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HomeTang Poetry and Chinese Calligraphy周慧珺 楷书:杜甫《饮中八仙歌》

周慧珺 楷书:杜甫《饮中八仙歌》

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周慧珺 楷书:杜甫《饮中八仙歌》


【释文】知章骑马似乘船,眼花落井水底眠。汝阳三斗始朝天,道逢麹车口流涎,恨不移封向酒泉。左相日兴费万钱,饮如长鲸吸百川,衔杯乐圣称世贤。宗之潇洒美少年,举觞白眼望青天,皎如玉树临风前。苏晋长斋绣佛前,醉中往往爱逃禅。李白一斗诗百篇,长安市上酒家眠。天子呼来不上船,自称臣是酒中仙。张旭三杯草圣传,脱帽露顶王公前,挥毫落纸如云烟。焦遂五斗方卓然,高谈雄辨惊四筵。

【款识】杜甫饮中八仙歌,甲申盛暑,周慧珺。

【简析】

  《饮中八仙歌》是一首别具一格,富有特色的“肖像诗”。八个酒仙是同时代的人,又都在长安生活过,在嗜酒、豪放、旷达这些方面彼此相似。诗人以洗炼的语言,人物速写的笔法,将他们写进一首诗里,构成一幅栩栩如生的群像图。

  八仙中首先出现的是贺知章。他是其中资格最老、年事最高的一个。在长安,他曾“解金龟换酒为乐”(李白《对酒忆贺监序》)。诗中说他喝醉酒后,骑马的姿态就象乘船那样摇来晃去,醉眼朦胧,眼花缭乱,跌进井里竟会在井里熟睡不醒。相传“阮咸尝醉,骑马倾欹,人曰:‘个老子如乘船游波浪中’”(明王嗣奭《杜臆》卷一)。杜甫活用这一典故,用夸张手法描摹贺知章酒后骑马的醉态与醉意,弥漫着一种谐谑滑稽与欢快的情调,维妙维肖地表现了他旷达纵逸的性格特征。

  其次出现的人物是汝阳王李琎。他是唐玄宗的侄子,宠极一时,所谓“主恩视遇频”,“倍比骨肉亲”(杜甫《赠太子太师汝阳郡王琎》),因此,他敢于饮酒三斗才上朝拜见天子。他的嗜酒心理也与众不同,路上看到车(即酒车)竟然流起口水来,恨不得要把自己的封地迁到酒泉(今属甘肃)去。相传那里“城下有金泉,泉味如酒,故名酒泉”(见《三秦记》)。唐代,皇亲国戚,贵族勋臣有资格袭领封地,因此,八人中只有李琎才会勾起“移封”的念头,其他人是不会这样想入非非的。诗人就抓着李琎出身皇族这一特点,细腻地描摹他的享乐心理与醉态,下笔真实而有分寸。

  接着出现的是李琎之。他于天宝元年,代牛仙客为左丞相,雅好宾客,夜则燕赏,饮酒日费万钱,豪饮的酒量有如鲸鱼吞吐百川之水,一语点出他的豪华奢侈。然而好景不长,开宝五载适之为李林甫排挤,罢相后,在家与亲友会饮,虽酒兴未减,却不免牢骚满腹,赋诗道:“避贤初罢相,乐圣且衔杯,为问门前客,今朝几个来?”(《旧唐书·李琎之传》)“衔杯乐圣称避贤”即化用李琎之诗句。“乐圣”即喜喝清酒,“避贤”,即不喝浊酒。结合他罢相的事实看,“避贤”语意双关,有讽刺李林甫的意味。这里抓住权位的得失这一个重要方面刻画人物性格,精心描绘李琎之的肖像,含有深刻的政治内容,很耐人寻味。

  三个显贵人物展现后,跟着出现的是两个潇洒的名士崔宗之和苏晋。崔宗之,是一个倜傥洒脱,少年英俊的风流人物。他豪饮时,高举酒杯,用白眼仰望青天,睥睨一切,旁若无人。喝醉后,宛如玉树迎风摇曳,不能自持。杜甫用“玉树临风”形容宗之的俊美丰姿和潇洒醉态,很有韵味。接着写苏晋。司马迁写《史记》擅长以矛盾冲突的情节来表现人物的思想性格。杜甫也善于抓住矛盾的行为描写人物的性格特征。苏晋一面耽禅,长期斋戒,一面又嗜饮,经常醉酒,处于“斋”与“醉”的矛盾斗争中,但结果往往是“酒”战胜“佛”,所以他就只好“醉中爱逃禅”了。短短两句诗,幽默地表现了苏晋嗜酒而得意忘形,放纵而无所顾忌的性格特点。

  以上五个次要人物展现后,中心人物隆重出场了。

  诗酒同李白结了不解之缘,李白自己也说过“百年三万六千日,一日须倾三百杯”(《襄阳歌》),“兴酣落笔摇五岳”(《江上吟》)。杜甫描写李白的几句诗,浮雕般地突出了李白的嗜好和诗才。李白嗜酒,醉中往往在“长安市上酒家眠”,习以为常,不足为奇。“天子呼来不上船”这一句,顿时使李白的形象变得高大奇伟了。李白醉后,更加豪气纵横,狂放不羁,即使天子召见,也不是那么毕恭毕敬,诚惶诚恐,而是自豪地大声呼喊:“臣是酒中仙!”强烈地表现出李白不畏权贵的性格。“天子呼来不上船”,虽未必是事实,却非常符合李白的思想性格,因而具有高度的艺术真实性和强烈的艺术感染力。杜甫是李白的知友,他把握李白思想性格的本质方面并加以浪漫主义的夸张,将李白塑造成这样一个桀骜不驯,豪放纵逸,傲视封建王侯的艺术形象。这肖像,神采奕奕,形神兼备,焕发着美的理想光辉,令人难忘。这正是千百年来人民所喜爱的富有浪漫色彩的李白形象。

  另一个和李白比肩出现的重要人物是张旭。他“善草书,好酒,每醉后,号呼狂走,索笔挥洒,变化无穷,若有神助”(《杜臆》卷一)。当时人称“草圣”。张旭三杯酒醉后,豪情奔放,绝妙的草书就会从他笔下流出。他无视权贵的威严,在显赫的王公大人面前,脱下帽子,露出头顶,奋笔疾书,自由挥洒,笔走龙蛇,字迹如云烟般舒卷自如。“脱帽露顶王公前”,这是何等的倨傲不恭,不拘礼仪!它酣畅地表现了张旭狂放不羁,傲世独立的性格特征。

  歌中殿后的人物是焦遂。袁郊在《甘泽谣》中称焦遂为布衣,可见他是个平民。焦遂喝酒五斗后方有醉意,那时他更显得神情卓异,高谈阔论,滔滔不绝,惊动了席间在座的人。诗里刻画焦遂的性格特征,集中在渲染他的卓越见识和论辩口才,用笔精确、谨严。

  《八仙歌》的情调幽默谐谑,色彩明丽,旋律轻快,情绪欢乐。在音韵上,一韵到底,一气呵成,是一首严密完整的歌行。在结构上,每个人物自成一章,八个人物主次分明,每个人物的性格特点,同中有异,异中有同,多样而又统一,构成一个整体,彼此衬托映照,有如一座群体圆雕,艺术上确有独创性。正如王嗣奭所说:“此创格,前无所因。”它在古典诗歌中确是别开生面之作。

【Simple Translation】

  The “Song of the Eight Immortals in Drinking” is a unique and characteristic “portrait poem”. The eight immortals were contemporaries and all lived in Chang’an, so they are similar to each other in terms of their love for wine, their boldness and their openness. The poet uses refined language and a character sketch style to write them into a poem, forming a lifelike group portrait.

  The first of the Eight Immortals is He Zhizhang. He is the oldest and most senior of them all. In Chang’an, he had “exchanged the golden tortoise for wine for pleasure” (Li Bai’s “Preface to the Wine Memories of He Zhizhang”). According to the poem, when he was drunk, he rode his horse in the same way as he rode in a boat, his eyes were hazy and dazzled, and he fell into the well and slept in it. According to legend, “Ruan Xian tasted drunk, riding a horse tilted interjection, people said: ‘an old man like swimming in a boat in the waves'” (Ming Wang Jishu “Du Gui” Volume 1). Du Fu uses this allusion to describe He Zhizhang’s drunkenness and intoxication after drinking and riding his horse with exaggeration, pervading a harmonic and comical and cheerful mood, and expressing his open-minded and relaxed character traits in a subtle way.

  The next character to appear is Li Last Night, the King of Ruyang. He was the nephew of Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty, and he was so favored that he was “treated frequently by the Lord” and was “twice as dear to him as flesh and blood” (Du Fu, “Presenting the Prince’s Counselor Ruyang County King Last Night”). He also had a distinctive alcoholic mentality, and when he saw  carts (i.e. wine carts) on the road, he even drooled and wanted to move his fiefdom to Jiuquan (now part of Gansu). According to legend, there is a “golden spring under the city, the spring taste like wine, so the name Jiuquan” (see “Three Qin Records”). In the Tang Dynasty, royal relatives and noblemen were eligible to inherit fiefs, so only Li last night was the only one of the eight who would have been tempted to move to Jiuquan, while the others would not have been tempted to do so. The poet has taken advantage of the fact that Li last night was from the royal family to delicately describe his pleasure and drunkenness, and his writing is realistic and measured.

  Li Last Night is the next to appear. In the first year of Tianbao, he replaced Niu Xianke as the left chancellor. He was an elegant guest, and he spent ten thousand dollars a day on drinking, drinking as much as a whale swallowing the water of a hundred rivers. However, his good fortune did not last long, and after Li Linfu ostracized him in the fifth year of Kai Bao, he drank with his family and friends at home, and although he was still happy with his wine, he was full of complaints and wrote a poem, “When he first removed his minister, he asked the guests at the door, how many of them are here today? (Old Book of Tang – Li Last Night’s Biography) The phrase “to hold a cup of music and sage called to avoid the virtues” is a paraphrase of Li Last Night’s poem. The phrase “to enjoy the sage” means that he likes to drink clear wine, and “to avoid the virtuous” means that he does not drink foul wine. In the context of his dismissal, the phrase “avoiding virtue” is a double entendre, with the implication of satirizing Li Linfu. The portrait of Li last night is a very intriguing one, with its profound political content, as it captures an important aspect of the character’s character, the loss or gain of power.

  After the three prominent figures are shown, two dashing celebrities, Cui Zongzhi and Su Jin, appear. Cui Zongzhi is a suave and handsome young man. When he was drinking, he raised his glass high and looked up at the sky with his white eyes, looking askance at everything, as if no one was there. When he was drunk, he was like a jade tree swaying in the wind, unable to hold himself. Du Fu uses the phrase “jade tree in the wind” to describe Zongzhi’s handsome posture and dashing drunkenness, which is very charming. Then he wrote about Su Jin. The book “The Records of the Grand Historian” is written by Sima Qian, who is good at expressing the character’s ideology and personality by means of contradictory episodes. Du Fu is also good at capturing the contradictory behavior to describe the character traits of the characters. Su Jin, on the one hand, is a Zen Buddhist, fasting for a long time, but on the other hand, he is a drinker, often drunk, in a contradictory struggle between “fasting” and “drunkenness”, but the result is often “wine” over “Buddha”. But the result is often “wine” overcomes “Buddha”, so he had to “escape from Zen in drunkenness”. Two short lines of the poem humorously express Su Jin’s personality traits of being drunk and forgetful, indulgent and carefree.

  After the above five secondary characters are shown, the central character makes a grand appearance.

  Li Bai’s poetry and wine are inextricably linked to him, as he himself said, “In a hundred years and 36,000 days, I must pour 300 cups a day” (“Song of Xiangyang”), and “When I’m in the mood for drinking, I shake my pen to the five mountains” (“Song on the River”). A few lines of Du Fu’s poem describing Li Bai highlight his hobby and poetic talent in relief. It is not surprising that Li Bai, who was addicted to wine, often slept in a restaurant in the city of Chang’an when he was drunk. The line “The Son of Heaven calls me to come on board,” immediately makes Li Bai’s image taller and stranger. When Li Bai is drunk, he is even more bold and unrestrained, and even when summoned by the Son of Heaven, he is not so respectful and terrified, but proudly exclaims, “I am an immortal in wine!” Li Bai’s character of defying power and nobility is strongly expressed. “The Son of Heaven calls to come aboard”, although not necessarily true, is very much in line with Li Bai’s ideological character, and thus has a high degree of artistic authenticity and strong artistic impact. Du Fu, who was a close friend of Li Bai, grasped the essential aspects of Li Bai’s ideological character and exaggerated them with romanticism to create such an artistic image of Li Bai as an unruly, unrestrained, unbridled, and proud feudal lord. This portrait, with its glowing beauty, is unforgettable. This is exactly the romantic image of Li Bai that people have loved for thousands of years.

  Another important figure who appeared alongside Li Bai was Zhang Xu. He was “good at cursive calligraphy, good at wine, and every time he got drunk, he would call out and walk wildly, waving his brush with endless variations, if there was a god” (Du Ji, Volume 1). At that time, people called him “the sage of cursive”. When Zhang Xu was drunk, he was so bold and unrestrained that his wonderful cursive writing would flow from his pen. He disregarded the majesty of the powerful and noble, and in front of the illustrious princes and lords, he took off his hat and exposed the top of his head, and wrote freely, with his handwriting like a cloud of smoke. What arrogance and disregard for etiquette is this “taking off his hat and exposing the top of his head in front of the king”! It is a good expression of Zhang Xu’s wild and unrestrained, independent character traits.

  The character at the back of the song is Jiao Sui. In “The Ballad of Ganze”, Yuan Jiao refers to Jiao Sui as a man of cloth, which shows that he is a commoner. When Jiao Sui was drunk after drinking five dou of wine, he looked even more remarkable and talked so much that he shocked all the people present at the table. The poem portrays Jiao Sui’s character traits, focusing on his excellent insight and eloquence, and is written with precision and rigor.

  The mood of “Song of the Eight Immortals” is humorous and humorous, with bright colors, light melodies and joyful emotions. In terms of rhyme, it is a tight and complete song line, with one rhyme to the end and one breath. In terms of structure, each character forms a chapter of its own, and the eight characters are clearly prioritized, with each character’s character traits, different in the same, different in the same, diverse yet unified, forming a whole and reflecting each other, like a group of round sculpture, which is truly original in art. As Wang Jishu said, “This creative style has no previous cause.” It is indeed a unique work in classical poetry.

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