难得有我看得懂、又很喜欢的英文诗。这首『Halley’s Comet』,作者Stanley Kunitz,今年刚去世。该诗刊登在『The New Yorker § May 29, 2006』。

诗中的画面:孤独的小男孩半夜爬上屋顶,在满天星斗下等待彗星的出现,心里满是对过世的父亲的思念。读过去,有种一尘不染的纯净的忧伤和感动。

Miss Murphy in first grade
wrote its name in chalk
across the board and told us
it was roaring down the storm tracks
of the Milky Way at frightful speed
and if it wandered off its course
and smashed into the earth
there’d be no school tommorrow.
A red-beard preacher from the hills
with a wild look in his eyes
stood in the public square
at the playground’s edge
proclaiming he was sent by God
to save every one of us,
even the little children.
“Repent, ye sinners!” he shouted,
waving his hand-lettered sign.
At supper I felt sad to think
that it was probably
the last meal I’d share
with my mother and my sisters;
but I felt excited, too,
and scarcely touched my plate.
So Mother scolded me
and sent me early to my room.
The whole family’s asleep now
except for me. They never heard me steal
into the stairwell hall and climb
the ladder to the fresh night air.

Look for me, Father, on the roof
of the red-brick building
at the foot of Green Street —
that’s where we live, you know, on the top floor.
I’m the boy in the white flannel gown
sprawled on this coarse gravel bed
searching the starry sky,
waiting for the world to end.

电影『Millions』像是这首诗歌的加长版,而诗歌则像是电影的浓缩版。