前 言 “伤春”自古是文人墨客百书不厌的主题。苏轼曾于暮春作《蝶恋花·春景》，其中“花褪残红青杏小”，“枝上柳绵吹又少”，“多情却被无情恼”与其老友张先的伤春之作《千秋岁》中“惜春更选残红折”，“梅子青时节”，“无人尽日花飞雪”，“天不老，情难绝”等句颇有异曲同工之妙。不过，与苏子的长情相比，张先有着不一样的“浪漫”。本期《华章英韵》隆重推出著名翻译家赵彦春教授《千秋岁》佳译，让我们且听赵老师幽默风趣讲词，巧思妙构解译。 Introduction Grief over the passing of spring is an everlasting theme in poetry. In “Spring Scenery: To the Tune of Butterflies over Flowers” composed in late spring, Su Shi said “Red flowers fade, green apricots appear still small”, “Most willow catkins have been blown away”, “For the Enchantress the enchanted can only sigh” . Both the wording and the sentiments expressed are quite similar to what his old friend Zhang Xian wrote in “Living For Ever”, such as “the red fades I sigh”, “the young plums green grow”, “catkins fly like snow”, “Time does stay; love does trail”. However, in comparison with Su Shi’s long lasting love, Zhang Xian’s romance is another story. This issue of Chinese Verse in English Rhyme is greatly honored to present the beautiful poem “Living For Ever” translated by Prof. Zhao Yanchun, a distinguished translator of Chinese classics. There is much food for thought in his witty remark about the poet and his artful rendering of the poem.
The cuckoo cries, to report blooms die, Spring off, the red fades I sigh. A storm of petals, the young plums green grow; All day long, no soul, catkins fly like snow. Do not ply the strings; they can tell the tale. Time does stay; love does trail. The heart’s like a net, a thousand knots tied; The night’s o’er; not yet dawning, the lamp’s died.
张先一辈子风流，千古风流。《千秋岁》是凄美的杰作，不管它是初恋的纯情还是他在尼姑庵上演的罗密欧式的偷情，诗行中都透露出他爱情遭受阻抑时的幽怨和痴情。上阕写暮春景色：雨轻风紧，催落繁花；杜鹃啼血，呼唤着春天完结，造成了浓重的感伤。惜春的词人，在花丛中寻找并采摘着残花，满满的是他伤春惜花的无奈。接着以飘零的杨花，写春之落寞及心之寒冷。下阕抒情：“不老”的“天”与“难绝”的“情”相对比，再以“千千结”的“双丝网”比喻忧思千结的愁心，将愁情怨怀表达得如此浪漫。最后以夜将尽的孤灯景象作结，让整个的抒情氛围笼罩在漆黑的深渊中。 张先是行为艺术的符号，遮蔽他的才情乃译者之罪。所以译者应在形式和精神上最大程度地逼近他：原文七二字译文则七十二个音节，同样的节奏，算是亦步亦趋；采用aabb韵式类比原词交错回环的乐感；英文中的意象、意境也模拟他的仪态和心态，比如以“Time does stay; Love does trail”来对应“天不老，情难绝”，这不也是张先活到老爱到老的写照吗？
The Translator's Remarks “ A tree of pear blossoms o’er crabapples” makes Zhang Xian the earliest performance artist in the world, one thousand years earlier than his western counterparts. Look at that, his romance of marrying an eighteen-year-old girl while eighty:
I’m eighty and you are eighteen; You bud to burst to my gray hair. Just sixty years to span between, We are mates and an eight we share.
Zhang Xian is a romantic all his life and for all time. Living For Ever is his masterpiece of eating forbidden fruit, a Romeo’s act of climbing a romantic rope. The lines show his bitterness and tenacity when his ardor is dampened and he himself buffeted and disciplined. The first stanza is a picture of late spring, when a wind slashes a rain and a rain urges flowers to die and at the same time a lonely cuckoo cries over the fade of red. What a pity! The poet is plucking a bare spray, a spray of helpless sighs, and the drifting catkins bring a chill to his lonely heart. The second stanza is a hope of unaging time and trailing love, a contrast of time and love, but still the poet feels irritated, his heart like a net with a thousand knots tied. At the end, “The lamp’s died” symbolizes the end of the night, though dawning is not yet seen. Zhang Xian is a sign of performance art. A translator is to blame if he deflowers his talented romance. So this translator approximates him as much as possible in form and spirit: seventy two syllables correspond with the seventy two characters of the original, a step by step pursuit, the rhyming scheme aabbccdd yields a concatenation of musicality like the original, and the imagery and atmosphere also befit the poet’s aspect and mood. Isn’t “Time does stay; Love does trail” an epitome of his “It’s never too old to love”?
Zhao Yan-chun is Professor of English at Shanghai University, Director of Center for Translation of Chinese Culture, Editor-in-chief of Translating China, and Guest Professor at Beijing Language and Culture University, Sun Yat-sen University, Beijing Agriculture University and some other universities, Director of the Research Center for Chinese Culture and Translation at Beijing Language and Culture University, Member of the Academic Committee of the International Society of East and West, Editorial Board Member of Guangyi in Taiwan National Chengchi University, Vice President of China Language Education Association, Research Fellow of the International Association for East-West Studies, and Member of Academic Committee of Mericet, India. From 2011-2017 he was Special Professor of Tianjin, member of Tianjin’s One Thousand Talents, director of the Center for Language, Literature and Culture at Tianjin Foreign Studies University and Vice President of the Academic Committee at the same university.His academic interests include translation studies, linguistics and philosophy. He has written extensively about the relationship between philosophy, language, literature and translation and has published 8 monographs and 19 translated works, and 26 text books in addition to a great number of academic papers and has finished 3 National Social Science Foundation Projects and other national projects. He adheres to the principle of translating Poesie into Poesie and classic into classic. His Three Word Primer in English Rhyme has been widely reported by national and local media such as People’s Daily, China Daily and so on, acclaimed as the unprecedented Chinese-English translation, the best, the choice, the cream.