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王永利双语散文《游杜甫草堂感怀》
王永利
01月20日 09:41
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游杜甫草堂感怀

作者 王永利

到成都,最值得一游的地方,当属杜甫草堂。杜甫草堂位于西郊外,离浣花溪寺不远。当年,杜甫来到成都是先暂住在浣花寺,主持復空和尚帮助杜甫在浣花溪畔找到一块荒地。杜甫的表弟协助年近50岁杜甫在那里先开辟了一亩大的土地,在一棵相传二百多年的枘树下建造起了几间不坚固的茅屋。而传在一次大风雨之后,枘树被连根拔起,死掉了,茅屋也为秋风所破。所以杜甫先生在这里写下了前无古人,后无来者的一首诗——《茅屋为秋风所破歌》。

杜甫草堂不太大,有房屋八九间,非常简陋。比起相邻的另一个旅游景点诸葛亮的武侯祠来,这里简直就是一个贫民窟。但是杜甫草堂环境优美,茂林修竹掩映,一条溪流蜿蜒环绕,颇具有诗情画意。而这些诗情画意,成就了杜甫先生许多描写自然景物并且脍炙人口的诗歌。如“好雨知时节,当春乃发生。随风潜入夜,润物细无声。”如“两个黄鹂鸣翠柳,一行白鹭上青天。窗含西岭千秋雪,门泊东吴万里船。”还有“新松恨不高千尺,恶竹应须砍万竿”。“杨柳枝枝弱,枇杷对对香。”“云掩初弦月,香传小树花”等等……

杜甫是中国文学史上最伟大的现实主义诗人。公元712年生于河南巩县,公元770年死于从长沙到岳阳的一条小木船上。他一生颠沛流离,按照今天人们通常用金钱财富和做多大官来衡量一个男人是否成功的世俗标尺,杜甫可以说是一个非常失败的男人,是一个悲剧性人物。但是,那些同时代拥有金钱财富和高官厚禄的人,有谁能经得起岁月的淘沙,至尽还被后人如此景仰呢?有几人能像杜甫那样被世人一代一代传诵呢?这也正是我来成都首先要瞻仰杜甫草堂的目的。我爱杜甫,仰慕他在生活困顿中,更多地想到“安得广厦千万间,大庇天下寒士尽欢颜,风雨不动安如山”忧国忧民的情怀,仰慕他为中国的文学和人类文明贡献了那么多优秀的诗篇,乃至成为中华民族璀璨的优秀文化遗产。

我走进杜甫草堂,仿佛在面对面地阅读这位伟大诗人的悲剧。他出生后不久,母亲就去世了,他是被寄养在姑母家长大的。他“少小多病”,不是什么“神童”。 相反,他少年还很顽皮,爱偷吃树上的枣子和梨。有诗歌为证:“忆年十五还尚孩,健如黄犊走复来。庭前八月梨枣熟,一日上树能千回。”(见杜甫《百忧集行》)但是他学习刻苦,“读书破万卷”。20岁开始游历,走南闯北,用投亲靠友“打秋风”的方式“混日子”,而到了三十五岁也没有谋到一官半职,是个怀才不遇的穷酸游历书生。他到处寄上自己的名帖希望那些达官贵人引荐。可是未果,科举考试也不成功。按照今天人们的眼光,他简直就是一个“没出息”的人。

但是,游历扩大了他的视野和心胸,祖国的壮丽河山陶冶了他的雄心壮志。“会当凌绝顶,一览众山小”。(杜甫《望岳》)后来,杜甫结识了一位伟大的诗人李白,杜甫仰慕李白的风采,他们一道渡黄河到王屋山去拜访道士华盖君。可是他们到了那里,华盖君已经死了。他们伥恨而归。但半路遇到高适,便一道浪迹宋州。呼鹰逐兔,饮酒抚琴,发泄对政局的不满。当时李白比杜甫年长十多岁,喜欢杜甫这个有才的小兄弟并赠诗“飞蓬各自远,且尽手中杯”。杜甫称李白“笔落惊风雨,诗成泣鬼神”。两人的友谊很深。后来两人分手后,杜甫误听李白溺水而亡的消息,竟然一连三日梦到李白,写了三首关于悼念李白的诗,“应共冤魂语,投诗赠汨罗”,把李白比喻为伟大的诗人屈原。后来证实是误传,李白遇赦了,杜甫激动地写了《寄李白二十韵》。两位杰出诗人的伟大友谊,在今天也是佳话。可惜,我们今天,文人相轻者多,相惜者少。每个文人都觉得自己比别人高一筹,哪里还有这样的友谊存在呢?

杜甫后来到了首都长安,在那里待了十年。也没有谋得像样的官职,当个低级的幕僚,屡受排挤。后来,安史之乱,和胡人进犯,杜甫开始了流亡的生活,饥寒交迫中,他亲眼目睹了社会地层人们生活在水深火热之中,写下了无数批判现实主义的伟大作品。如“朱门酒肉臭,路有冻死骨。”等等。后来有人举荐他见到了皇帝,皇帝封他个“八品”小官,可以追随在皇帝左右,如果当时杜甫趋炎附势,是可以赢得皇帝欢心的。可是他偏偏不识时务,上疏营救房琯的罢相,触怒了肃宗,受刑戮、遭贬斥。在流配途中,他写出了“三吏”,“三别”《春望》、《哀江头》、《北征》等许多不朽的爱国主义和忧国忧民的诗篇。

对于杜甫个人而言,他的仕途彻底失败了,他的多半辈子都是靠朋友接济过活,穷得叮当响,可是他忧国忧民,为国家的前途和百姓的疾苦奔走呼号,对于中华民族而言,他的优秀作品,激励一代又一代有正义感的知识分子,敢于做铮言的勇士,针砭时弊,用一腔爱国热血“先天下之忧而忧,后天下之乐而乐”,沿着批判现实主义道路前行,去推动社会公平,去促进国家和时代的进步。这也正是今天,我们怀念杜甫、学习杜甫的意义所在。试想,我们的文人、诗人、小说家、散文家只会歌功颂德,写些官样文章,沉湎于个人的功名利禄,还怎么能促进社会公平进步呢?联想到我们今天,诗歌已经成为可有可无的“盆景艺术”,小说和散文也缺少振聋发聩的作品,其原因之一,恐怕不是新闻审查制度扼杀了好作品,更多的是我们的不小一部分“文学”已经不是人民的喉舌和代言,没有悲天悯人的博大情怀,而是个人的无病呻吟,或者说是“吃饱了撑的”,“故弄玄虚”,无疑将被大众所抛弃。

其实,杜甫在成都的草堂一共待的时间不过是四年,(三年后,出去当幕僚,后来避难流离别处,之后又回来住了一年。)但这里是他最喜欢的地方,他亲手栽了许多竹子、桃树,他曾写诗向各处求树秧,曾向萧实请求春前送一百棵银桃,向韦续索取绵竹县的绵竹,向何浥要蜀中特有的三年便能成荫的桤树。向韦班要过松树苗。如今这些树木已经成为参天大数,飞鸟语燕纷纷在此安家落户,莺歌燕舞,鸟鸣欢畅,清风徐来,树枝摇曳,别有一番情趣。“细雨鱼儿出,微风燕子斜”(杜甫《水槛谴心之一》),“嫩蕊商量细细开”,“自在娇莺恰恰啼”,正是杜甫草堂景致的写照。游人在此流连忘返。据导游说,每年四月十八日,成都的居民都喜欢到草堂踏青,年年在那天都是晴天,即使在梅雨季节里,也从来遇不到下雨的天气。

后来,由于各种原因,杜甫离开了他心爱的草堂,再次流离,就再也没有回到过这里。他到处投亲靠友“打秋风”类似乞讨度日,公元770年他从秋到冬都漂泊在一条木船上,饥饿和寒冷,风湿病(又称风痹病)转剧。他的最后一首诗写的是他从舟中看到的景物:“故国悲寒望,群云惨岁阴。水乡霾白屋,枫岸叠青岑。郁郁冬炎瘴,濛濛雨滞淫。鼓迎非祭鬼,弹落似鴞禽。”依然充满了忧国忧民的悲天悯人情怀。

一代伟大的爱国诗人陨落了。但是杜甫仍然活在中国人民乃至世界人民心中,他是一座伟大的丰碑,永远受到后人的景仰。他的不朽的诗篇,永远被后人传诵!他的精神激励我们不追求个人的名与利,与人民同行,与祖国同在,与时代同进。

Visiting Du Fu’s Thatched Cottage

By Wang Yongli

If you visit Chengdu, the best place I can suggest for you visit is Du Fu’s Thatched Cottage. Du Fu’s Thatched Cottage is located in the suburbs of the city near to Huaxi temple. According to the history books of the Tang Dynasty, when the famous poet Du Fu first came to Chengdu, he had to beg a monk to shelter him in the temple. The resident monk named Fukong was kind and helped Du Fu to open up an acre of wasteland nearby. Du Fu's fifty-year old cousin also assisted him in planting some vegetables and trees and in building the thatched cottage. Beside the cottage lived an old wedge tree, which according to legend was more than 200 years old. But in one night, a great autumn rainstorm uprooted the tree and damaged the cottage. Watching the downpour from the broken roof, Du Fu wrote the famous poem "The Song of My Grass Hut Broken by the Autumn Wind". The poem has no superiors, not before and not after.

The Du Fu Thatched Cottage is not very large, having eight or nine rooms. The exterior and interior are very simple. Compared with the Temple of Marquis Wu, which is an adjacent attraction for tourists where they can remember Zhu Geliang, the prime minister of Shu country, Du Fu’s Thatched Cottage is a slum. But the garden of Du Fu’s Thatched Cottage is beautiful, with an agreeable environment. The meanders of a prattling brook are shaded with straggling willows, alder trees and a dense bamboo forest. The poetic and pictorial splendor gave Du Fu much inspiration and helped him to write down many poems that depicted the natural sceneries and won universal praise. Poems such as “Happy Rain on a Spring Night”: "The fine rain knows the fine season so well. It arrives timely at vernal nightfall. While it tiptoes on the trail of the spring breeze, it moistens everything in silence.” Or “A Quatrain”: "Two golden orioles are singing in the green willow; a flock of white egrets are soaring to the blue sky. Through my pane the snow of millennia is seen on West Hill. By my door the ship of myriads of miles from the East Wu moors nigh approaches.” Or "I hate the new pine for it cannot grow as high as 1,000 feet, and the ten thousand ill bamboo should be cut down." Or "Each branch of the willow is tender, while the pairs of loquats are so fragrant." And "Clouds mask the early crescent, while tree flowers send forth a delicate fragrance."

Du Fu is the greatest realism poet in the history of Chinese literature. He was born in Henan County in AD 712 and he died in a small wooden boat going from Yueyang to Changsha in AD 770. Du Fu wandered for his whole life. If, according to the standard that people of today use, whereby money and official tiles are used to judge a man’s success, you would say that Du Fu was a very unsuccessful man and a tragic figure. However, who of those rich in money and high in official positions, who lived a life of ease be as admired by later generations as Du Fu? The answer is none! There is no one like Du Fu, none who are loved and read from generation to generation. This is the reason that I visited Du Fu’s Thatched Cottage when I first arrived in Chengdu. I love Du Fu so much, and admire the hardships he faced in life and how he thought more about "How can ten million mansions be built to offer shelter for the people who are suffering from cold, and how can they be made to laugh with happiness from their hearts? How can they become as steady as a mountain to face the rainstorms?” His feelings of concern about the country and the people are so great that all readers should admire him. Besides, he contributed many good poems to Chinese literature and human civilization, becoming a brilliant member of the outstanding heritage of Chinese nation’s culture.

I enter into Du Fu’s Thatched Cottage and it is as if I am in a face-to-face with the great poet's tragedy. Shortly after his birth his mother died and he was brought up in his aunt's house. “He was sick in his little age", and was not a child prodigy. On the contrary, he was a very naughty boy who loved eating the dates and pears on the trees without permission. There are poems as evidence: "recalling the year I was a child at fifteen, I was as healthy as a yellow calf going to and fro. In August, when the dates and pears were ripe in the yard, I was climbing up the tree one thousand times a day." (see Du Fu’s “A hundred Worries”) But he studied hard, and "read more than ten thousand books". At age twenty he began to travel, journeying north and south, visiting his relatives and friends, "tramping" and “dawdling" along the way. At the age of thirty-five he did not receive an official appointment and became frustrated, because in spite of all his talents he was in fact just a poor travelling scholar. He tried to send his name out on cards in the hopes that high officials and noble lords would recommend he receive an appointment, but he failed again and again. Even in the imperial examination he could not achieve success. According to the perception of some people today, Du Fu is nothing but worthless.

But traveling expanded his vision and mind, the motherland’s magnificent rivers and mountains edified his lofty ideals and high aspirations. He wrote a famous poem “When I reach the top of the peak, I can hold all mountains in a single glance.” (Du Fu’s “Look up the Yue Mountain”) Later, Du Fu met the great poet Li Bai. Du Fu admired Li Bai so much. They became friends and were together on the road crossing the Yellow River to Wangwu Mountain to visit Mr. Hua Gai. Unfortunately, when they arrived at there, Mr. Hua Gai was dead. They returned with pity. But halfway home, they met a famous poet, Gao Shi. The three of them became good friends and they enjoyed each other’s company around the state of Song. They called eagles that were chasing a rabbit, and while they drank they complained and vented about the political administration with dissatisfaction. Li Bai was older than Du Fu by about ten years, but Li appreciated his talents. Li called Du little brother and presented Du with a poem: "As the erigeron flies afar, we drink to the bottom of the cup". Du Fu praised Li Bai with a poem in return: "His pen can make the wind and rain astonished, and his poems can make ghosts and gods sob with tears". Their friendship was so deep. After while, Li Bai left the city and said good-bye to Du Fu, but soon after, Du Fu heard the bad news that Li Bai had drowned to death. Du Fu was so filled with sorrow that he dreamt of Li Bai for three days. Du Fu wrote three poems in remembrance. "With the same ghost language, Li Bai presents his poetry to the Miluo River." The poem means that Li Bai can be compared to the great poet Qu Yuan. Later it was confirmed that the bad news was a rumor and Li Bai received the emperor’s forgiveness and pardon. Du Fu was excited to write the poem “Sending Li Bai Twenty Rhymes”. The friendship between the two distinguished poets was so great even today it is a much-told story. Unfortunately, today, many scholars scorn each other. Only a few can love each other. Each writer considers himself better than others. How can such a great friendship exist?

Later on, Du Fu went to the capital city of Changan. He stayed there for ten years, but never got a decent position as an officer. Finally he became a junior staff member in an office, but other officials repeatedly squeezed him out. Later, the rebellions of An Lushan and Shi Siming, as well as the barbarian attacks made society unsteady. Du Fu began the life of an exile again, suffering hunger and cold. He witnessed the social stratum people living in dire straits, and wrote numerous great works of critical realism. Such as "the meats smell inside the Red Gate, but outside, along the road, there are many bodies dead from cold." Later someone recommend for him to see the emperor. The Tang Dynasty emperor Su Zong rewarded Du Fu a higher-ranking official position—rank eight officer. Du Fu could now follow and accompany the emperor. If Du Fu had fawned over the rich and powerful, he would have won the favor of the emperor. But he was just Rip Van Winkle and wrote a memorial to the throne to rescue Mr. Fang Guan who had been dismissed from the position of prime minister. What Du Fu did angered the emperor Su Zong, so Du Fu was tortured and punished with exile. But whilst in exile, and thanks to it, he wrote his best poems: “Three Officials”, “Three Parts From”, “Spring View”, “Sorrow at the End of the River”, “Northern Expedition” and many others full of immortal patriotism and concern for the fate of the psalms.

Du Fu’s official career was a complete failure. Most of his life was spent relying on friends’ donations, as he himself was penniless. But he was concerned about the country and people, and went around campaigning for the country’s future and the people’s weal and woe. His masterpieces have impelled scholars from generation to generation to worry about justice, to say the truth, to criticize the errors of society, and encourage us to contribute the nation with our blood and passion, “worrying earlier than all people, and happing later than all people”. His great poems arouse us, causing us to push the development of the country along the road of real criticism. It is this importance that we learnt from the great poet and remember today. If writers, poets, novelists and essayists don’t know how to write official style articles, only how to eulogize the administration’s virtues and achievements, and only how to enjoy personal profit and official rank, how can they promote social justice and social progress? Today, poetry can become no more than “potted landscape art”. Novels and works of prose are benighted, completely short of being enlightened masterpieces. All these reasons aside, one should not censor or cut off the good works. It is only a small part that is not of the people’s tongues, and do not represent the voices from the people’s heart. Because they are short of the broad feelings that bemoan the state of the universe and pity the fate of mankind, because they are totally the personal moanings and groanings of the authors, because they are the rubbish from killing time after eating too much, and because they are “purposely turning simple things into mystical things”, they must be abandoned.

At the cottage I find that in fact Du fu stayed here for only four years. After three years he went to another province to become a petty officer and then he went to another place to take shelter from the war. Five years later he came back here and stayed for one year. But Du Fu loved it here very much. He planted many peach trees and bamboo. He used to write letters to ask his friends for saplings. He wrote to Shu Shi and asked him to send 100 peach saplings before the spring, to Wei Ban for Mianzhu town bamboos, to He Yi for a wedge tree sapling that was a typical tree of the middle Shu area and could grow a big crown within three years. He also asked Wei Ban for a sapling of pine. Now all the trees are huge against the sky. Many birds and swallows have built nests in the trees, so the twittering sounds are loud. It is very interesting how the leaves and branches rattle in the breeze. Du Fu wrote a poem to describe a similar scene: “Fishes jump out of the surface of the pond in the drizzle, while the swallows fly in the sky in the breeze.” (please see Du Fu “Relieve Boredom on the Water Gate, No.1”) “The tender flowers bloom slowly after their discussion, the leisurely little oriole sings in a clattering voice.” This is the portrait of the cottage. All visitors enjoy the beautiful scenery here so much that they forget they have to go home. According to what the guide said, Chengdu residents prefer to visit Du Fu’s Cottage on the eighteenth of April, for on that day the weather is very fine even though it is the rainy season. On the eighteenth of April it never rains!

Let us go back to the story of Du Fu. He left the cottage for many reasons and lived a vagrant life again. From then on he never went back to the cottage he loved so much. He had to depend on his friends and relatives for his living means, and to some extent it was like the way of a beggar. From autumn to winter in AD 770, Du Fu lived on a small wooden boat, suffering hunger and cold. As a result, he caught the serious illness rheumatic cardiopathy. His last poem described what he saw from the boat. “My homeland, looking cold and sad, is covered with a group of thick black clouds. The white haze blocks the water world, while the maple trees on the banks look dark green. The gas of the winter miasma is gloomily thick, and the cold rain and drizzle are constantly pouring down. Some drumbeats are not to hold a memorial ceremony for ghosts, while some storks drop down for the slingshot.” The poem is full of concerns about the country and the people, and full of feelings bemoaning the state of the universe, pitying the fate of mankind.

A great patriotic poet had died as though a star had fallen from sky. But Du Fu still lives on in the hearts of the people of China and the world. His illustrious deeds and poems are an everlasting monument, respected and recited by his succeeding generations. His spirit always encourages us not to seek personal fame and profit, but to go forward with people, forward with the nation, forward with time!

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