IPNHK poet | Tian Yuan

Tian Yuan

IPNHK 2011 contributor Tian Yuan was born in 1965 in Henan Province, China. Tian first came to Japan as a government-financed student early in the 1990’s. In 2003, he received a Doctorate in Literature for his study of the poetry of Shuntarô Tanikawa. He now teaches in Tôhoku University in Japan, and is chiefly engaged in the translation of contemporary Japanese poetry. His books of translation into Chinese so far include Selected Poems of Shuntarô Tanikawa (2 volumes) and An Alien: Selected Poems of Takashi Tsujii. He has also translated some poems of Ryûichi Tamura and Katsuei Kitazono. He has published six volumes of his own poetry in Chinese and English. He has been awarded literary prizes for poetry in China, America and Taiwan, and in 2001, he was awarded the first Japanese Literary Award for Foreign Students. His book of poetry in Japanese And So the Shore Was Born (Sôshite Kishi ga Tanjôshita) was published in 2004. He is the editor of the 3 volumes of The Selected Poems of Shuntarô Tanikawa (Shûeisha, 2005). The second poetry anthology of The Memory of Stone was awarded the 60th session of H-shi Prize (2010). He also edited the Japanese version of The Anthology of Chinese New Generation Poets translated by Shin Takeuchi. Last year, Selected Poems of Tian Yuan (Renmin Wenxue, 2007) was published in Chinese.

Regarding Birds

Flying this way and that
Is just something birds do
But what they do tugs at my emotions
What with their chirps that can sound like singing
And sometimes like crying

On gloomy days their wings
bring a distant sunlight
Changing my inner grayness to a glow
And when the sky clears
My dim and drafty room fills
With the vitality of their warbling

Live birds
Are witnesses to my death
Motionless birds in a picture book
Sense my gaze and the breath from my nostrils

Even in dark dreams
Birds flash like fairies
leave behind song then disappear
Making me forget their eyes and color of their feathers

Often I often sit facing the window
Birds of the imagination
Bring a storm
Fiercely flapping their wings
Like a torrent of raindrops
Swooping to the earth

The river where they drink and wade
Shows its perverse temper
Grasses grow wildly at the river bend
Where serpents’ fangs lurk
As the river winds beneath trees
And nests in the forks of branches

All of this takes place
In the space of a transparent windowpane
This thin layer of glass
Is the distance between me and the birds and the word

One day a bird flew from a treetop
Like a torch
Gone in a flash
It left behind a long cry
A note of surprise in my quiet mind

(Apr. 25, 2009-in Japan)
(Translated by Denis Mair)

與鳥有關


飛來飛走

其實是鳥兒們自己的事情

但這一舉動總是牽動我的思緒

包括牠們有時聽起來像唱歌

又像慟哭的鳥鳴

陰霾的日子,牠們用翅膀馱來

遠方的陽光

暖亮我灰暗的內心

天若放晴

我陰冷的室內又因牠們的

啾鳴而充滿生氣

活著的鳥

見證著我的死亡

靜止在畫冊中的鳥

感受著我的鼻息和目光

即使在黑暗的夢中

鳥也猶如閃電的精靈

留下歌聲後隱去身影

讓我記不住牠們羽毛的顏色和眼睛

我常常面窗而坐

想像中的鳥

便帶領著一場暴雨而來

猛烈地抖動翅膀

像滂沱的雨滴

砸向大地

 

牠們常常飲水和洗足的河

變得乖戾

河灣瘋狂地長草

讓毒蛇的嘴潛伏其中

讓彎曲的河水流過樹冠

和枝丫間的鳥巢

而所有的這一切

都發生在一層透明的窗玻璃間

薄而脆弱的玻璃

是我與鳥和世界的距離

有一天,從樹頂上飛走的鳥

像一團火光

一閃即逝

它留下的一聲長鳴

讓我平靜的心為之一驚

2009425日寫於日本)