Neruda’s Oda a la papa (Ode to the Papa 薯仔頌) 3


Honrada eres                                       You are honest                                                     你是誠實的   

como                                                   like                                                                       猶如

un                                                        a                                                                           一隻

mano                                                   hand                                                                     在泥土工作中的

que trabaja en la tierra,                        which works on the soil,                                        手,

familiar                                                you are                                                                  你猶若 

eres como                                            familiar like                                                           一只母雞般

una gallina,                                         a hen,                                                                    那麽尋常, 

compacta como un queso                   compact like a cheese                                             如大地

que la tierra elabora                            which the soil made                                                在她滿載營養的

en sus ubres                                        within its nutritious                                                 乳頭內歌頌的乳酪般

nutricias,                                            udders,                                                                     結實,

enemiga del hambre,                         enemy of hunger,                                                     饑餓之敵

en todas las naciones                          in all the nations                                                       你勝利的

se enterró tu bandera                         your conquering flag                                                旗幟

vencedora                                          is buried                                                                   埋藏在各國地下,

y pronto allí,                                      and quickly there                                                      而很快地在那裡,                 

en el frío o en la costa                        in the cold or the                                                       在寒冷中或在那 

quemada,                                           burning coast,                                                            炎熱的海邊,

apareció                                              your anonymous                                                       你無名之

tu flor                                                  flower                                                                       花朵

anónima                                              appears                                                                      出現,

anunciano la espesa                             announcing the thick                                                 宣報他根部那

y suave                                                and smooth                                                               厚而幼嫩之

natalidad de sus raíces.                         birth of its roots.                                                       誕生。

 

Universal delicia,                                 Universal delight                                                      普世之歡欣,

no esperabas                                        you did not expect                                                   你沒料到

mi canto                                               my song                                                                  我這首歌

porque eres sorda                                 because you are deaf                                               因你啞

y ciega                                                  and blind                                                                與瞎

y enterrada.                                           and buried.                                                             和埋藏地下。

Apenas                                                  You can hardly                                                       在油之

si hablas en el infierno                           talk in the hell                                                         地獄中

del aceite                                               of oil                                                                       或在

o cantas                                                 or sing                                                                     港口吉他旁

en las freidurías                                     in the fried-food stalls                                              的炸物店中

de los puertos                                        of the ports                                                               你那來時間

cerca de las guitarras,                             close by the guitars,                                                  說話或歌唱,

silenciosa,                                              silent,                                                                        沈默

harina de la noche                                 flour                                                                          地下

subterránea,                                           of the subterrean night,                                              黑夜之麪粉,

tesoro interminable                                the everlasting treasure                                               所有人

de los pueblos.                                       of all peoples.                                                            永有之玫寶。

 

In this poem, Neruda sings his praises to the common potato, which he calls the "everlasting or endless treasure" of all the people of the world. He talks of the history of its discovery by the gold-thirsty greed of the Spanish conquistators of south America who brought back, not gold but something much better, something which serves the common people instead of merely the need for the conspicuos consumption of kings, queens, dukes and duchesses and the wealthy landowners or merchants: the potato which in South America is called papa instead of patata as it is called in Spain.  We also get an inkling of Neruda’s pride in being a South American, and not a Castellan, which is the basis of modern Spanish tongue. 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s