Du Fu Poem: To the Swallow Coming to My Boat – 杜甫《燕子来舟中作》

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燕子来舟中作

杜甫

湖南为客动经春,

燕子衔泥两度新。

旧入故园尝识主,

如今社日[1]远看人。

可怜处处巢居室,

何异飘飘托此身。

暂语船樯还起去,

穿花贴水益沾巾。

注释:

[1] 社日:古时农村春分前后祭社神(土地神)和五谷神的日子。

To the Swallow Coming to My Boat

Du Fu

Another spring in boat I stay;

Again swallows peck clods of clay.

You know me in my native land;

Now gazing from afar you stand.

Ah, here and there you build your nest;

Now and again I find no rest.

You greet me and then leave the mast;

My tears stream down to see you past.

This poem presents a contrast between the swallow building its nest and the poet who could not go home.

《燕子来舟中作》是唐代诗人杜甫创作的一首七言律诗。这首诗极写漂泊动荡的忧思,看似咏燕,实是慨叹诗人的茫茫身世。此诗是杜甫生命即将走到尽头的一篇诗作,已经淡去了早些年强烈的时代和政治主题,而弥漫出一片萧索、苍凉、悲怆的身世之慨。首联点名时间并引出所咏对象——燕子;中间两联是对燕子形象的描绘和倾诉,诗人想象着所见即是旧日筑巢于自己屋室的燕子,说自己四处漂泊居无定所,和燕子到处筑巢别无两样;尾联写燕子弃我而去,留下的只有空虚、惆怅和寂寞而不禁老泪横流。这首诗借轻盈的燕子的形象深沉真挚的人性表达出来,写得朴实自然而深沉真挚。

A poem in seven lines written by Du Fu, a poet of the Tang Dynasty, is entitled “To the Swallow Coming to My Boat”. It is a poem about the wandering and turbulent thoughts of the poet, seemingly singing about swallows, but actually lamenting the poet’s uncertain life. The poem is a poem written at the end of Du Fu’s life, and it has lost the strong theme of the times and politics of the earlier years, and is instead filled with a sorrowful, desolate and pathos of his life. The first couplet names the time and introduces the object of the poem, the swallow; the middle two couplets depict and confess the image of the swallow, which the poet imagines to be the swallow that used to nest in his house, saying that he is wandering around with no fixed place and is no different from the swallow nesting everywhere; the last couplet says that the swallow has abandoned me, leaving only emptiness, despair and loneliness and I can’t help but shed old tears. This poem expresses the deep and sincere humanity through the image of light swallows, written in a simple, natural and deep way.

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