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第六届英语世界杯翻译大赛原文及参考译文
文章来源:英语世界 发布时间:2019-04-12 15:10 作者:纽约时报 点击:

A Garden That Welcomes Strangers

By Allen Lacy

I do not know what became of her, and I never learned her name. But I feel that I knew her from the garden she had so lovingly made over many decades.

The house she lived in lies two miles from mine – a simple, two-story structure with the boxy plan, steeply-pitched roof and unadorned lines that are typical of houses built in the middle of the nineteenth century near the New Jersey shore.

Her garden was equally simple. She was not a conventional gardener who did everything by the book, following the common advice to vary her plantings so there would be something in bloom from the first crocus in the spring to the last chrysanthemum in the fall. She had no respect for the rule that says that tall-growing plants belong at the rear of a perennial border, low ones in the front and middle-sized ones in the middle, with occasional exceptions for dramatic accent.

In her garden, everything was accent, everything was tall, and the evidence was plain that she loved three kinds of plant and three only: roses, clematis and lilies, intermingled promiscuously to pleasant effect but no apparent design.

She grew a dozen sorts of clematis, perhaps 50 plants in all, trained and tied so that they clambered up metal rods, each rod crowned intermittently throughout the summer by a rounded profusion of large blossoms of dark purple, rich crimson, pale lavender, light blue and gleaming white.

Her taste in roses was old-fashioned. There wasn’t a single modern hybrid tea rose or floribunda in sight. Instead, she favored the roses of other ages – the York and Lancaster rose, the cabbage rose, the damask and the rugosa rose in several varieties. She propagated her roses herself from cuttings stuck directly in the ground and protected by upended gallon jugs.

Lilies, I believe were her greatest love. Except for some Madonna lilies it is impossible to name them, since the wooden flats stood casually here and there in the flower bed, all thickly planted with dark green lily seedlings. The occasional paper tag fluttering from a seed pod with the date and record of a cross showed that she was an amateur hybridizer with some special fondness for lilies of a warm muskmelon shade or a pale lemon yellow.

She believed in sharing her garden. By her curb there was a sign: “This is my garden, and you are welcome here. Take whatever you wish with your eyes, but nothing with your hand.”

Until five years ago, her garden was always immaculately tended, the lawn kept fertilized and mowed, the flower bed free of weeds, the tall lilies carefully staked. But then something happened. I don’t know what it was, but the lawn was mowed less frequently, then not at all. Tall grass invaded the roses, the clematis, the lilies. The elm tree in her front yard sickened and died, and when a coastal gale struck, the branches that fell were never removed.

With every year, the neglect has grown worse. Wild honeysuckle and bittersweet run rampant in the garden. Sumac, ailanthus, poison ivy and other uninvited things threaten the few lilies and clematis and roses that still struggle for survival.

Last year the house itself went dead. The front door was padlocked and the windows covered with sheets of plywood. For many months there has been a for sale sign out front, replacing the sign inviting strangers to share her garden.

I drive by that house almost daily and have been tempted to load a shovel in my car trunk, stop at her curb and rescue a few lilies from the smothering thicket of weeds. The laws of trespass and the fact that her house sits across the street from a police station have given me the cowardice to resist temptation. But her garden has reminded me of mortality; gardeners and the gardens they make are fragile things, creatures of time, hostages to chance and to decay.

Last week, the for sale sign out front came down and the windows were unboarded. A crew of painters arrived and someone cut down the dead elm tree. This morning there was a moving van in the driveway unloading a swing set, a barbecue grill, a grand piano and a houseful of sensible furniture. A young family is moving into that house.

I hope that among their number is a gardener whose special fondness for old roses and clematis and lilies will see to it that all else is put aside until that flower bed is restored to something of its former self.

(选自 Patterns: A Short Prose Reader, by Mary Lou Conlin, published by Houghton Mifflin Company, 1983.)


一座向陌生人敞开的花园

文/〔美〕艾伦·莱西1

译/曹明伦

我并不知晓她当时的境遇,也从未听说过她的姓名,但我觉得我曾了解她,因了她精心照料过数十年的那座花园。

她住过的房子离我家有两英里地。那是幢两层小楼,造型简约,结构方正,屋顶陡斜,轮廓线都未经装饰,是19世纪中期新泽西海岸附近典型的住宅式样。

那座花园也同样简约。她种花从不墨守成规,不会凡事都照搬书本,按书上的建议去换种时令花卉,以期园中常有花开,从早春第一朵番红花到晚秋最后一枝黄菊。她对某条园艺规则也漠然置之,任其去说高植株花卉应种在带状花坛的后排,矮植株的种在前排,而不高不矮的则种在中间,除非偶尔想营造出引人注目的特色。

在她的花园里,所有的花都有特色,所有的花植株都高;而且不难看出,她喜欢三个类属的花,并且只喜欢那三类:玫瑰、百合、铁线莲。三类花混栽间种,令人悦目赏心,但却不显刻意规划的痕迹。

她栽培了十余种铁线莲,总共大概有五十株。她修剪其枝条,绑缚其茎蔓,使其植株沿金属杆攀缘;在整个夏季,金属杆顶部会陆陆续续戴上硕大的花冠,绀青、殷红、堇紫、浅蓝、莹白,五彩缤纷,花团锦簇。

她对玫瑰有一种恋旧的偏好。花坛中看不见一株时兴的杂交香水玫瑰或丰花玫瑰。与之相反,她钟爱旧时流行的品种——红白玫瑰、包心玫瑰、大马士革玫瑰,以及数种东亚皱瓣玫瑰。她自己繁殖新株,把削下的扦条直接插入土中,罩上倒扣的加仑罐加以保护。

我想百合花是她的最爱。除了一些圣母百合,旁人很难叫出其他品种的名字,因为花坛中到处都随意摆放着木制育苗箱,箱里都密密匝匝地种着墨绿色的百合幼苗。幼苗下偶有纸标签飘动,标签上写有栽种日期和杂交纪录,这说明她是个业余的杂交品种培育者,尤其爱培育像香瓜那种暖黄色调或像柠檬那种淡黄色调的百合。

她认为其花园应该与人共享。她家围栏边曾立有一块标牌:“房主花园,欢迎观赏。请尽饱眼福,但切莫动手。”

直到五年前,那花园还一直被照料得无可挑剔,草坪按时施肥,定期修剪,花坛里没有一根杂草,高植株的百合都被小心地系在支撑桩上。可后来发生了变故。我不知当时究竟出了何事,只见修剪草坪的次数日渐稀疏,后来竟完全无人修剪。芃芃丰草侵入花坛,挤入百合、玫瑰和铁线莲之间。前院那棵榆树萎蔫并枯死,被海风刮落的枯枝也不再有人清除。

年复一年,花园愈发荒废。野生忍冬和南蛇藤在园中滋蔓。漆树、臭椿、毒葛和其他杂树野藤也不请自入,威胁着少许尚在挣扎求生的百合、玫瑰和铁线莲。

到了去年,那幢房子也人去楼空。前门被紧锁,窗户被胶合板封闭。其后几个月,房前一直竖着块“此房待售”的告示牌,就竖在原来立“邀客赏花”标牌的那个位置。

我几乎每天都要驱车经过那幢房子,而且一直都很想在后备箱里带把锹,把车停在花园边,去拯救几株正被蓬蓬荒草窒息的百合。可禁闯私宅的法律条款,加之那房子街对面就是警察局这一事实,使我心生畏怯,从而抑制了这种诱惑。然而,她那座花园总让我想到物盛必衰,想到种花人及其营造的花园都像春草秋花,乃时间之造物,由时运摆弄,易衰朽飘零。

上个星期,那块出售房子的告示牌被撤掉了,封闭窗户的胶合板被揭开了。几名油漆工来刷那幢房子,那颗枯死的榆树也被砍倒。今天上午,一辆搬家卡车停在屋前车道上,有人从车上卸下一副秋千、一个烧烤架、一台三角钢琴,还有一整套实用的家具。一对年轻夫妻正带着孩子搬进那幢房子。

我希望那家人中有个园丁,一个钟爱百合花、铁线莲和老品种玫瑰的种花人,其爱花之心能确保其他事都暂被撇在一边,先让那一溜花坛多少恢复其旧貌。

【译者后记】也许是有感于当年那位不知名的女邻居对陌生人敞开花园,过退休生活的莱西教授在妻子赫拉和一些志愿者的协助下,几年前在他晚年定居的新泽西州大西洋县林伍德镇领头创建了一座占地仅1英亩(6.07亩)的公园——林伍德植物园(Linwood Arboretum)。现任园长的他将其称为“全世界最小的植物园”。

注释:

1、艾伦·莱西(Allen Lacy, 1935- ),美国新泽西理查德斯托克顿学院哲学及园艺学荣誉退休教授,撰有哲学著作《乌纳穆诺:生存修辞》(Miguel de Unamuno: The Rhetoric of Existence, 1967),与人合作翻译有西班牙哲学家及作家乌纳穆诺的小说《战争中的和平》(Peace in War, 1983)和《隐秘世界》(The Private World, 1984),曾长期为《纽约时报》和《华尔街日报》的园艺专栏撰稿,著有《后花园:园丁杂记》(Home Ground: A Gardener’s Miscellany, 1984)、《秋日花园》(The Garden in Autumn, 1990)和《绿荫下:小园随笔》(In a Green Shade: Writings from Homeground, 2000)等十余部散文集和园艺著作。

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