CONTENTS

 
  EXCERPTS FROM MIKROKOSMOS
《小宇宙》節錄

   By Chen Li 陳黎
   Translated by Steve BRADBURY 柏艾格
 
  A LARGE CROW 大鴉
   By Lo Fu 洛夫
   Translated by John J. S. BALCOM 陶忘機
 
  WHO’S RISING AND FALLING 誰主浮沉
   By Bai Ling 白靈
   Translated by David van der Peet 范德培
 
  FIELD TRIP 遠足
   By Jiao Tong 焦桐
   Translated by John J. S. BALCOM 陶忘機
 
  CAMELLIA 茶花女
   By Jiao Tong 焦桐
   Translated by John J. S. BALCOM 陶忘機
 
  TWO PROSE POEMS 散文詩兩章
   By SUN Jiajun 孫家駿
    Translated by John J. S. BALCOM 陶忘機
 
  OUT OF CONTEXT 斷章
   By Hsiang Ming 向明
   Translated by David van der Peet 范德培
 
  WALLED STREETWALKER 站壁的妓女
   By Qiao Lin 喬林
   Translated by John J. S. BALCOM 陶忘機
 
  THE RAIN, ST. LUCIA 雨‧聖露西亞
   By Hsia Ching 夏菁
   Translated by C. W. WANG 王季文

 
  MY MOTHER 我的母親
   By RUAN Ching-Yue 阮慶岳
   Translated by Danny H. LIN 林心嶽
 
  SEEING MOTHER OFF 奔喪
   By WANG Tsung-wei 王聰威
   Translated by Danny H. LIN 林心嶽
 
  STRADDLING ARCHITECTURE, INTERIOR AND GRAPHIC DESIGN : J. M. LIN ARCHITECT / THE OBSERVER DESIGN GROUP橫跨建築、
室內和平面設計的仲觀聯合建築師事務所

   By CHAN Wei-hsiung 詹偉雄
   Translated by David van der Peet 范德培
 
 

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HEIM: JOU MIN LIN ON TAIPEI AND INNOVATION
林洲民建築師看台北與創新
   By David BRATT 畢達飛 and Bryan K. BEAUDOIN 薄瑞安

 
  NEWS & EVENTS 文化活動
   Compiled by Sarah Jen-hui HSIANG 項人慧
 
  NEW BOOKS BY TAIPEI CHINESE PEN MEMBERS 會員新書
   Compiled by Sarah Jen-hui HSIANG 項人慧
 
  NOTES ON AUTHORS AND TRANSLATORS
作者與譯者簡介
 
  APPENDIX : CHINESE ORIGINALS 附錄 :中文原著
 
  TAIWAN ACADEMY OF BANKING AND FINANCE
台灣金融研訓院,
2005........................................Cover
 
 

CHINA TIMES MEDIA GROUP RENOVATION PROJECT 中時集團總部大樓, 2008.......Back Cover
   By Jou Min LIN 林洲民

 

By Hsia Ching 夏菁

THE RAIN, ST. LUCIA
雨‧聖露西亞*

Translated by C. W. WANG 王季文


   It was midnight, the rain woke me up.
   Sometimes it rains hard, other time it slackens a little—like the beating of drums at a carnival, or the rushing of the Caribbean ebb tide. In one moment, it’s a herd of antelopes running atop my roof; in another moment, it’s the horse’s hoof beating upon a cobbles street—tic tac . . . tic tac. Can this be a summer storm, considering the fact that the Lunar New Year had just past a few days ago? Suddenly, I can’t tell which season I am in, and where on earth I am now.
   At the time I left the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, it was just after a heavy snow storm. The night before, there were moon and star light. Then in the morning, there was snow everywhere. The world has changed its make up. The snow was so quiet, almost mysterious. Every time I watched the street light while it is snowing I see armies of white moths dancing around the light. It looks as if they have much confusion, yet there seemed to be order in disorder. The beauty of the snow pleases the visual senses, whereas the rain catches directly to your ears. Can snow make a sound? If it can, it must be very animated. “Winter snow should be heavy so that it could create sounds like breaking pieces of jades.” An ancient Chinese Scholar wrote about his bamboo pavilion. I like this kind of sound of Nature. It can hardly be enjoyed by people of modern day.
   Now the torrential rain has turned into a waterfall flowing down in total abandon and brining loud echoes. A poem by the Chinese poet, Wang Wei, “One night’s rain in the mountains, myriads springs appear on tree tops.” I couldn’t agree more but now the rain had almost suppressed all other sounds. Before I went to bed, I heard crickets call, dogs bark, mosquitoes sing and cars horn, but now, they are all engulfed by the rain. This rain is so powerful that it ushers in the wind, summons up the thunder and takes over the sea, rendering whales to suffocate and dolphins to flee. Finally, the rain abruptly stopped short, like playing up to the last note of the Hero’s Symphony—a grand fanfare of silence.
   Once more, the rain returns to its drum beating. It wakes up my memory. Day before yesterday, I arrived at this volcano island nation, St. Lucia, also known as Helen of the West Indies. What a beautiful name! Looking eastward, it is the turbulent Atlantic; gazing westward, there is the gentle Caribbean Sea. Every day, the sun rises in a fiery way, and sets in silent peace. Sun rises and sun sets in two different worlds. On this island, there are also two different traditions: British and French. During the last century, they’d changed their flags fourteen times. It is no surprise that some places are named in English while others in French. Their language is also a mix of these two. The products of this island include St. Lucia parrots, Calypso music, the twin peak volcano, Pitons, and Napoleon’s Queen: Josephine. The harbor City of this capital is built along the hills, and in the city traffic lights are of none existence. Their forefathers were buried right on the beaches, and in the port a Love Boat is now anchored. The president of the university was the former Governor, and the present Prime Minister is a plain banana farmer. Less than ten years ago, this island declared independence, and now, they have a perfect democratic government. People here are industrious and peace loving. Only the Nobel Prize Winner is the man who received much blame, for his living abroad and seldom coming back to his mother land.
   The other night, starting from the airport, it took the taxi a little over an hour to pass through that winding hilly road. While in the car, I noticed the undulating landscape and saw banana plantations here and there. Finally, the car stopped at the hostel of the capital city. After changing my dress and preparing to retire, I felt the breeze from the sea caressing gently against my body, and heard the love calls of the crickets. Arriving from the snow bound of North America it is like entering into another world—A strange, yet familiar world. This induced me to think about another small island half a globe away: Lived there for thirty some years, had fared much rain and much wind. The rainy days there seemed over and a puzzling weather has begun. I also think about my old acquaintances. If any one of them should suddenly appear at my doorway, I wouldn’t be surprised. This kind of tropical air, being missed so long, touched my skin, making it swell. I find it just great! “We are still in the dry season now,” said my hostess. I replied: “How could I smell some rain?”
   That night, tired after the long flight, I had a good night sleep. Next morning, I was awakened by the singing birds: some in long trills, some in short notes, some in duet, and some in solo. I have missed this kind of natural music for quite long while, but I must get up now. It was not until my peeping out a window that I noticed the location of this white hostel. It is erected on a hill top surrounded by many trees and flowers. The seashore lies at a short distance, with a stretch of yellow beach. It was a windy morning. The foams on the top of the waves looked like a series of white triangular flags. The palm trees waved their long, supple arms as if calling the puffs of purple clouds. I smelt the refreshing fragrance from the garden where a lemon tree was in full blooming. What a wonderful day in the Caribbean!
   In the first two days, the weather was magnificent. Now, tonight, this storm enveloped the whole island without warning. I can hardly believe it. This is the dry season! The island is so small. If the wind had been blowing at a different speed, or the clouds positioned a little sidewise, this island would have missed the storm. This is merely a coincidence, happened only by chance, just like my trip to St. Lucia. Is it not true that a man’s life is always interwoven with things by chance and things by certainty? The foot prints on the beach yesterday were by chance; their being washed away by the waves today is by certainty. The yacht in the port is by chance; the existence of the harbor itself is by certainty. This storm had occurred by chance; and the blue sky afterwards is by certainty. My existence is by chance; the eternity of the universe is by certainty. An old English poem by Gilbert K. Chesterton says:
      Step softly, under snow or rain,
      To find the place where men can pray!
   This reflects my present mood.

From Hsia Ching’s 夏菁 Ke lin shih pao te feng-ling 《可臨視堡的風鈴》 (The Wind Chimes of Fort Collins), Taipei:INK Publishing, 2004, 15-17.


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