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HomeTang Poetry and Chinese Calligraphy台静农 行书:李白《听蜀僧浚弹琴》

台静农 行书:李白《听蜀僧浚弹琴》

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台静农 行书:李白《听蜀僧浚弹琴》


【释文】蜀僧抱绿绮,西下峨眉峰。为我一挥手,如听万壑松。客心洗流水,馀响入霜钟。不觉碧山暮,秋云暗几重。

【款识】太白听蜀僧浚弹琴,静者。

【注释】绿绮:琴名。晋傅玄《琴赋序》:“司马相如有绿绮。”相如是蜀人,弹者是蜀僧,故以绿绮切之。一:加强语气的助词。挥手:指弹琴。流水:相传春秋时钟子期能听出伯牙琴中的曲意,时而是志在高山,时而是志在流水,伯牙乃许为知音。见《列子·汤问篇》。这句是说,客中的情怀,听了“高山流水”的曲意,为之一洗。霜钟:指钟声,《山海经》:丰山“有九种焉,是知霜鸣”。郭璞注:“霜降则钟鸣,故言知也。”入霜钟:余音与钟声交流,兼喻入知音者之耳。

【简析】

这首五律写的是听琴,听蜀地一位法名叫濬的和尚弹琴。开头两句:“蜀僧抱绿绮,西下峨眉峰。”说明这位琴师是从四川峨眉山下来的。李白是在四川长大的,四川奇丽的山水培育了他的壮阔胸怀,激发了他的艺术想象。峨眉山月不止一次地出现在他的诗里。他对故乡一直很怀恋,对于来自故乡的琴师当然也格外感到亲切。所以诗一开头就说明弹琴的人是自己的同乡。“绿绮”本是琴名,汉代司马相如有一张琴,名叫绿绮,这里用来泛指名贵的琴。“蜀僧抱绿绮,西下峨眉峰”,简短的十个字,把这位音乐家写得很有气派,表达了诗人对他的倾慕。

三四句正面描写蜀僧弹琴。“挥手”是弹琴的动作。嵇康《琴赋》说:“伯牙挥手,钟期听声。”“挥手”二字就是出自这里的。“为我一挥手,如听万壑松”,这两句用大自然宏伟的音响比喻琴声,使人感到这琴声一定是极其铿锵有力的。

“客心洗流水”,这一句就字面讲,是说听了蜀僧的琴声,自己的心好象被流水洗过一般地畅快、愉悦。但它还有更深的含义,其中包涵着一个古老的典故。《列子·汤问》:“伯牙善鼓琴,钟子期善听。伯牙鼓琴,志在登高山,钟子期曰:‘善哉,峨峨兮若泰山!’志在流水,钟子期曰:‘善哉,洋洋兮若江河!’”这就是“高山流水”的典故,借它,表现蜀僧和自己通过音乐的媒介所建立的知己之感。“客心洗流水”五个字,很含蓄,又很自然,虽然用典,却毫不艰涩,显示了李白卓越的语言技巧。

下面一句“馀响入霜钟”也是用了典的。“霜钟”关于《山海经·中山经》:“丰山……有九钟焉,是知霜鸣。”郭璞注:“霜降则钟鸣,故言知也。”“霜钟”二字点明时令,与下面“秋云暗几重”照应。“馀响入霜钟”,意思是说,音乐终止以后,馀音久久不绝,和薄暮时分寺庙的钟声融合在一起。《列子·汤问》里有“馀音绕梁,三日不绝”的话。宋代苏东坡在《前赤壁赋》里用“馀音袅袅,不绝如缕”,形容洞箫的馀音。这都是乐曲终止以后,入迷的听者沉浸在艺术享受之中所产生的想象。“馀响入霜钟”也是如此。清脆、流畅的琴声渐远渐弱,和薄暮的钟声共鸣着,这才发觉天色已经晚了:“不觉碧山暮,秋云暗几重。”诗人听完蜀僧弹琴,举目四望,不知从什么时候开始,青山已罩上一层暮色,灰暗的秋云重重叠叠,布满天空。时间过得真快啊!

唐诗里有不少描写音乐的佳作。白居易的《琵琶行》用“大珠小珠落玉盘”来形容忽高忽低、忽清忽浊的琵琶声,把琵琶所特有的繁密多变的音响效果表现了出来。唐代另一位诗人李颀有一首《听安万善吹觱篥歌》,用不同季节的不同景物,形容音乐曲调的变化,把听觉的感受诉诸视觉的形象,取得很好的艺术效果。李白这首诗描写音乐的独到之处是,除了“万壑松”之外,没有别的比喻形容琴声,而是着重表现听琴时的感受,表现弹者、听者之间感情的交流。其实,“如听万壑松”这一句也不是纯客观的描写,诗人从琴声联想到万壑松声,联想到深山大谷,是结合自己的主观感受来写的。

律诗讲究平仄、对仗,格律比较严。而李白的这首五律却写得极其清新、明快,似乎一点也不费力。其实,无论立意、构思、起结、承转,或是对仗、用典,都经过一番巧妙的安排,只是不着痕迹罢了。这种“清水出芙蓉,天然去雕饰”的自然的艺术美,比一切雕饰更能打动人的心灵。

另欣赏:徐无闻


徐无闻 行书:李白《听蜀僧浚弹琴》


【款识】李白诗句,戊辰岁,无闻。

【Simple Translation】

This poem is about listening to a monk named Joon who plays the qin in Shu. The first two lines of the poem are “The monk of Shu holds the green chrysanthemum and comes down from the west to the peak of Emei.” This means that the qin master came down from Emei Mountain in Sichuan. Li Bai grew up in Sichuan, where the beautiful landscape nurtured his broad mind and inspired his artistic imagination. The moon of Mount Emei appears more than once in his poems. He was always nostalgic for his hometown, and of course he felt extra affection for the qin master from his hometown. That is why the poem begins by stating that the person playing the lute is from his hometown. “In the Han Dynasty, Sima Xiangru had a zither named Green Qi, which is used here to refer to a famous zither in general. “In ten short words, the musician is written in a very grand way, expressing the poet’s admiration for him.

The third and fourth lines positively describe the monk playing the qin. “Waving his hand” is the action of playing the qin. Jikang’s “Qin Fu” says: “Bo Ya waved his hand, and Zhong Qi listened to the sound.” This is where the word “waving” comes from. “These two lines use the magnificent sound of nature as a metaphor for the sound of the qin, which makes people feel that the sound of the qin must be extremely resounding and powerful.

The phrase “the guest’s heart washes the flowing water” literally means that after listening to the sound of Shu monk’s zither, one’s heart seems to be washed by the flowing water in a pleasant way. But it also has a deeper meaning, which contains an ancient allusion. In the book “Liezi Tangwen”, “Bo Ya is good at playing the zither, and Zhong Ziqi is good at listening. When Bo Ya played the zither, his ambition was to ascend a high mountain. And when he wanted to climb a high mountain, Zhong Ziqi said, ‘Yes, it’s like a river.'” This is the allusion to “high mountains and flowing water”, through which the monk and himself have established a sense of friendship through the medium of music. The five words “The guest’s heart washes the flowing water” are very subtle and natural, and although the allusion is used, it is not difficult, showing Li Bai’s excellent language skills.

The following line, “The afterglow is in the frost bell”, also uses allusions. The “frost bell” is about “Shanhaijing – Zhongshanjing”: “Fengshan …… has nine bells, which is known as the frost sound.” Guo Pu note: “frost is bell ringing, so the words know.” The two words “frost bell” point out the season, and the following “autumn clouds dark several heavy” to correspond. The phrase “the sound of the afterglow into the frost bell” means that after the music has ended, the afterglow will not stop for a long time, and will blend with the sound of the temple bell at dusk. In “Lie Zi – Tang Wen”, there are words that “the afterglow of the sound of the bell  will not end for three days”. Su Dongpo of the Song Dynasty used the phrase “the sound of the afterglow curling up, endlessly” in his “Ex-Chibi Fu” to describe the afterglow of the cave pipe. This is the imagination of the enthralled listener who is immersed in the enjoyment of the art after the music ends. The same is true of “afterglow into the frost bell”. The crisp, smooth sound of the zither fades away and resonates with the twilight bell, and only then does the poet realize that it is already late: “I do not realize that the blue mountain is twilight and the autumn clouds are dark.” After listening to the monk playing the zither, the poet lifted his eyes and looked around, not knowing when the green hills had been covered with a layer of twilight, and the gray autumn clouds overlapped and filled the sky. How time flies!

There are many great poems describing music in Tang poetry. Bai Juyi’s “Pipa Xing” uses the phrase “big pearls and small pearls falling into a jade dish” to describe the sound of the pipa, which is sometimes high and sometimes low, sometimes clear and sometimes muddy, bringing out the dense and varied acoustics unique to the pipa. Another poet of the Tang Dynasty, Li Chip, has a poem called “Listen to An Wan Shan blowing the shawm song”, which uses different scenery in different seasons to describe the changes of musical tunes, and applies the auditory sensation to visual images, achieving a very good artistic effect. The unique feature of Li Bai’s poem is that there is no metaphor to describe the sound of the zither other than “ten thousand ravines of pine”, but rather focuses on the feeling of listening to the zither and the exchange of feelings between the player and the listener. In fact, the line “like listening to the pines of ten thousand ravines” is not a purely objective description, the poet associates the sound of the qin with the sound of ten thousand ravines and pines, and with the deep mountains and valleys, combining his own subjective feelings.

The poem is about pinyin and counterpoint, and the meter is relatively strict. Li Bai’s poem, however, is written in a very fresh and lucid manner, seemingly without any effort at all. In fact, no matter the idea, the conception, the beginning, the ending, the transition, or the counterpoint, the use of allusions, all have been cleverly arranged, but without traces. This kind of natural artistic beauty of “water out of the hibiscus, natural decorations” can move people’s hearts more than all the decorations.

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