2007-03-31

Perestroikia and Glasnost in China? Wen Jiabao's new poem quote: (去问开化的大地,去问解冻的河流)

Premier Wen told the reporter, without being prompted with a question (see context here)
'解决民生问题还要让人民生活得快乐和幸福。这就要保障人民的民主权利,在社会推进公平与正义。记者也许问,什么叫快乐?我可以借用艾青诗人的一句话:“请问开花的大地,请问解冻的河流”。谢谢!'
'To solve the livelihood problem we need our people to live with happiness and look after their well-being. This means we need to protect the demoncrat rights of our peple, andpush for fairness and righteousness in our society. Reporters, you may ask, "What is happiness?" May I borrow a line from poet Ai Qing, "(go) to ask the land that is opening up (literally, here it means the melting of frozen land), (go) to ask the river that is defreezed."'

Quite irrelevant answer, isn't it? People digged out the original poem (not sure if ESWN would translate this one) by poet Ai Qing, "Quarrel outside the window"

窗外的争吵
艾青
昨天晚上 last night
我听见两个声音—— i heard two voices
春天: Spring (said):
大家都在咒骂你 Everybody is cursing you
整天为你在发愁 they were bored by you whole days
谁也不会喜欢你 nobody will like you
你让大家吃苦头 you make everybody suffered
冬天: Winter:
我还留恋这地方 I still miss this place
你来的不是时候 you have not come at the right time
我还想打扫打扫 i still want to sweep and clean a bit
什么也不给你留 i will leave nothing for you
春天:Spring:
你真是冷酷无情 You are really cold and heartless
闹得什么也没有 your fuss will leave us with nothing
难道糟蹋得还少 hasn't you ruined not enough
难道摧毁得不够 hasn't you destroy not enough
冬天: W:
我也有我的尊严 I also have my dignity
我讨厌嬉皮笑脸 I hate to be playful
看你把我怎么办 so look what you can do with me
我就是不愿意走 I am just here not going to leav
春天: S:
别以为大家怕你 Don't be mistaken that everybody (the people) are afraid of you
到时候你就得走 when it is time you will have to leave
你不走大家轰你 if you do not everybody will throw you out
谁也没办法挽留 no one can keep you with any means
用不到公民投票 no need to wait until citizen to vote
用不到民意测验 no need to wait for an opinion poll
用不到开会表决 no need to wait until a vote in a meeting
用不到通过举手 no need to wait for a show of hands
去问开化的大地 Go to ask the land that is opening up (literally, here it means the melting of frozen land)
去问解冻的河流 Go to ask the river that is defreezed
去问南来的燕子 Go to ask the swallows that are coming from the south
去问轻柔的杨柳 Go to ask the willow that move witht he breeze
地里种子要发芽 Seeds in the land will sprout
枝头骨朵要吐秀 Buds at the end of branch will blossom
万物都频频点头 Ten thousand matters all nod and nod again
异口同声劝你走 All different mouths ask you to leave in unison
你要是赖着不走 If you shameless less stick out here
用拖拉机拉你走 (we) will pull you away with tractors
用推土机推你走 will push you away with bulldozers
敲锣打鼓送你走 striking drums and gongs while we get rid of you

一九八0年春节

Winter and Spring had a word fight, winter did not want to leave, spring showed winter why her era is dated. Winter showed many reasons for resisting to change. (it runs in parallel with many of the argument about any kind of reform in this world). Then Spring said,

  • "no need to wait until citizen to vote,
    no need to wait for an opinion poll,
    no need to wait until a vote in a meeting,
    no need to wait for a show of hands....

    Go to ask the land that is opening up (literally, here it means the melting of frozen land),
    Go to ask the river that is defreezed,
    Go to ask the swallows that are coming from the south,
    Go to ask the willow that move witht he breeze...

    Seeds in the land will sprout,
    Buds at the end of branch will blossom,
    Ten thousand matters all nod and nod again
    All different mouths ask you to leave in unison...


The Quiz is simple enough: who is spring, who is winter?
What about "happiness"? Onepossible answer: if you have had to pretend and endure winter for 17 years, and finally you have gained control...

Related link:

1) 温家宝言外之意是自由不可阻挡——评本届政府总理温家宝最后一次回答中外记者问

2) 温总理引用艾青诗句含义深刻

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

good poem!!

a good novel for you guy:
http://bridgesquat.blogspot.com/index.html

Emmanuel said...

Sun Bin, this is a fantastic allegory for the challenges China faces. I have tried to write about the moral challenges in China's growth.

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