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HomeChinese Calligraphy萧蜕 行书:李商隐《柳》~ Tang Poetry and Chinese Calligraphy

萧蜕 行书:李商隐《柳》~ Tang Poetry and Chinese Calligraphy

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萧蜕 行书:李商隐《柳》


【释文】曾逐东风拂舞筵,乐游春苑断肠天。如何肯到清秋日,已带斜阳又带蝉!

【款识】义山咏柳,录于金狮河畔板桥西寒蝉。

【简析】

  这是借咏柳自伤迟暮、倾诉隐衷的一首七绝。大约是大中五年( 851)诗人在长安初应东川节度使柳仲郢之聘时所作。

  诗写的是秋日之柳,但诗人不从眼前写起,而是先追想它春日的情景,然后再回到眼前的柳上来。一、二句“曾逐东风拂舞筵,乐游春苑断肠天。”意为春日细长低垂的柳枝,随风轻扬,最易使人联想起舞女的飘然舞姿。这个“舞”字,形象地表现春柳的婀娜多姿,同时,又把柳枝与热闹的舞筵结合起来,更加衬托了柳枝的欢乐。“拂舞筵”三字,仿佛使人看到柳枝同舞女一同翩翩起舞的场面,分不清谁是舞女,何为柳枝,两者互衬,优美动人!本来是东风吹得柳枝飘动,诗中却用一“逐”字,说柳枝在追逐东风,变被动为主动,写出柳枝的蓬勃生气。对句又紧接舞筵,从时、地两个方面加重描绘,说明这不是一般的舞筵,而是春日乐游苑上的舞筵。“断肠天”指繁花似锦的春日,“ 断肠”即销魂,言花之色香使人心醉神摇。春风荡漾,百花争艳,长安乐游苑上,士女如云,舞筵上觥筹交错,歌管迭奏,红裙飘转,绿袖翻飞,碧绿的柳枝,同舞女一道翩翩起舞,好一幅春光明媚,繁华似锦的场景。

  三、四句“如何肯到清秋日,已带斜阳又带蝉!”

  却陡然一转,描绘出杨柳完全相反的另一种景象。“清秋”,喻秋色已深;清秋又当斜阳,环境更加凄凉。临近生命终结的秋蝉,鸣声更加凄厉。本来是斜阳照着柳枝,秋蝉贴在柳枝之上哀鸣,诗中却用两个“带”字,反说柳枝“带着”它们,此与第一句中的“逐”字一样,又使柳枝由被动变为主动,化客观死景为活景,表现出秋日之柳的不幸。第三句既是反诘,又是感叹,同时又是转折。“肯”字或释为“会”(见张相《诗词曲语辞汇释》),但如果解作肯不肯的“肯”,诗意似更深邈:既然秋天是如此萧条,那你(柳)为何又肯捱到秋天来啊!言外之意是说不如不到秋天来,大有悲不欲生之痛。此处的转折,用了“如何肯到”这样顿挫有力的明转,增强了对比感。春日之柳的繁盛,正反衬出秋日之柳的枯凋;春日愈是繁华得意,愈显出秋日的零落憔悴。诗正是通过这种强烈的对比描绘,来表现对秋柳稀疏衰落的悲叹之情。两句中,虚字运用亦很精妙。第三句“如何”、“肯到”连用,可反诘、感叹语气更加强烈。结句“已带”、“又带”,更是层层推进。

  此诗句句写柳,却不着一个“柳”字;句句是景,又句句是情;句句咏物,又句句写人。诗人写此诗时,妻子刚刚病故,自己不久又将只身赴蜀,去过那使人厌倦的幕府生涯,掉念妻子,悲叹前路,其心情之惨苦可知。诗中经历今昔荣枯悬殊变化的秋柳,也正是诗人自伤迟暮、自叹身世的生动写照。

【Simple Translation】

  This is a seven-part poem in which the poet wounds himself by singing about the willow in its twilight and confesses his secrets. It was written around the fifth year of Dazhong (851) when the poet was first hired by Liu Zhongying, the envoy of the Dongchuan Festival, in Chang’an.

  The poem is about the willow in autumn, but the poet does not start from the immediate, but first recalls its spring scene, and then returns to the willow in front of him. In the first and second lines, the poet says, “I once danced with the east wind, and enjoyed the spring garden.” It means that the long, thin, low-hanging branches of the willow in spring, which flutter with the wind, are most likely to remind people of the dancers’ fluttering dance. The word “dance” graphically expresses the gracefulness of the spring willow, and at the same time, combines the willow branches with the lively dance feast, which further emphasizes the joy of the willow branches. The word “dance feast” seems to make people see the scene of the willow dancing with the dancer, it is not clear who is the dancer and what is the willow, the two set each other off, beautiful and moving! Originally it was the east wind that made the willow branches move, but the poem uses the word “by” to say that the willow branches are chasing the east wind, changing the passive into active, writing the vigorous willow branches. The other line follows the dance feast, which is not a normal dance feast, but a spring dance feast in the pleasure garden. The word “broken-hearted” refers to the spring day when flowers are in full bloom, and the word “broken-hearted” means “soul-crushing”, which means that the color and fragrance of the flowers make people drunk. In the spring breeze, hundreds of flowers are competing with each other, and there are many dancers and women in Chang’an’s pleasure garden.

  In the third and fourth lines, “How can we reach the clear autumn day, when the sun is already slanting and the cicadas are already there?”

  But in a sudden turn, it depicts another kind of scenery which is completely opposite to the willow. “The autumn color is already deep; the setting is even bleaker when the sun is shining. The autumn cicadas, which are nearing the end of their lives, sound even more mournfully. The willow branches were originally shining with the slanting sun, and the autumn cicadas were singing on top of them. This is the same as the word “by” in the first stanza, which also changes the willow branches from passive to active, turning an objective dead scene into a living one and showing the misfortune of the willow in autumn. The third line is both a rhetorical question and an exclamation, as well as a turn of phrase. The word “ken” may be interpreted as “will” (see Zhang Xiang’s “Poetry and Quotations”), but if it is interpreted as “ken”, the poetic meaning seems to be deeper: since autumn is so depressed, why are you ( If autumn is so depressed, why are you (Liu) willing to endure until autumn? The implication is that it would be better not to come in autumn, which is a painful feeling of grief. The turn of phrase here is “how can I come”, which enhances the sense of contrast. The prosperity of the willow in spring contrasts with the wilting of the willow in autumn; the more prosperous the spring is, the more it shows the haggardness of the autumn. It is through this strong contrast that the poem expresses the lamentation for the sparse and declining willows in autumn. In the two lines, the use of dummy words is also very subtle. In the third line, the words “how” and “can arrive” are used together, which can make the rhetorical and exclamatory tone stronger. The concluding lines, “have brought” and “brought again”, are even more progressive.

  This poem is about willow without the word “willow”; it is about scenery and emotion; it is about things and people. When the poet wrote this poem, his wife had just died of illness, and he would soon go to Shu alone to go to the tiresome Shogunate career, missing his wife and lamenting the road ahead. The autumn willow in the poem, which has undergone a disparity between the present and the past, is also a vivid depiction of the poet’s self-injury and sorrow for his life.

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