From To A Daughter Leaving Home and Other Poems by Linda Pastan.

September 29, 2003

Sometimes in Winter 有時在冬天
when I look into
當我注視
the fragile faces
所愛的人
of those I love, 脆弱的臉,
I long to be
我渴望像
one of those people who skate
有些人那樣,溜冰
over the surface 於自己的生命
of their lives, scoring
表面,在冰上
the ice with patterns
刻畫自己
of theor own making, 創造的花樣,
people who have
這些人
no children,
沒有兒女,
who are attached 他們跟地球
to earth only by
聯繫,只憑
silver blades moving
銀色冰刀
at high speed, 高速移動,
who have learned to use
他們已學會
the medium of the cold
以冷為媒
to dance in. 舞蹈。

  這首詩的題目即是詩的開頭,而全詩只是一句話,表達一種「有時」禁不住的渴望和擋不住的寒顫。
  冬天看到「沒兒沒女沒牽掛」的人「只憑/銀色冰刀/高速移動」,不時人間煙火般的在冰上自得其樂,寒冬似乎只讓他們「學會/以冷為媒」來「舞蹈」,而自己「所愛的人」卻有「脆弱的臉」,使說話者不禁羨慕起來,希望自己也能像其他溜冰者一樣「只為自己」生命「刻畫」些「花樣」。這樣的渴望透露出極端的冷。

September 22, 2003

All We Have to Go By 我們所能依據的
As if I had dreaned the snow 像是我做夢讓雪
into falling,
落下似的,
I wake to a world
醒來的世界
blanked out
完全遮蓋了
in its particulars,
它的種種,
nearly erased. 幾乎滅絕。
This is the silence 這種寂靜
of absolute whiteness--the mute 屬於絕對的白——緘默的
birds no where 鳥無處
in sight, the car 覓,車子
and animal tracks 和動物的痕跡
filled in, 已填回,

all boundaries

所有的疆界,

as in love,

像愛情般,

ambiguous.

模糊。

Sometimes all we have

有時我們所能

to go by

依據的

is the weather:

只有天氣:

a message

雪用隱形墨水
the snow writes
寫下的
in invisible ink,
訊息,
what the sky means
天空以石蕊
by its limuts
顏色
colors. 表達的意旨。
Now my breath
現在我的氣息
on the chilly window
在冰冷的窗子上
forms a cloud
形成一朵雲,
which may turn to rain later,
以後可能化做雨,
somewhere else. 落在別處。

  一覺醒來,白雪已經覆蓋大地。
  若說「所有的疆界,/像愛情般,/模糊」,則愛情不也是模糊如雪蓋的大地一般?
  的確,我們的氣息可以是雲,是雨,是雪;忽焉在此,忽焉在彼。

September 15, 2003

Balance 平衡

On the small, imaginary

在那小小、想像的
kitchen scales,
廚房秤上﹐
I place on one side
我一邊擺放
all the scraps of memory
記憶碎片
has left me, as if I could make
留給我的一切﹐好像可以
a meal of them;
用來做一餐似的;
and on the other, all
另一邊是我
I can surmise of the indelible
對無法磨滅之未來
future: anniversaries,
的揣想:週年紀念、
losses. On one side I place
失落。在一邊我擺上
my mother's suede glove-
母親的絨面皮手套--
that emptied udder; 那掏空的乳房;
On the other the mitten 另一邊是我孫子剛剛
my grandson just dropped-
掉落的連指手套--
a woolen signpost he'll soon
他即將不需要的
outgrow. He is three;
一個羊毛指標。他三歲;
she has been gone three years
她離開已三年
exactly. Equilibrium is simply
整。均衡也者﹐正是
that moment when the present
現在跟過去
is as real as the past
或未來同樣真實的
or the future, when the air
那一刻﹐此時
that nourishes us
我們呼吸
we breath

滋養我們的空氣﹐

without thinking.

不假思索。

  這首詩巧妙的以廚房為景,以秤為喻,一方面悼亡,一方面慶生。秤的一邊放著「記憶碎片」,另一邊放著「未來的/揣想」;一邊放著「母親的絨面手套--/那掏空的乳房」,另一邊放著孫子「剛剛/掉落」的羊毛連指手套,精準的交代了世代交替的鐵則。兩者均衡的構成了說話者真實的現在--她調理的人生食譜。

September 8, 2003

Guilt

Stepchild

想像力的

of the imagination,

繼子﹐

it roams

遊蕩於

the gardens

我們母親栽種的

our mother planted,

花園﹐

picking

採摘


thorned roses

有刺的玫瑰

for the bedsides

放在私通者的

of the adulterers,

床邊﹐

watering tea leaves

替痛苦的

for the cups

杯子

of bitterness

泡茶葉

that keep us sleepless

使我們失眠

through the unforgiving

渡過不肯原諒的

nights.

夜。

  全詩只一句,刻畫感情走私者內心的痛苦折磨,入木三分。
  罪疚既是「想像力的/繼子」,則偷情一事容或還未真正發生,或者還未被識破察覺,然而懲罰並未因而稍減。在生活的每一個角落(花園、床邊),每一時刻(喝茶、睡覺),犯錯者都會如此意象鮮活的感到罪疚的控告。罪疚遊蕩在母親的花園,想是因為母親的諄諄告誡使然。

September 1, 2003

Posterity 後代

For every newborn child

為每一個娃娃出世

We planted one live tree,

我們都把命樹種栽

A green posterity,

(一個綠色的後代)﹐

So death could be beguiled

以樹根樹花樹枝

By root and branch and flower

欺騙死神上當,

To abdicate some power.

誘他放棄某些力量。

And we were reconciled.

於是我們相安無事。

Now we must move away
如今我們必須搬遷﹐
Leaving the trees behind
將這些樹木留下
For anyone to climb.
任由他人來攀爬。
The gold-rimmed sky goes gray.
鑲金的天空轉暗。
Snow, as we turn our backs,
雪﹐在我們回身之際﹐
Obliterates our tracks.
模糊了我們的蹤跡。
Not even leaves can stay. 連樹葉也無法佇延。

  孩子一出生,父母植樹以轉移死神的注意,希冀災禍由樹根、樹花、樹枝代為承當。願孩子平平安安的過一輩子。真是天下父母心。
  人事有遷移,樹也有「任由他人來攀爬」的時候;畢竟「鑲金的天空」也會「轉暗」。人的作為可以維持多久?只一回首,「樹葉也無從佇延」:生命終是會消逝的。為後代所做的種種盤算,到頭來恐怕都是一場空。

August 25, 2003

Cousins 堂表親

We meet at funerals

我們每隔幾年

every few years-another star
於葬禮相會--家族星群
in the constellation of our family
又一顆星星
put out-and even in that failing
熄滅--而就連在那黯
light, we look completely
光裡﹐我們的面貌全然
different, completely the same.
不同﹐全然相似。
"What are you doing now?"
「你們現在是做什麼的?」
we ask each other, "How
我們互問對方﹐「你們
have you been?" At these times
最近如何?」在這種時候
the past is more palpable
往事鮮活有力
than our children waiting
勝過我們在家等候的
at home or the wives and husbands tugging
兒女或是拉扯我們袖子的
at our sleeves. "Remember . . . ?"
另一半。「記得嗎……?」
we ask, "Remember the time . . . ?"
我們問﹐「記得那時……?」
And laughter is as painful
笑得很痛苦
as if our ribs had secret
猶如肋骨裡面有
cracks in them.
祕密裂痕。
Our childhoods remain 我們的童年只
only in the sharp bones 存在於我們尖削的
of our noses, the shape 鼻骨、我們眼睛的
of our eyes, the way our genes call out 形狀、我們基因互相
to each other in the high-pitched notes
呼叫的方式﹐聲音高得
that only kin can hear.
只有親人聽得見。
How much of memory
多少記憶
is imagination? And if loss
是想像?而如果失落
is an absence, why does it grow
是空﹐為什麼會變
heavy? These are the questions
重?這些問題才是
we mean when we ask: "Where
我們問「你們
are you living now?" or
現在住哪裡?」或
"How old is your youngest?" 「你們最小的幾歲?」的真意。
Sometimes I feel the grief
有時我感覺這種場合
Of these occasions swell
的憂傷湧漲
in me until I become
內心﹐使我變成
an instrument in which language rises
一個樂器﹐語言從中揚升
like music. But all
如音樂。但是
that the others can hear
別人能夠聽到的
is my strangled voice calling
只有我窒息的聲音﹐喊著
"Goodbye . . ." calling
「再見……」喊著
"Keep in touch . . ."
「多聯絡啊……」
with the kind of sound
那種聲音像
a bagpipe makes, its bellows heaving,
風笛所奏﹐風箱鼓脹﹐
and even its marching music funereal. 連它那進行曲也如哀樂。

  葬禮,成了堂表親敘舊的場合。
  敘舊的人「面貌全然╱不同﹐全然相似」,貼切而弔詭的點出時間在我們身上刻畫的痕跡。
  「多少記憶╱是想像?而如果失落/是空,為什麼會變/重?」記憶並不可靠,卻是聯繫的依據。無論生離或死別,都是感情的失落;離別的經驗越多,記憶的擔子也越重。
  平凡俗套的社交言語底下,潛藏著真實深沈而無法精確表達的情感,聽到的只有變調的哀樂。

August 18, 2003

Only Child 獨生女

Sister to no one,

誰的姊妹都不是,
I watched
我盯著
the children next door
隔壁的小孩
quarrel and make up
吵架又和好﹐
in a code
此中密碼
I never learned
我從未學會
to break. 破解。
Go play! 去玩哪!
my mother told me. 媽媽告訴我。
Play! said the aunts, 去玩!阿姨們說著﹐
their heads all nodding 人人點著
on their stems,
梗上的頭--
a family of rampant
一家族繁茂的
flowers
and I a single shoot.
而我是單苗。
At night I dreamed
夜裡我夢到
I was a twin
自己是攣生﹐
the way my two hands,
就像我的雙手、
my eyes,
眼睛、
my feet were twinned.
腳是成雙的。
I married young. 我結婚得早。
In the fractured light
在記憶那眩目日陽
of memory-that place
或陰影之處﹐斷裂的
of blinding sun or shade,
光線裡
I stand waiting
我佇立
on the concrete stoop
水泥門階上
for my own children
等待自己的子女
to find me. 來找我。

  獨生的小孩是孤獨的,特別是羞赧不善交友的小孩--例如詩中的說話者。
  長輩自己是「一家族繁茂的/畫」,不了解「單苗」的她對「成雙」的殷切期盼--殷切到連作夢都想到「自己是孿生」,殷切到用「早婚」來達到「成雙成對」的願望。
  然而寂寞依舊揮之不去,在殘破的記憶之光裡,她依然伶仃佇立等待她的子女--是不是他們有了自己的密碼,而老媽不知道?

 

August 11, 2003

A New Poet 一個新詩人
Finding a new poet
發現一個新詩人
is like finding a new wildflower
就像發現一種新的野花
out in the woods. You don't see 在森林裡。你無法在
its name in the flower books, and
花冊上找到它的名字﹐而
nobody you tell believes
你告訴誰都不會相信
in its odd color or the way 它怪異的顏色或是它葉子
its leaves grow in splayed rows

的長相:一排排向外

down the whole length of the page. In fact

長得滿滿一整頁。實則

the very page smells of spilled

紙頁的氣味有著濺灑

red wine and the mustiness of the sea

紅酒和霧天大海的

on a foggy day-the odor of truth
霉臭--那氣味蘊藉真理
and of lying. 和謊言。
And the words are so familiar,

而那些文字如此熟悉﹐

so strangely new, words
如此新奇﹐那文字
you almost wrote yourself, if only 幾乎是你自己寫下的﹐只須
in your dream there had been a pencil 在你夢中有一隻鉛筆
or a pen or even a paintbrush, 或鋼筆甚或彩畫筆﹐
if only there had been a flower. 只須當時有一朵花。

  發現一個新詩人有如在森林裡發現新種的野花一般帶給人無以名狀的驚喜,訝異它的顏色、長相、氣味、紋路。
  說話者從花想到葉,又從葉想到頁(中英文相同的雙關語):葉子參差向外伸展,由如詩行在書頁上排列。紙頁上「紅酒和霧天大海的/霉臭」並呈著「真理/和謊言」--無非人生的寫照。
  最令人震撼的乃是他的「文字如此熟悉,/如此新奇」,而且「幾乎是你自己寫下的」。英國浪漫詩人濟慈說過,「詩……應使讀者覺得它表達了他自己最高超的思想,並且恍若回憶」("Poetry…should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a Remembrance" (Letter to John Taylor, feb. 27, 1818)。可不是嗎?一個「新詩人」的註冊商標乃是讀者對他作品的文字、意象有似曾相識卻無法明陳的感覺。

August 4, 2003

The Bookstall 書攤
Just looking at them
光是看著它們
I grow greedy, as if they were
我就貪婪起來﹐好像它們是
freshly baked loaves
剛出爐的麵包
waiting on their shelves
擺在架上
to be broken-that one
等著被掰開——那個
and that-and I make my choice
還有那個——於是我以鴻運當頭
in a mood of exalted luck,
的心情做出決定﹐
browsing among them
咀嚼其中﹐
like a cow in sweetest pasture. 如母牛在最甘美的草原。
For life is continuous
因為生命可以延續﹐
as long as they wait
只需這些書等著
to be read-these inked paths
讓人閱讀--這些墨瀋之路
opening into the future, page
開向未來﹐一頁
after page, every book
又一頁﹐每本書
its own receding horizon.
都是它自己後退的地平線。
And I hold them, one in each hand,
我握著書﹐一手一本:
a curious ballast weighting me
好奇的壓倉物把我鎮在
here to the earth. 地球這裡。

賞析:
  這首詩是嗜書者的告白,也是對書的禮讚。
  書像是「剛出爐的麵包」那樣令人垂涎;咀嚼起來,「如母牛在最甘美的草原」。
  書更是精神食糧。第二傑指出人類集體的生命需要靠書香延續。閱讀可以增長見識,開拓視野——書書相引,「每本書/都是它自己後退的地平線」。
  因為有書,因為可以讀書,說話者才甘心停駐在這個世界裡。

July 28, 2003

The Myth of Perfectability 盡善盡美之神話

I hang the still life of flowers

我把花的靜物畫
by a window so it can receive
掛在窗邊好讓它領受
the morning light, as flowers must.
晨曦﹐因為花有此必要。
But sun will fade the paint,
但太陽會晒褪油彩﹐
so I move the picture to the exact center
所以我把畫移到一面暗牆的
of a dark wall, over the mantel
正當中﹐壁爐架的上方﹐
where it looks too much like a trophy-
看起來像極了戰利品--
one of those animal heads
一個動物的頭﹐
but made up of blossoms.
卻是用花朵製成的。
I move it again to a little wall
我再把它挪到門廳那邊的
down a hallway where I can come upon it
一面小牆﹐幾乎可以不經意
almost by chance, the way the Japanese
就看到的地方﹐一如日本人
put a small window in an obscure place,
在不起眼之處開個小窗﹐
hoping that the sight of a particular landscape
希望某一種特殊風景的視野
will startle them with beauty as they pass
可以使人經過時驚覺其美麗
and not become familiar.
而不至於太熟悉。
I do this all day long, moving
我成天幹這種事﹐移動
the picture or sometimes a chair or a vase
那幅畫﹐或是椅子花瓶的﹐
from place to place. Or else
搬來搬去。不然
I sit here at the typewriter,
就坐在這裡﹐打字機旁﹐
putting in a comma to slow down
添加一個逗點以減緩
a long sentence, then taking it out,
長句的速度﹐再把它拿掉﹐
then putting it back again
再把它擺回去
until I feel like a happy Sisyphus,
直到感覺像快樂的西西弗(注)﹐
or like a good farmer who knows
或是像個好莊稼人﹐知道
that the body's work is never done,
軀體的工作永遠忙不完﹐
for the motions of plowing and planting continue
因為犁田和栽種的動作持續下去﹐
season after season, even in his sleep. 一季復一季﹐甚至在睡眠之中。

賞析:
  一般人不時在生活中調整環境,改善品質;完美主義者更是凡事力求盡善盡美。這種人有可能步入神話人物西西弗的命運——推石上山頂,卻又滑了下來,以致這週而復始永無成效的推石成了詛咒。
  本詩作者巧妙的打破了這個咒詛。她在生活和寫作中求變化,為的是追求完美,卻「感覺像快樂的西西弗」。盡善盡美也許只是個神話,卻無礙於追求者的樂趣。

注:Sisyphus﹐或譯薛西弗斯﹐是希臘神話裡的一個國王﹐受罰在陰間推巨石上山﹐到了山頂巨石又落下,只得永遠重複這個工作。是為「西西弗神話」。

July 21, 2003

Woman Sewing Beside a Window 窗邊針織的婦人

"Pure and simple observation is a deed . . ."
Edward Vuillard

「單純的觀察是一種行為……」
愛德華.維雅(注)

He captures light
他捕捉光線--
by painting its slow
畫出光的緩緩
diminishment: the woman
消逝:那婦人
leaning over her work,
彎腰做針線﹐
mending the flower-dark day
一針挑起一針﹐
stitch by gathering stitch
修補花黯的日子﹐
which she will finish soon,
很快她就會做完﹐
and fold, and put away. 疊好﹐收起來。

賞析:
  派斯坦喜歡讀畫,思索畫(參見〈倫理學〉、〈朱紅〉、〈嘉年華會之夜〉)。這首詩記錄她對維雅(Edourd Vuillard)一幅畫「單純的觀察」。
  畫家捕捉的是一個固定的時刻。詩人則以她的想像力在畫中讀出光線的變化、時間的移轉、針織者的動作。簡單幾筆,一幅靜態的畫頓時活動了起來。

注:Edward Vuillard應該就是Edourd Vuillard (1868-1940)﹐法國畫家﹐兼擅石印。

July 14, 2003

Autumn
I want to mention

我想要訴說

summer ending 夏之將盡﹐
without meaning the death 而不必意指所愛
of somebody loved 的死
or even the death 甚或樹木
of the trees. 的死。
Today in the market 今天在市場
I heard a mother say 我聽到一個母親說
Look at the pumpkins, 瞧那些南瓜﹐
it's finally autumn! 終於到秋天了!
And the child didn't think
而那個孩子沒有想到
of the death of her mother 她母親的死
which is due before her own (那會在她的之前)
but tasted the sound 只用她笨拙的舌頭
of the words on her clumsy tongue: 品嚐那些字的味道:
pumpkin; autumn. 南瓜;秋天。
Let the eye enlarge 睜大眼睛

with all it beholds.

看個夠吧。

I want to celebrate

我要慶祝

color, how one red leaf

色彩﹐看一枚紅葉如何
flickers like a match 閃爍如火柴
held to a dry branch, 點向枯枝﹐
and the whole world goes up

於是整個世界燃起

in orange and gold.

橙黃和金亮。

賞析:
  多數的人,尤其是文人,似乎特別愛傷秋、悲秋;見到秋色,總是聯想到蕭瑟、敗亡。
  其實不必如此。透過這位母親的直覺反應及天真的兒童對「南瓜;秋天」的嘗鮮,說話者邀請讀者以歡欣之情,一起慶祝秋天帶來的炫麗。

July 7, 2003

from The Imperfect Paradise
選自〈不完美的樂土〉

SEASONAL

季節
Which season is the loveliest of all?
最可愛的是哪一個季節?
Without a pause you smile and answer spring,
你毫不遲疑笑答是春天﹐
Thinking of Eden long before the fall.
想的是遠在墮落之前的伊甸。
I see green shrouds enclosing everything
我看見綠色屍布包裹著一切﹐
And choose instead the chaos of the snow
遂反而選擇了渾沌的雪,
Before God separated dark from light.
趁上帝還未把暗與光分隔。
I hear the particles of matter blow
我聽到物質的分子在冬夜
Through wintry landscapes on a wintry night.
呼嘯吹過冬天的景色。
You find the world a warm and charming place,
你覺得這世界溫馨而可愛﹐
My Adam, you name everything in sight.
我的亞當﹐你為所見的一切命名。
I find a garden of conspicuous waste-
我覺得這園子明顯的頹壞──

The apple's flesh is cold and hard and white.

蘋果的肉既冷又白且硬。

Still, at your touch my house warms to the eaves

但﹐經你一碰我的房子暖到了屋簷,
As autumn torches all the fragile leaves. 恰值秋季燃亮所有脆弱的葉片。
   

IN THE GARDEN

花園裡
How do we tell the flowers from the weeds 花卉和雜草我們要如何區分?
Now that the old equality of space 眼見花園空間舊有的平等

Has ended in the garden, and the seeds

如今已經結束﹐而馬利筋、
Of milkweed and daisy scatter in disgrace?
雛菊的種子也因失寵而飄零。

Is it the stamen, petal, or the leaf

正當蘭花盛開而名氣大噪﹐
That like the ancient signature of Cain
是葉片、花瓣、還是雄蕊
Marks the flesh of wildflowers, to their grief
有如該隱古舊的記號
Just as the orchid blossoms into fame?
標示野花的肉體﹐令它愁悲?
And Esau was the wildflower of his clan,
而以掃是他家族的野花﹐
And Jacob was the brother who was chosen.
而雅各是那被撿選的胞弟。

So we learn to distinguish man from man

於是我們學著像植物學家
Like botanists, our categories frozen.
把人分辨,做呆板的歸類。
But in a single morning roses die
但只一個早晨玫瑰就死去
While dandelions and chokeweed multiply. 而蒲公英和爛草繁衍茂密。
   
THE IMPERFECT PARADISE 不完美的樂土
If God had stopped work after the fifth day 假如上帝在第五天之後收工﹐
With Eden full of vegetables and fruits, 讓伊甸園滿是菜蔬和水果﹐

If oak and lilac held exclusive sway

假如櫟樹和丁香完全主控
Over a kingdom made of stems and roots,
由根和莖所構成的王國﹐
If landscape were the genius of creation
假如造物的神妙在於景觀

And neither man nor serpent played a role

而人或蛇都沒有角色可演﹐
And God must look to wind for lamentation
而上帝必須在風中尋找悲嘆
And not to picture postcards of the soul,
而不在靈魂的圖畫明信片﹐
Would he have rested on the bank of his cloud
那他可會高臥在他的層雲
With nothing in the universe to lose,
無須擔心宇宙有什麼失缺﹐
Or would he hunger for a human crowd?
還是說他會渴望大批人群?
Which would a wise and just creator choose:
智慧公正的造物會如何擇抉?
The green hosannas of a budding leaf
是一片嫩葉的綠色讚頌
Or the strict contract between love and grief? 還是愛與悲的嚴謹合同?
   
SOMEWHERE IN THE EUPHRATES 幼發拉底河某處

Somewhere in the Euphrates, buried, lost

長埋幼發拉底河某處無影蹤﹐
The rusted gates of Eden still remain,
伊甸園生蛌漱j門依舊在﹐
And archeologists at awful cost
考古學家付出可怕的費用
Search for a snakeskin or an apple stain,
尋找蘋果斑點或蛇皮一塊﹐
Talk of Atlantis or the wall of Troy
討論阿蘭提斯或特洛的古城﹐
As if they had to prove each legend real
彷彿必須把傳說一一證明﹐
Or else, like fools of science, must destroy
否則,就得像科學的笨人﹐
Geographies of what we only feel.
毀掉只能感受的地理環境。
While sometimes watching at the window here
我在窗戶這邊凝望﹐有時
I see you in the garden on your knees;
看到你在園裡雙膝跪地;
It is as close as you have come to prayer,
那是你最接近祈禱的姿勢﹐
Planting the shadblow and the peonies,
培育著牡丹和加拿大唐棣﹐
Making azaleas, hollies, dogwoods grow,
種植著冬青、山茱萸、杜鵑﹐
Digging up Eden with a single hoe. 單憑一把鋤頭就挖出了伊甸。

賞析:
  樂土卻不完美,是自相矛盾的說法。然而,人的世界正是如此。
  這四首工整的十四行詩,都從基督教聖經中〈創世紀〉的說法出發,闡釋說話者對某些人間事的獨特看法。
  第一首,〈季節變化〉,從簡單的問題「最可愛的是哪一個季節?」開始,就顯明了人對「樂土」看法的歧異:春與冬各有堅強的擁護者;秋天的熱力也不容忽視;「經你一碰我的房子暖到了屋簷。╱恰值邱季燃亮所有的葉片。」
  第二首,〈花園裡〉感嘆當年伊甸園裡眾生重物的平等,如今已經失去。無論花草或是人,我們都喜歡加以區分。諷刺的是,在人所精心設計的花園裡,正如神之伊甸園。花卉遭到雜草的顛覆,淪落--「只一個早晨玫瑰就死去/而蒲公英和爛草繁衍茂密。」
  第三首,〈不完美的樂園〉,做了一個十分有趣的假設:沒有人類的世界,會是怎樣的一個世界?沒有人,蛇也就無法引誘夏娃吃禁果;所謂墮落,也就不會臨到伊甸園。但是,這樣太平無事的世界,造物的神會滿意嗎?未免太過平淡乏味了吧?末句「愛與悲的嚴謹合同」既點明了神與人的關係,也道出人類無法十全十美的莫可奈何。沒有人,樂土不完美;有了人,樂土也不完美。這是個不完美的樂土。
  然則,我們就必須甘於如此的宿命嗎?有沒有對抗的手段呢?
  第四首,〈幼發拉底河某處〉,回答了這個問題。作者嘲諷了大費周章的科學笨人之餘,發現樂土可以就在自己身邊:詩中的「你」--是她的丈夫吧--「單憑著一把鋤頭就挖出了伊甸」。這是何等大的信心與成就,卻也是何等輕而易舉的事!
  這四首詩合為一組,對人類的不完美有抱憾,對他自求多福的能力也有嘉許--悲觀之中透出成熟、智慧、圓融的達觀。
就形式而言,這是典型的莎士比亞式十四行詩(又稱英國式十四行詩),韻式為:abab,cdcd, efef,gg。前三首收尾對偶句和第四首的最後一行更是筆力遒勁,直指詩心。

〈花園裡〉注:據聖經〈創世記〉所載﹐該隱(Cain)是亞當和夏娃的長子﹐因謀殺其弟亞伯(Abel)而遭流放﹔但耶和華在他身上做了記號﹐以免被他人所殺。以掃(Esau)和雅各(Jacob)是孿生兄弟﹐後來以掃將其長子名分賣給雅各。
〈不完美的樂園〉注:據聖經〈創世記〉所載﹐上帝創造人是在第六天。
〈幼發拉底河某處〉注:阿蘭提斯 (Atlantis) 是傳說中大西洋裡一個沉沒的大島。特洛 (Troy) 是古希臘城邦﹐特洛戰爭發生之處。