You Were Wearing By Kenneth Koch

Last night I read a poem, You Were Wearing, by Kenneth Koch, a prominent poet of the New York School of poetry.

The poetry has a haunting start:

You were wearing your Edgar Allan Poe printed cotton blouse.
In each divided up square of the blouse was a picture of Edgar Allan Poe.
Your hair was blonde and you were cute. You asked me, “Do most boys think that most girls are bad?
I smelled the mould of your seaside resort hotel bedroom on your hair held in place by a John Greenleaf Whittier clip.
“No,” I said, “it’s girls who think that boys are bad.” Then we read Snowbound together.
And ran around in an attic, so that a little of the blue enamel was scraped off my George Washington, Father of His Country, shoes.

I failed to try to translate it to Chinese but accidentally run into an almost perfect translation by my then college English tutor Liu Liping (刘立平).

It is impressive as much as the original:

你穿着印着埃德加·爱伦·坡的纯棉衬衫。
每一个方格都是埃德加·爱伦·坡的图片。
你头发金黄,美丽动人。你问我,“大多数男孩子
都认为女孩子轻浮吗?”
在你别着约翰·格林利夫·惠蒂埃的发卡上,
我闻到了海边度假宾馆卧室模型的味道。
“不对,”我说,“是女孩认为男孩轻浮。”然后我们一起读
《大雪封门》
在阁楼里玩耍,国父乔治·华盛顿的鞋子
被刮掉了一点蓝漆。

Somehow it reminds me of my college life and the young man in the library.
Ah, what a beautiful life!