Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Green... [Chinese Translations and Flickr Galleries Added]

The dawn was apple-green,
The sky was green wine held up in the sun,
The moon was a golden petal between.

She opened her eyes, and green
They shone, clear like flowers undone
For the first time, now for the first time seen.

--- by D. H. Lawrence.

For more colour musings, please go here.

Didn't have time to write up my own colour musings, but this poem (titled simply as, "Green") sums up succinctly many things that are beautiful to me about the colour green, without reverting to any usual clichés about grass and trees. The poem is so simple, using grade-school English, and yet the imagery of the different subtle colours of green is so effectively painted in my mind's eye that I'm simply felled by its beauty. Love especially that the ideas of "green" as in "fresh", "untainted", "unspoilt", "naive" and "innocent" are all subsumed into the last line. This is just lovely and, having come across this poem, I'm simply lost for words to describe my own idea of green. Maybe I will recover sufficiently another time to attempt it.

Note: This poem is included in the anthology "Penguin's Poems for Life" (2007), selected by Laura Barber. London: Penguin Classics.

Update (8 August 2010): My Chinese translation of the above poem:

《綠》 -- 勞倫斯



Translation by Snowdrops. All rights reserved.

* * *

Further update (8 August 2010): Another translation of the same poem I found online:

《綠》 -- 勞倫斯




Comparing my translation with his, I think my second stanza is more faithful to the original wording of the poem (especially as the flower is meant to be "undone" -- i.e. opened -- rather than as an unopened bud as he'd translated it; and he also added the word "pure" to describe said flower even though the word is not actually present in the poem -- although that notion is present in the line, but I prefer to leave the adjective unsaid like Lawrence himself had done in the original poem).

That said, he had translated more faithfully the first stanza of the poem than I did (although again here he added the adjective "beautiful" to "wine" which was not actually present in the poem itself, and he failed to translate "dawn" adequately and to differentiate it from "sky"). Nevertheless I love how he poetically translated the glints of the green eyes in the second stanza so beautifully into Chinese. I wish I had thought of those wordings!

Further Update (16 August 2010):

I have been meaning to blog about these Flickr galleries I have curated and this is the perfect place to showcase all the beautiful imageries of green I have found on Flickr. Many of these are rather apposite to the word imagery created by the lines "澄明如鮮花盛開 / 的第一次,此刻給初次看見。" Hope you'll enjoy them as much as I did!

Composition in White and Green

Composition in Pink and Green

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At Tue Aug 03, 03:40:00 a.m. IST, Blogger Haricot 微豆 said...

I am taking note. Perhaps I will see green in a new light the next time :)

At Fri Aug 13, 08:10:00 a.m. IST, Blogger Snowdrops said...

Thanks Haricot for your kind comment on my blog :)


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