Family Tree[家谱树]

pine-273826_1920.jpg

mother says blood is thicker than water
and I wonder if rose-tinted viscosity
obscures reality
and feeds deep-rooted problems
into gnarly family trees

twisted canopies seek sunshine
in mindfully constructed forests
filled with fake dew-drop perfection
and find no nourishment
in the tired soils

that’s why
we can’t just bury the wretched hatchet
we must use it
till the sun rises
and the earth heals
and the rain will wash the memories away
then we will finally be
free


妈妈曾经对我说
血浓于水
但我不知道
是不是那玫瑰色的液体
混交了她所相信的事实
而导致深藏的问题发芽
生长成丑陋的家谱树

纠缠不清的树枝
在这精心打造的树林里
寻找太阳的光满
而迷失在露珠和土壤里
缺乏的营养

而这事为什么
我们不能
久久的把斧头埋在心里
我们必须使用它
因为太阳还会再次升起
大地也会再次愈合
而大雨最终会把回忆抹掉
那时,终于,我会
自由


This is a poem I have been sitting on for a very long time because I couldn’t really craft it into something I was 100% happy to let out into the world. After months and months of pulling my hair out, I’ve decided that I’ll never get there so I decided to publish it instead of letting it continue to gather dust in my drafts folder.

I really struggled with translating this poem. When you have a limited vocabulary, it’s very difficult not to translate too literally and reduce the subtle differences of bitter/mournful/sorrowful to just plain old sad. At the same time, I also possibly tried to overcompensate by using words that I don’t fully grasp that may be awkward or completely out of place.

The biggest problem however, was that as far as I knew, the term ‘family tree’ doesn’t exist in Chinese. Just to be clear, people definitely study genealogy in China but they do not have an analogy with trees. Extending that metaphor is essentially what my whole poem is based upon so…thankfully I gave myself permission to take a few more liberties/translate more loosely!

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Family Tree[家谱树]

Talk to me

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s