Wen Yiduo: Stagnant Water (From Modern Chinese)

A perhaps ill-advised attempt at translating a poem from modern Chinese, which I don't know that well.  I tried to use an anapest-differentiated version of iambic pentameter for the rather ingenious metrical pattern that appears to be used here.

Stagnant Water
By Wén Yīduō
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

Here lies a ditch of hopeless stagnant water,
Fresh breezes can't breathe half a ripple from its skin.
Better just junk your copper scrap metal here
Or dump the leftovers from dinner in.

Perhaps the copper will turn emerald green
And in rusting cans peach blossom petals will bloom.
Then let grease weave out a film of silken gauze 
And microbes brew up clouds of colorful brume.

Oh let the dead water ferment into green liquor
Abrim with floating pearls in its white foam
Sweet little pearls that, laughing, turn into large pearls
And burst when the liquor-raiding mosquitos come

Thus may a ditch of hopelessly dead water
Still boast some lively brightness where it lies
If the frogs cannot tolerate the desolation
Hear croaking song from stagnant water rise!

Here lies a ditch of hopeless stagnant water.
It's really no place for Beauty to keep state. 
Better let Hellion Ugliness cultivate it
And see what kind of world it will create.

The Original:

死水         Sǐshuǐ

聞一多        Wén Yīduō

這是一溝絕望的死水, Zhè shì yī gōu juéwàngde sǐshuǐ,

清風吹不起半點漪淪。 qīngfēng chuī bùqǐ bàndiǎn yīlún
不如多扔些破銅爛鐵, Bùrú duō rēng xiē pò tóng làntiě,
爽性潑你的剩菜殘羹。 shuǎngxìng pō nǐde shèng cài cángēng.

也許銅的要綠成翡翠, Yěxǔ tóngde yāo lǜ chéng fěicuì,

鐵罐上鏽出幾瓣桃花; tiěguàn shàng xiù chū jǐ bàn táohuā;
再讓油膩織一層羅綺, zài ràng yóunì zhī yī céng luōqǐ,
黴菌給他蒸出些雲霞。 méijūn gěi tā zhēng chū xiē yúnxiá.

讓死水酵成一溝綠酒, Ràng sǐshuǐ jiàochéng yī gōu lǜ jiǔ,

飄滿了珍珠似的白沫; piāo mǎnle zhēnzhū shìde báimò;
小珠們笑聲變成大珠, xiǎo zhūmen xiàoshēng biànchéng dà zhū,
又被偷酒的花蚊咬破。 yòu bèi tōujiǔde huāwén yǎopò.

那麼一溝絕望的死水, Nàme yī gōu juéwàngde sǐshuǐ,

也就誇得上幾分鮮明。 yějiù kuā déshàng jǐfēn xiānmíng.
如果青蛙耐不住寂寞, Rúguǒ qīngwā nàibuzhù jìmò,
又算死水叫出了歌聲。 yòusuàn sǐshuǐ jiàochūle gēshēng.

這是一溝絕望的死水, Zhè shì yī gōu juéwàngde sǐshuǐ,

這裡斷不是美的所在, zhèlǐ duàn bùshì měide suǒzài,
不如讓給醜惡來開墾, bùrú ràng gěi chǒu'è lái kāikěn,
看他造出個什麼世界。 kàn tā zàochū gè shénme shìjiè.

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