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The Meaning of PhDYesterday I booked a private taxi for airport.When I arrived at my destination the driver gave me his business card for future bookings.
「Dr. Raymond Tan PhD」
Wow !!! i was surprised and quizzed him, "Why are you driving a taxi with such high qualification ?"
He replied "Dr. is the short form of Driver"
"Then what about your PhD ?"
"I am a Privately-Hired Driver"
A psychological study conducted by scholars from Harvard University discovered that there might be some hidden costs associated with the extraordinary experiences you’ve been seeking out during your travels.
These costs manifest themselves in situations where you find yourself trying desperately to share your life-changing experiences with your friends only to be met with eyes of boredom and a stifled yawn.
No matter how many pictures of Louvre you pull up on your phone, they can’t seem to get how truly spectacular it was to stand in front of the Winged Victory of Samothrace. While one might be tempted to assign this lack of interest to simple envy, the truth is often at once more simple and complex than that.
“You had to be there to experience it,” you say, casually. And that statement might just contain the answer to your friends’ lack-of-interest.
They just weren’t there.
Your friends did not set out to be intentionally callous. The problem is that they just can’t relate because they weren’t there. You speak of washing down the most delicious cod croquettes with a glass of rosé at the 58 Tour Eiffel, but back here among the humdrum of the every day, your hometown mates are probably more excited about the local pizza joint that recently opened two streets over.
The lack of shared experiential vocabulary can create some social friction. Extraordinary experiences, while personally life-changing, might leave the traveller feeling socially divided from his or her community.
If you want to bond over how beautiful the sunlight looked sparkling on the water as you walked along the Seine, why not seek out a fellow traveller who understands without having to pull up a dozen photos that ultimately don’t do it justice anyway.
Reconnect with the travel buddies you met along the way. You’ll both be able to intuitively understand each other’s experiences and reciprocate with sharing similar stories more enthusiastically.
Growth is normal.
Understand that many of these experiences often confer non-social pleasures that might best be accepted as a personal journey.
If you claim that these have been life-changing experiences, then changes are bound to reflect in your person. How have your philosophies or outlooks on life shifted? Your previously irreligious self would have scoffed at the idea of any higher deity. But after spending an afternoon listening to the choir sing at Sacré-Cœur Basilica, you now identify as a Christian.
Not all changes are that momentous. Maybe visiting all those galleries and museums has given you a newfound appreciation for Renaissance art. Your friends might not be that interested in listening to the history of the pigments used by Leonardo da Vinci in his Mona Lisa.
While the democratization of travel has made visiting different locations more accessible, travelling is nonetheless still a privilege that some people are not in a position to experience.
It is only human for a twinge of plain old envy play a small role in someone’s clear disinterest in your stories. Your friend might have been pinching her pennies for years in her attempts to travel out of state. And here you are talking about missing the days where you backpacked through ten different European cities. Very soon, they’re waiting for the inevitable point where your conversation turns into a one-sided monologue. You should be proud of yourself and your newfound independence and insights. but also recognise that these are opportunities to be thankful for. No one likes a humble-brag.
At the end of the day, these small instances of social friction should not deter you from seeking extraordinary experiences. Be self-aware in your communications and don’t take it personally if a flicker of boredom appears in your friend’s eyes as you recount your adventures. Travelling is often an intensely personal and visceral journey. Very often the joys and sorrows experienced along the way are unique to each person. And that’s okay! You can always seek out other common interests to bond over. (Source: https://blog.wego.com)
On a sapling in the field
Little birds are singing:
“Spring has come back to the world
Little birds are singing!”
“Pink and red and budding all,
The peonies are big and tall.
While the cherry tree is small,
Sweet its fruits will be and yellow.”
Grasses grow on the meadow’s side,
Swinging to the wind of spring,
Tiny faces moving with the tide,
Raising voices and they sing:
“Drink our dew, most gentle breeze,
There is more than you can tell;
Blow into our dresses, please,
Does it make them shine and swell!”
Riding on his buffalo
A young boy beats the beat
On his thighs and he sings too,
So romantic in the heat:
“We need a dive, we need to bathe,
We are a perfect team.
My buffalo can drink and graze,
It’s time for her to swim.”
“I see there is a shallow lake
For us to have a bath in.
The water is cool, for freshness sake
I will not stop my singing.”
"Lo!" said a thinker, walking by
With zero goal but his despair.
"Where do we go, cried he, and why?"
Both hands in his neglected hair.
He watched the boy, the meadow and
The birds, and then his heart knew better.
“Can peace be an illusion, though
These spring things really matter?”
A jaded poet passed in tears, but here
His fingers cleared them and the wrinkles
Of his forehead broke and cheered:
The vision of pure beauty made him twinkle.
Xu Yunuo, April 5, 1922
Translation by Jan Laurens Siesling, February 6, 2017
“不！…… 我要找野菜花去，我要找巧麥去 …… ”
The Violet and the Bee
Violet was a violet and the sun was warm,
Bee was a bee far away from his swarm,
Flying so slow and so utterly lazy,
Trembling Violet got with joy a bit crazy,
In for a flirt, her color could show it,
Her perfume, the spring air would blow it.
“My dear, my bee, my honey, come near,
I need your sweet kisses, I’m waiting here.”
She said it out loud, it was foolish, however
The bee just flew off, as if an endeavor
She wasn’t worth, and he spoke in the tone
Of a slug in the sand or a snail on a stone:
“I’m here to work, honey, on honey you know,
Tonight two legs full of pollen I owe.”
How chastely Violet smiled, smiled encore,
Her odors invested the air even more.
“I know you young guys, you act the same.
Your heart is dry, and worried your brain,
Cold like crude iron, but the fault is not you.
You need tender warm cuddles, wet ones too.
Come closer, my lovely and lively bee,
Do what you want, but do it to me.
Fly over me, beauty, you don’t want to miss
An occasion to practice on me a deep kiss.”
When thus she spoke, her petals spoke too,
Followed by tears that trickled down, blue.
But Bee was as cold as a bee can be,
Keen, to his queen, on responsibility.
His job was his life, who wants to lose that?
Not for a kiss, not even with Violet.
“Goodbye girl, he said, time is running,
Work waits for me, cut short your cunning.”
Violet heard this and she did her best
To cut short her smile, but not her quest.
More like a prayer sounded her voice
When she offered Bee a last choice.
“Don’t run away, I might have what you need,
Honey for you, slow down! Or rather speed!
Speed up and put your mouth in mine,
Deep in there you will find my wine.”
“Sorry for now Violet! If you don’t mind,
I’m after flowers of another kind,
Old fashioned and useful, not sweet
Like you, but bitter barley and brown buckwheat.”
Such was the humble bee’s mumbling, before
He took off to blue heaven’s shore.
Violet was alone and she calmed down
Bowing her face, not showing her frown,
When she wondered how there could be
A bee unwilling to be with her to bee.
But wondering she smiled and smelt even more,
Telling the world what her beauty was for.
徐玉諾是一位20世紀初的革命的作家。作為一個天真的詩人，中國的Douanier Rousseau （愛懇編註：亨利·盧梭（Henri Julien Félix Rousseau），他略去長期以來主導中國詩歌的嚴格的結構規則。他交流著純粹的靈感，以自發的形式表現它，給人留下自由的印象。為了實現這一點，他的作品中引入了一些（浪漫）西方詩學的典型元素。在他們中間有敘述，簡單的每一天的詞匯，音樂性的語言和象征手法。（有趣的是，在同一時期，著名的西方作家們在他們的作品中，也在自由的旗幟下，引入了中國詩意質量的概念，或者他們認為是詩意質量的概念。）
當我發現寫於1922年的這兩首春天的詩，那些元素作為詩的主要特征觸擊到我。為了做到有趣和忠實的改寫我強調了這些特征，並在這裏或那裏發展了它們。我因此選擇了一個英語節奏韻律，不求學術嚴謹地使用他們，卻是連貫地，詩句更像是1922年的英國風格。我想要它是愉快的，不失天真的幽默或者語言的奇異（所以英國的！）。抓住它的坦率的情緒是必須的，還有它潛在的象征。這麽做，有時遺憾我失去了一些中國形式的橢圓特質。但正是在這個代價下，為英語讀者我保存了居於這兩首詩中的喜悅，這喜悅就是詩的靈魂。這個喜悅不僅慶祝春天的到來，還慶祝新詩時代的黎明，之外，一個新社會的黎明。（楊.勞倫斯.西思翎 / 2017年2月6日）
Note on this translation—On April 5th, 1922, Xu Yunuo wrote two poems about spring. Almost one century later, in spring, I propose a translation in English. Should I, instead of translation, more correctly use the word transcription? Musicians use it when they arrange a piece for a different instrument than it was originally written for. My versions of the two Xu Yunuo poems are not literal translations; some may think they are not sufficiently literal. But I believe they are true to the original. I believe my arrangement was able to maintain the spirit of the poems, while sacrificing to the letter. I believe the essence of a poem is its spirit.
How much of the spirit of a poem is in the mere letters and words? This is a problem with all translations, and a headache for translators. Some would argue it is in the words, period. I would suggest it is between the words, between the lines. In translations from the Chinese (into Western languages) the question is pressing. This is why: The true and ultimate justification for translating poetry is to transmit the poetic quality (or essence) of a poem. I would be pretentious if I, a European, boasted I am able to capture the poetic essence of Chinese poetry. Still the goal of my reading poetry is exactly that. Also, with more obstacles in the way, it is the goal of my translating. My understanding of poetic quality, however, is determined by the language I am born in, or by the ones I am very familiar with. Poetic quality and the spirit, I mentioned above, are probably close cousins. The spirit, I supposed, dwells between the words. And so I fill the space between the words of the foreign language poem with what goes for poetic quality in my own language. I can’t help doing it; it is part of my chemistry. But I think it is only in this way I can serve readers of the poem in its new language (my language). If I do well, I may even hope to do a service to the poem, and to whoever reads it in its original language. Let me move now to the transcription of the two poems that provoked these thoughts.
Xu Yunuo is a revolutionary writer of the early 20th century. Presented as a naive poet, a Douanier Rousseau of China, he ignores the strict rules of structure that had dominated Chinese verse since long. He communicates pure inspiration and delivers it in a spontaneous form, leaving an impression of liberation. To achieve this, he introduced a few typical elements of (Romantic) Western poetics into his writing. Between them are narration, simple and every day vocabulary, melodious language and symbolism. (It is interesting to see that in the same period prominent Western writers introduced Chinese notions of poetic quality, or what they thought it was, in their work, also under the banner of liberation.) Those elements were the principle features that struck me, when I discovered the two spring poems of 1922. To make an interesting and faithful transcription I stressed these features, and developed them here or there. I chose therefore an English rhythm, meter and rhyme, using them without academic rigor, but consistently, as verse would have been in England in 1922. I wanted it to be pleasant, not deprived of naive humor or even linguistic oddities (so English!). To catch its candid mood was a must, as well as its latent symbolism. In so doing I lost some of the elliptical qualities of the Chinese form, sometimes with regret. But it was at that price that I saved for the English reader the joy that inhabits the poems, as their soul. This joy celebrates not only the coming of spring, but the dawn of a new poetic era, and beyond that the dawn of a new society. （JLS，February 6, 2017）
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894)
A Prayer for Travellers
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Thomas Hardy (1840–1928)
Give me the long, straight road before me,
A clear, cold day with a nipping air,
Tall, bare trees to run on beside me,
A heart that is light and free from care.
Then let me go! – I care not whither
My feet may lead, for my spirit shall be
Free as the brook that flows to the river,
Free as the river that flows to the sea.
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愛墾網 是文化創意人的窩;自2009年7月以來，一直在挺文化創意人和他們的創作、珍藏。As home to the cultural creative community, iconada.tv supports creators since July, 2009.
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