⟨ Object ⟩

Emily Dickinson Poems

Selected by Ted Hughes

Words / 夏侯露茜
Illustration / Furze Chan

蔦悠剛開始可以在家裡自由走動時,總喜歡在我的書架前流連,用他那細細的小指頭戳書脊,讓原本整整齊齊站著的一整列書本呈波浪狀歪歪斜斜地靠著。每個晚上,待他熟睡以後,我便會把書本重新排列整齊,好讓他翌日再度戳一次。有些時候,他甚至會在我不為意時戳了,待我發現那些波浪形的書脊陣型時,我便會幻想,這裡頭是不是有什麼秘密訊息要告訴我了?

除了戳書脊,蔦悠也愛隨意抽出書本來翻翻。他最愛看的其實是封面,尤其當那是用了作者的肖像時,他便更加愛不釋手了。這一本《艾蜜莉・狄金生詩集》,是十多年前我在倫敦旅遊時以3.99英鎊購下的,一直珍藏至今,蔦悠頭一趟看到這個封面時,便很熱情地對著人像照呼喚:「姨姨!」我笑著告訴他:「她是艾蜜莉啊!」自此以後,每當我跟蔦悠說:「幫媽媽取《艾蜜莉》吧。」他便會蹬蹬蹬跑到書架前搜索;熟練的日子,他甚至是可以只瞄一眼便立即把《艾蜜莉》取出了。蔦悠還未懂得認字,書脊又只是很普通地印著書名而已,他是如何能夠如此迅速又準確地把此書認出,一直是我覺得最不可思議及大惑不解的事。

據說艾蜜莉生前一直過著隱世生活,終日待在家裡閱讀及寫詩,閒時她也熱愛烘焙糕點,每每在弄好了一些薑餅或小蛋糕以後,便會將它們放進麵包籃裡去,稍稍用花朵裝飾一下,然後再用繩子從房間窗口把籃子吊下,好讓鄰近的小孩取來吃。

我有時候便會想,假若真有前世這回事,蔦悠會不會就是其中一位吃過艾蜜莉親手製作糕點的饞嘴小孩?


Once Julian has started walking more steadily at home, he likes to linger in front of my bookshelf and uses his little fingers to poke at the spines of my books. Every night, after he has gone to sleep, I will tidy up the books so he can poke at them again the next day. Sometimes I might not have seen him poking, and when I noticed the crooked rows of books on the shelf, I would wonder if he was trying to create some kind of secret codes for me to decipher.

Apart from poking at the spines of my books, Julian also enjoys taking one out and flipping through it. He loves looking at the covers most, especially those with the authors’ photos. About ten years ago, I bought this very much treasured book, Emily Dickinson Poems Selected by Ted Hughes, at the price of 3.99 pounds when I was travelling in London. The first time when Julian looked at this cover, he called out enthusiastically, “Auntie!” I laughed and told him, “This is Emily.” Ever since then, whenever I say to Julian, “Please get Emily for me.”, he would hurry towards the bookshelf and search for it. With some practice, he can even spot it and take it out with merely one glance. I have always wondered how he can do it so quickly without any miss, since he cannot read yet, and the spine of this book only has its name printed on it. This has still remained very much a mystery to me.

It is said that Emily had always lived a very reclusive life, mostly spending time to read and write poems in her own room. She also loved baking very much. Whenever she had made some gingerbread or small oval cakes, she would put them in a bread basket, decorate them with some flowers, and then lower the basket with a rope from her window, so that the children from the neighbourhood could get them.

This also makes me wonder, if everyone really does have a past life, would Julian have been one of those children who had enjoyed eating Emily’s cakes?