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HomeTang Poetry and Chinese Calligraphy徐邦达 行书:钱起《归雁》

徐邦达 行书:钱起《归雁》

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徐邦达 行书:钱起《归雁》


【释文】潇湘何事等闲回,水碧沙明两岸苔。二十五弦弹夜月,不胜清怨却飞来。

【款识】钱起归雁诗一首,一九九七年三月,东海徐邦达书。

【注释】潇湘:泛指湖南地区。等闲:随随便便,轻易。二十五弦:指瑟这种乐器。请怨:此处指曲调凄清哀怨。

【简析】

  钱起是吴兴(今属浙江)人,入任后,一直在长安和京畿作官。他看到秋雁南飞,曾作《送征雁》诗:“秋空万里静,嘹唳独南征……怅望遥天外,乡情满目生。”这首《归雁》,同样写于北方,所咏却是从南方归来的春雁。

  古人认为,秋雁南飞,不越过湖南衡山的回雁峰,它们飞到峰北就栖息在湘江下游,过了冬天再飞回北方。作者依照这样的认识,从归雁想到了它们归来前的栖息地──湘江,又从湘江想到了湘江女神善于鼓瑟的神话,再根据瑟曲有《归雁操》进而把鼓瑟同大雁的归来相联系,这样就形成了诗中的奇思妙想。

  根据这样的艺术构思,作者一反历代诗人把春雁北归视为理所当然的惯例,而故意对大雁的归来表示不解,一下笔就连用两个句子劈空设问:“潇湘何事等闲回?水碧沙明两岸苔”,询问归雁为什么舍得离开那环境优美、水草丰盛的湘江而回来呢?这突兀的询问,一下子就把读者的思路引上了诗人所安排的轨道──不理会大雁的习性,而另外探寻大雁归来的原因。

  作者在第三、四句代雁作了回答:“二十五弦弹夜月,不胜清怨却飞来。”湘江女神在月夜下鼓瑟(二十五弦),那瑟声凄凉哀怨,大雁不忍再听下去,才飞回北方的。

  诗人就是这样借助丰富的想象和优美的神话,为读者展现了湘神鼓瑟的凄清境界,着意塑造了多情善感而又通晓音乐的大雁形象。然而,诗人笔下的湘神鼓瑟为什么那样凄凉?大雁又是为什么那样“不胜清怨”呢?为了弄清诗人所表达的思想感情,无妨看看他考进士的成名之作《湘灵鼓瑟》。在那首诗中,作者用“苍梧来怨慕”的诗句指出,湘水江神鼓瑟之所以哀怨,是由于她在乐声中寄托了对死于苍梧的丈夫──舜的思念。同时,诗中还有“楚客不堪听”的诗句,表现了贬迁于湘江的“楚客”对瑟声哀怨之情的不堪忍受。

  拿《湘灵鼓瑟》同《归雁》相对照,使我们领会到:《归雁》中的“不胜清怨却飞来”一句,原来是从“楚客不堪听”敷演而来,作者是按照贬迁异地的“楚客”来塑造客居湘江的旅雁的形象的。故而,他使旅雁听到湘灵的充满思亲之悲的瑟声,便乡愁郁怀,羁思难耐,而毅然离开优美富足的湘江,向北方飞回。“虽信美而非吾土兮,曾何足以少留”,建安文学家王粲《登楼赋》中的这两句揭示羁客情怀的名言,正可借来说明《归雁》诗中旅雁听瑟飞回时的“心情”,而诗人正是借写充满客愁的旅雁,婉转地表露了宦游他乡的羁旅之思。这首诗构思新颖,想象丰富,笔法空灵,抒情婉转,意趣含蕴。它以独特的艺术特色,而成为引人注目的咏雁名篇之一。

【Simple Translation】

  Qian Qi was a native of Wuxing (now in Zhejiang province), and after he joined the government, he had been working as an official in Chang’an and the capital. When he saw the geese flying south in autumn, he wrote the poem “Sending the Geese”: “The autumn sky is quiet for 10,000 miles, and the cry is alone in the south. …… Despairing of the distant sky, the hometown feeling is full of life.” The poem “Returning Geese” was also written in the north, but the poem is about the spring geese returning from the south.

  The ancients believed that geese flying south in autumn would not cross the Huiyan Peak in Hengshan Mountain, Hunan Province, but would perch in the lower reaches of the Xiangjiang River when they reached the north of the peak, and then fly back to the north after winter. According to this understanding, the author thought of the Xiangjiang River, the habitat of the returning geese, and the myth that the goddess of the Xiangjiang River is good at drumming the chorus, and then linked the drumming of the chorus with the returning geese.

  According to this artistic conception, the author deliberately expresses his puzzlement about the return of the geese, contrary to the practice of poets in the past generations who take the return of the geese to the north for granted, and as soon as he writes, he even uses two lines to ask a question in the air: “What is the matter with Xiaoxiang? Why do the returning geese leave the beautiful environment and the rich water and grass of Xiangjiang River and come back? This abrupt inquiry immediately leads the reader’s thoughts to the track arranged by the poet – ignoring the habit of the geese and exploring the reason for their return.

  In the third and fourth lines, the author replies on behalf of the geese: “Twenty-five strings play the moon at night, and they fly in despite of the clear complaint.” The goddess of the Xiangjiang River drums a censer (twenty-five strings) under the moonlit night, and the sound of the censer is so bleak and mournful that the geese cannot bear to listen to it any longer and fly back to the north.

  With the help of rich imagination and beautiful mythology, the poet shows the poignant realm of the Xiang goddess drumming the chorus for the readers, intentionally shaping the image of the sentimental and musical geese. However, why is the poet’s Xiang Shen’s drumming so bleak? And why are the geese so “unhappy”? In order to clarify the poet’s thoughts and feelings, it is worthwhile to take a look at his famous poem “Xiang Ling Drumming Ceremonies”, which was written for the entrance examination. In that poem, the author pointed out that the reason why the goddess of the Xiang River drummed the cassowary was because she sent her thoughts to her husband, Shun, who died in Cangwu, in the sound of music. At the same time, the poem also contains the line “the guests of Chu are unable to listen to it”, which shows that the “guests of Chu” who were relegated to the Xiangjiang River could not bear the sound of the siren.

  When we compare “Xiang Ling Drumming Ceremonies” with “Returning Geese”, we can understand that the line of “Returning Geese”, which is “not overwhelmed by the clear complaint but flying here”, is derived from “the Chu guest is unable to listen to it”, and the author is portraying the “Chu guest” who is deported to a different place. The author is portraying the image of the geese living in Xiangjiang River according to the “Chu guests” who have been deported to other places. Therefore, he makes the geese hear the sound of the Xiangling’s sorrowful chorus, which is full of sorrow for their relatives, and then they become nostalgic and impatient, and resolutely leave the beautiful and rich Xiangjiang River and fly back to the north. These two famous lines from the poem “Ascent of the Tower” by Wang Ch’ung, a writer of Jian’an, reveal the feelings of the detaining guest, which can be used to illustrate the “mood” of the geese in the poem “The Returning Geese” when they hear the sound of the serge and fly back. The poet uses the geese, which are full of traveler’s sorrow, to reveal his thoughts about his travels to other countries. This poem is original in conception, rich in imagination, ethereal in writing, lyrical and gentle in expression, and meaningful in meaning. With its unique artistic characteristics, it has become one of the most famous poems about geese.

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