The Book of Life / 最后的时辰 (The Final Hour)

November 30, 2009

This poem first appeared with a Malay translation in Dari Jendela Zaman Ini: Antologi Puisi Malaysia dan Singapura (From the Window of this Epoch: An Anthology of Malaysian and Singaporean Poems) in 2009. The Chinese translation and back translation are made by Jolene Lum and featured here with her permission. There is also a video performance of it.

The Book of Life

In the last hour
of this night in the world,
there will be no loud crack
because we will have learnt
that nothing is ever broken.
This spilt universe
is not in lack,

not a soul we set
ourselves to lick away
on all fours like a beast.
It is not unable
to reanimate us the way
good wine brought out late
renews a feast.

In this last hour,
we will yet learn to love
the good bounce in a ball,
the space between people,
every child with an old face,
all the ways to feel
about leaf-fall.

What the world is
is a book in a room
in need of a reader.
Its brown pages have not
begun to seed a consciousness
that joins our senses
to another.

Gwee Li Sui

——-

最后的时辰

今夜在这世界最后的时辰,
不会有洪大的
崩裂
因为我们那时将领悟没什么
是残破的。
这洒落了的宇宙其中并非
缺乏,

其中没什么能叫我们
把自己弄得四肢着地
禽兽般地舔舐着。
这时辰
无法如延迟上桌的美酒
使盛宴复活那样
复活我们的灵魂。

这时辰
我们将学会慈爱
一颗球里要得的弹跳,
人与人之间的空间,
每个容颜年迈的小孩,
还有被落叶启发的
每种情怀。

这世界是置身在房里
一本需要读者的
书。

它泛黄的书页还未
开始播种知觉,一种
能把我们的神志与别者链接的
知觉。

魏俐瑞
(译者:林馨慧)

——-

The Final Hour

Tonight on earth in its final hour
there will not be a massive
crack
for we will realise when it comes that nothing
is broken.
This spilled-out universe in it has not lack,
and has not anything that could
make us put ourselves on all fours –
like a beast – licking.

This hour will
not – unlike the way exquisite wine served late
might resurrect a feast –
ressurrect our souls.

This hour will
be in which we will learn to love
the fine bounce in a ball,
the space between people,
every child with an aged appearance,
and every emotion evoked by
falling leaves.

This world is –
in a room –
a book that needs a reader.
Its yellowed pages have yet to begin
propagating consciousness –
a consciousness that could connect our senses
to something else.

(Back-translated by Jolene Lum)

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