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An Elegy for Liu Xiaobo

August 21, 2017

[Translation by Human Rights in China]

他死了,这又能改变什么
阳光明亮,阿尔卑斯山巅的残雪在远方
如闪烁的鱼鳞,他的骨灰被抛向闪烁的大海
如鱼鳞,我们对他的追忆
也鱼鳞般渐行渐远么?
这又能改变什么,他死了

He died, and what can it change
In bright sunshine, the distant remnant snow at the summit of the Alps
Flickers like fish scales. His ashes tossed into the flashing sea
Like fish scales. Will our memories of him
Recede like fish scales?
And what can it change, he died

一本被撕毁的书
而爱人,是受伤的书签
滑落床头。她注视着他
她想扑上去喊:“你不要死!亲爱的,我不要你死,上帝啊!”
但她只能默默注视
如滑落的书签注视书被撕毁,一页又一页

A book torn apart
And his beloved a wounded bookmark
Slipped from the bed. She gazed at him
Wishing to rush up and shout: “Don’t die, my dear! I don’t want you to die. God!”
But she could only quietly gaze at him
like a fallen bookmark watching a book being torn apart, page by page

全世界都看着他被谋杀
囚笼环绕着白衣鬼魂
这个曾经死也不离开中国的读书人
这个四次坐牢的思想犯
如今说死也要死在西方。听见了吗,人们
如果你聋了,至少还有嘴
如果你哑了,至少还在看
如果你瞎了——瞎子会愤怒吗
十几亿中国瞎子会愤怒吗
这又能改变什么,他死了

The whole world watched him being murdered
The cage surrounded the ghost in white clothes
This scholar who would have rather died than leave China
This prisoner of thought who was jailed four times
Now said he wanted to be in the West, even if it meant dying there. Did you hear that, people?
If you are deaf, at least you still have your mouth
If you are mute, at least you still can see
If you are blind—can a blind person get angry?
Can more than a billion Chinese blind people get angry?
And what can it change, he died

我还在等待他起飞的消息
成片的鸟在风中哀鸣,那个深夜
花瓣在落,草在长,妻子和女儿在酣睡
我是一个幽灵在黑暗中徘徊。他渐渐近了
身影如彗星划过天际
去天堂的航班,有八九六四吗
他松开妻子的手,叮嘱她好好活下去。那是多年以前
他在天安门,坦克轰鸣,一阵阵枪声
孩子们成群结队倒下,灵魂爬起来
与他告别。他们叮嘱他要活下去
为了大屠杀的亡灵而好好活下去

I was still waiting for news of his take-off
A wave of birds wailed in the wind, that late night
Petals falling, grass growing, my wife and daughter sleeping
I was a ghost lingering in darkness. He was drawing close
His shadow streaking across the sky like a comet
The flights to heaven, anyone numbered Eight Nine Six Four
He loosened his wife's hand and urged her to live on well. That was many years ago
He was in Tiananmen Square, with tanks roaring, gunshots bursting
Children fell down in droves, and souls climbed up to
Bid farewell to him. They urged him to live on
To live on well, for the souls of the massacre

被共产党钉在十字架,永恒如耶稣
在虐杀中复活
我还在等待他起飞的消息
等待他写完最后的情书
他送妻子到万里之外,然后埋骨异乡
我们会经常去看他。当夜幕低垂
往事如河流掠过树梢

Being crucified by the Communist Party, eternal as Jesus
Resurrected from the slaughter
I was still waiting for news of his take-off
Waiting for him to finish his last love letter
To escort  his wife to thousands of miles away, and let his bones be buried in a foreign land
We would go often to visit him. When night would fall
The past would flit across tree tips as a flowing river

但一切都碎了,他没有自由
生死,骨灰,爱,都没有自由
全世界眼睁睁看着一个高尚的人
如一本出色的书,被缓缓撕毁
没有谁能阻止这无知的暴行
可谁都希望能阻止!
这又能改变什么,亲爱的上帝
他死了
2017年8月11日凌晨

But everything is shattered, he was not free
In life, death, ashes, love, not free at all
The whole world stared blankly as a noble man
Like an excellent book, is slowly torn apart
No one could stop this ignorant atrocity
But everyone hoped it could be stopped!
And what can it change, dear God
He died
On the early morning of August 11, 2017

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