live out there
you know the paths
by the stream where the light can’t enter.
are they sleeping on the water?
ducks tuck their head in their feathers
in the reeds in the growth in their house on the island
sometimes the homeless sleep on the playground
each time she looses a toy
a little dragon a matryoshka
my daughter is sad.
sometimes she’ll sing her plaything a song.

MW December 2012

Maia und Isa

Leo reitet1

Murong Xuecun, Yu Hua, Liu Zhenyun, Bob Dylan and Rivers of Bablyon

八月 5, 2012

I don’t think Murong Xuecun exaggerates, like one commentator suggested on the MCLC list. Yes, you could encompass many alarming, saddening, embarrassing stories in one speech in other places than China, and people do it all the time, naming names, practices, products. The difference is that in China you will be silenced more swiftly and harshly. Yes, there are exceptions.

Does Mo Yan revel in cruelty like Dan Brown? Does Yu Hua make better use of the cruel parts in his novels? Ok, I’m an interested party, I can’t really say. Would be interesting to analyze in detail. Mo Yan’s novels are great works, at least those I have read, he has written a lot. Deep, cathartic, even accusing use of cruel events and structures. I love Yu Hua’s tone. And I associate Liu Zhenyun in Remember 1942, and Murong Xuecun’s Sky and Autumn speech.

We had Jeremiah in church today, along with that story where a guy goes abroad and gives his gold and silver to his servants. The ones that receive more trade with it, and when their lord comes back, they can give him double. The one who received very little buries it, and when the lord comes back, he digs it out and says, I know you are a harsh governor and reap where you haven’t sown, so I was afraid to lose what you gave me, and kept it double safe. His colleagues get to join the big party, and are rewarded with great posts. He is cast out into the darkness, which is filled with howling and chattering teeth. It’s a horrible story. Yes, it’s a parable, and if you have very little reason for faith, you should still risk it and try to make more, because if you bury it deep in your heart you might lose the little trust you had and received and be cast out into the darkness. But if you are the one who has reason to be afraid, how can you trust your lords? The ones who have more and get more have it easy. Even if they lose everything, they are often rewarded – those powerful managers and functionaries. And if there are enough of those who are cast out, and they get organized, maybe some bishops or other lords might dangle from lamp posts. A Hussite reading, said my wife. Yeah, maybe. No shortage of horrible stories in Chinese literature, like in the Bible.

Jeremiah is even worse, it’s a much bigger story, infinitely more horrible. And there is a detail, not in the Jeremiah parts used in church today, but in the songs in exile. By the rivers of Babylon, where we sat down, where we wept when we remembered Zion. And in the end the singer wishes, or the singers wish they will one day brutally kill the children of the oppressors. That’s the detail in Murong Xuecun’s speech I was thinking about.

The calling of Jeremiah, where he says he’s too young, and God says he has to go and obey, and open his mouth, and God will put His words into his mouth, and he will be set above nations and kingdoms, so he can pluck out and demolish, ruin and destroy, as well as plant and build. The preacher said she thought of parting and setting off to other posts, and how the Marschallin in Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s and Richard Strauss’ Rosenkavalier sings of what she will have to give up. What a horrible comparison! There is nothing light in Jeremiah. There are no waltzes. Ok, Rivers of Babylon, yes. But with Jeremiah, if you have to mention Austrian writers, Franz Werfel would be much more apt. Werfel was Jewish and used Jeremiah, a lot. Ok, she did mention, much too briefly how nobody would heed Jeremiah, and that it’s actually the most terrible story.

Anyway, when I heard Jeremiah, I thought of Bob Dylan. Masters of War. “How much do I know, to talk out of turn? You might say that I’m young; you might say I’m unlearned. But there is one thing I know, though I’m younger than you, it’s that Jesus would never forgive what you do. […] And I’ll watch while you’re lowered onto your deathbed, and I’ll stand on your grave and make sure that you’re dead.” I don’t know if Dylan thought of Nixon and Kissinger explicitly, when he wrote this song. America’s Vietnam War was raging, and I think the song came out when Nixon and Kissinger where in power. Anyway, there is that Monty Python song about Kissinger. Very explicit. Dylan and Monty Python would not be able to sing these songs in China on stage today, to say nothing about what Chinese artists can do. No, Murong Xuecun doesn’t exaggerate.

x and y

x was cruel

butt is sore

y was able

and suave.

both loved culture

both destroyed

hundred million

butts are cold

MW         March 2007

Yes, I thought of Mao and Nixon, and their sidekicks. But x and y could stand for many people, and could be mentioned anywhere, at least today. Almost anywhere, probably. Anyway, it’s about smoking, you know. Littering. OK, enough for today.

sterne

四月 3, 2008

die sterne

die sterne leuchten heute nacht
der mond ist nicht dabei
ich weiss nicht wo er heute bleibt
vielleicht hat er auch frei

die sterne leuchten heute nacht
ich weiss nicht wo du bist
vielleicht suchst du den mond wie ich
und fragst dich was er macht

die sterne leuchten heute nacht
die lichter blinken noch
wir wollen alle schlafen gehen
der wind hat sich gelegt

die sterne leuchten heute nacht
der wind war auch dabei
der mond ist heute nicht zu sehen
vielleicht hat er auch frei

MW April 2008


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