Tao Yuanming Poems: Blaming Sons – 陶渊明《责子》

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责子

白发被两鬓,肌肤不复实。

虽有五男儿,总不好纸笔。

阿舒已二八,懒惰故[1]无匹。

阿宣行[2]志学[3],而不爱文术。

雍端年十三,不识六与七。

通子垂[4]九龄,但觅梨与栗。

天运苟如此,且进杯中物。

这首诗大约作于公元408年,当时陶渊明44岁。这首诗有两位大诗人有着不同的看法,杜甫认为此诗是在批评儿子不求上进,而黄庭坚予以否认。细味此诗并联系其他作品,诗中确实有对诸子责备的意思,诗人另有《命子》及《与子俨等疏》,诗人对自己的儿子们为学、为人是有着严格要求的。诗人虽弃绝仕途,但对子女成器与否也是很关心的。“白发被两鬓,肌肤不复实”,此句中,诗人指出自己有些老了,欲引下言。“虽有五男儿,总不好纸笔”指身边虽有五个男儿,却总不喜欢纸与笔。说明诗人对这五个儿子的文学有较大期望。怎奈几个儿子好像对此都不感兴趣,文中体现出那种又好气、又好笑的心情。诗人这是带着笑意的批评,亦是老人的舐犊情深。

注释:

[1]故:同“固”,向来,一直。

[2]行:行将,接近,将要。

[3]志学:十五岁。

[4]垂:接近。

Blaming Sons

My temples covered with white hair,

My skin wrinkled, my muscles slack.

Though I have five sons, none would care

To read or write in white or black.

My eldest son is now twice eight,

But lazy as him none appears.

My second son won’t dedicate

Himself to arts at fifteen years.

My third and fourth sons at thirteen

Know not how much makes six plus seven.

My youngest son has nine years green;

’Mid pears and nuts he is in heaven.

If such be the decree divine,

What can I do but drink my wine?

《责子》是晋末宋初诗人陶渊明创作的一首五言诗。此诗当作于陶渊明四十多岁时,诗人责备儿子们不求上进,与自己所希望的差距太大,勉励他们能好学奋进,成为良才,流露出诗人对儿子的骨肉深情,反映了诗人对儿子的殷切期望。全诗感情深厚率真,语言风趣幽默。

The poem “Blaming Sons” is a five-line poem written by Tao Yuanming, a poet of the late Jin and early Song dynasties. The poem was written when Tao Yuanming was in his forties. The poet scolds his sons for not seeking advancement and for falling too far short of what he had hoped for, and encourages them to study hard and become good talents, revealing the poet’s deep affection for his sons and reflecting his ardent expectations for them. The poem is full of deep and sincere feelings, and the language is funny and humorous.

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