Wednesday, October 29, 2008

[詩戀] In love of Uncertainty

背著電腦,去歐洲流浪的作者把 Wislawa Szymborska 的詩作 Love at the First Sight 的前四句錄在《再見柏林》那一章(恰好是書籍的第100頁)之首。

初見的悸動和揣測未知的忐忑與興奮,恰是旅人心情的寫真,或許是作者抄錄這首詩的緣由吧;至于我這個很想作旅人,卻從未成行的老宅男,手裡握著打印的 data mining 論文,想到 uncertainty reasoning 正是我們這一行 的頭疼議題(看看這本書 便知我所言不虛)。 "but uncertainty is more beautiful" 不僅是旅人的心聲,也是在學海人生裡漂泊的心聲。

全詩英譯(Walter Whipple 翻譯)抄錄於後,還有一個 Roman Gren 翻譯的版本,就不錄于此了:
Both are convinced
that a sudden surge of emotion bound them together.
Beautiful is such a certainty,
but uncertainty is more beautiful.

Because they didn't know each other earlier, they suppose that
nothing was happening between them.
What of the streets, stairways and corridors
where they could have passed each other long ago?

I'd like to ask them
whether they remember-- perhaps in a revolving door
ever being face to face?
an "excuse me" in a crowd
or a voice "wrong number" in the receiver.
But I know their answer:
no, they don't remember.

They'd be greatly astonished
to learn that for a long time
chance had been playing with them.

Not yet wholly ready
to transform into fate for them
it approached them, then backed off,
stood in their way
and, suppressing a giggle,
jumped to the side.

There were signs, signals:
but what of it if they were illegible.
Perhaps three years ago,
or last Tuesday
did a certain leaflet fly
from shoulder to shoulder?
There was something lost and picked up.
Who knows but what it was a ball
in the bushes of childhood.

There were doorknobs and bells
on which earlier
touch piled on touch.
Bags beside each other in the luggage room.
Perhaps they had the same dream on a certain night,
suddenly erased after waking.

Every beginning
is but a continuation,
and the book of events
is never more than half open.

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