Some poems almost translate themselves; others are impossible to translate into Chinese. Jeff Schwaner’s work may have been influenced by Chinese poetry, inspired by Chinese poetry or he is part Chinese (?) but for whatever reason I find that I can think in Chinese when I read his poems. Strange, isn’t it?
Anyway, since he liked my translation of his earlier work, I am having another go this morning. I hope this does not turn into an addiction.
Here’s my translation and reading in Cantonese:
(c) Mary Tang 2015
Here’s his (from his blog Translations from the English):
from Spring Songs (1)
Spring storms roam across the valley.
On the maple, leaves appear like gypsy tents.
Wind off the mountainside ruffles the green edges:
inside one of the leaves sits a woman at a fortune telling table
laying the lone card of summer face-down.