A Simple Flame
Still dreamt of, still missed,
especially on raw, rainy mornings, your face shifts
into anonymous schoolgirl faces, a punishment,
since sometimes you condescend to smile,
since at the corners of the smile there is forgiveness.
Besieged by sisters, you were a prize
of which they were too proud, circled
by the thorn thicket of their accusation,
what grave deep wrong, what wound have you brought, Anna?
The rain season comes with its load.
The half-year has travelled far. Its back hurts.
It drizzles wearily.
It is twenty years since,
after another war, the shell cases are where?
But in our brassy season, out imitation autumn,
your hair puts out its fire,
your gaze haunts innumerable photographs,
now clear, now indistinct,
all that pursuing generality,
that vengeful conspiracy with nature,
all that sly informing of objects,
and behind every line, your laugh
frozen into a lifeless photograph.
In that hair I could walk through the wheatfields of Russia,
your arms were downed and ripening pears,
for you became, in fact, another country,
you are Anna of the wheatfield and the weir,
you are Anna of the solid winter rain,
Anna of the smoky platform and the cold train,
in that war of absence, Anna of the steaming stations,
gone from the marsh edge,
from the drizzled shallows
puckering with gooseflesh,
Anna of the first green poems that startingly hardened.
of the mellowing breasts now,
Anna of the lurching, long flamingoes
of the harsh salt lingering in the thimble
of the bather's smile,
Anna of the darkened house, among the reeking shell cases,
lifting my hand and swearing us to her breast,
You are all Annas, enduring all goodbyes,
within the cynical station of your body,
Christie, Karenina, big-boned and passive,
that I found life within some novel's leaves
more real than you, already chosen
as his doomed heroine. You knew, you knew.
你究竟犯过何等大错, 又铸成过什么伤害, 安娜?
克里斯蒂,卡列尼娜, 骨骼粗大, 性情乖顺
做他命定的女主角. 你知道, 你知道
Who were you, then?
The golden partisan of my young Revolution,
my braided, practical, seasoned commissar,
your back, bent at its tasks, in the blue kitchen,
or hanging flags of laundry, feeding the farm's chicken,
against a fantasy of birches,
poplars, or whatever.
As if a pen's eye could catch that virginal litheness,
as if shade and sunlight leoparding the blank page
could be so literal,
foreign as snow,
far away as first love,
Twenty years later, in the odour of burnt shells,
you can remind me of "A Visit to the Pasternaks,"
so that you are suddenly the word "wheat,"
falling on the ear, against the frozen silence of a weir,
again you are bending
over a cabbage garden, tending
a snowdrift of rabbits,
or pulling down the clouds from the thrumming clotheslines.
If dreams are signs,
then something died this minute,
its breath blown from a different life,
from a dream of snow, from paper
to white paper flying, gulls and herons
following this plough. And now,
you are suddenly old, white-haired,
like the herons, the turned page. Anna, I wake
to the knowledge that things sunder
from themselves, like peeling bark,
to the emptiness
of a bright silence shining after thunder.
我的扎辫子的, 能干的, 经验丰富的政委
似白鹭, 似翻过去的一页书. 安娜, 我醒来