December Moon (1999) by Robert Okaji (translation)

Robert speaks in an universal language that I find easy to translate into Chinese (with permission by the poet).  My recording is in Cantonese.

歲終月 (一九九九年)。丘明 (Robert Okaji)

若寂寞有生命,

那雨是它的心,

總落至最深低處

才退。水萬般恩賜

千面天恩-最慢的

點滴,牆上的冰線,

你的氣息,在寒夜

那麼穩定那麼柔和。

但無人,無事能填那

離別的空虛。你轉身

背著我,呼出的氣息

像空手擁抱著你留下

的空間。每次你離去

每日此感。四十一歲的我

半世的相知,但愛比千歲

之前之後之終止更連綿

未來的一百個明月之中

最亮的也僅是你的陰影

(c) Mary Tang 2017

December Moon (1999) by Robert Okaji

If loneliness breathes,

then rain is its heart,

always falling to its lowest point

before receding. Water graces us

daily in all its forms – the slowest

drop, the line of ice on the wall,

your breath, so soft and even

in the cool night. But no one,

no thing, can fill the void of

departure. You exhale and turn

away, and the air, with its empty

arms, embraces the space

you’ve left. I feel this daily,

whenever we part. At forty-one

I’ve known you half my life

but have loved you even longer,

through the millennium’s demise

and all that preceded or follows.

The brightest moon for a century to come

is but a shadow in your light.

About Mary Tang

An urban orchardist everyday, a volunteer regularly, a poet sometimes and a blogger since March 2015. I travel when I can. Food is a constant.
This entry was posted in Poetry, Poetry Translation and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to December Moon (1999) by Robert Okaji (translation)

  1. 十分感動… That does it; I’m letting my Mandarin rust away and training my brain to richer tones. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. taphian says:

    Very beautiful and moving words, dear Mary, thanks a lot for sharing. Have a nice day, kind regards Mitza

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Couldn’t access the recording, Mary

    Liked by 1 person

  4. arlingwoman says:

    Wow. I’ve read this several times. What a wallop those last lines pack! And l listened to the Cantonese just to hear your voice!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Sarah Russell Poetry and commented:
    A beautiful poem by Robert Okaji, translated into Chinese and recorded by Mary Tang.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This poem took my breath away. I’ve read it over and over. May I reblog it?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Now to learn to read Chinese. Erm…

    Liked by 2 people

  8. robert okaji says:

    Reblogged this on O at the Edges and commented:
    Mary Tang’s translation, with recording in Cantonese!

    Liked by 2 people

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