A couple of weeks ago, John Kennedy – also known as contemporary Chinese poetry translator Feng37 – thought that getting all the bloggers in the Chinese blogistan together for translating stuff from Chinese to English would be a good idea. Lots of other bloggers agreed, including Roland Soong of EastSouthNorthWest, who has been causing respectable news agencies much anxiety with his endless translations for a few years now.
The Open Source Translation Blogging Project/Great Hall of the Bloggers/Chinese Content is one of the coolest thing to come out of China blogging in quite a while, and many of the old bloggers who I’ve admired since before I started myself are involved, including Rebecca MacKinnon, all of whom individually constitute a profound and ongoing contribution to all things China.
As for John, he’s become my number #1! Canto-blogger since he started 在桥下流 after his old blog Feng37 expired. Still translating poetry, and now keeping a running commentary on the crime-ridden mean streets of G-town, he’s even been interviewed by 中国青年报 China Youth Daily. Waah! 牛b!
失业者 The Unemployed
周云蓬 Zhou Yunpeng
我们活在租来的房子里， We live in rented rooms,
我们活在公共汽车里， We live in public buses,
我们活在蒙着灰尘的书里， We live in dust-covered books,
我们活在电视的荧光屏里。 We live in fluorescent TV screens,
我们活在电话的号码里， We live in telephone numbers,
我们活在商店的橱窗里， We live in shop windows,
我们活在制造幸福的车间里， We live in fortune-making auto plants,
我们活在蜗牛的储蓄盒里。 We live in deposit boxes the size of snails.
一旦有一天看到了蓝天， One day soon we’ll see the blue sky,
我们就成了无助的失业者， And we’ll become helplessly unemployed,
一旦有一天嗅到了春天， One day soon we’ll smell spring,
我们就成了陌生的局外人。 And become strangers outside the system.
我们不属于工人阶级， We don’t belong to the working class,
我们也不是农民兄弟， And we’re not peasant buddies,
我们不是公务员老师知识分子， We’re not civil servants, teachers or intellectuals,
我们不是老板职员中产阶级。 We’re not bosses’ assistants or even middle class.
因为我们看到过蓝天， Because we’ve seen the blue sky,
我们就成了无助的失业者， We’ve become the hopelessly unemployed,
因为我们嗅到过春天， Because we’ve smelled spring,
我们就成了陌生的局外人。 We’ve become strangers outside the system.