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