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经济学人:诗歌的力量

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Books and arts;book review;

文艺;书评;

James Fenton's poetry;Flower power;

詹姆士.芬顿的诗;诗歌的力量;

A modern master goes from strength to strength;

一位逐渐成长起来的当代诗坛巨匠;

"Yellow Tulips"poem;by JAMES FENTON;

诗集《黄色郁金香》;詹姆斯.芬顿著;

JAMES FENTON has led a busy life. In the late 1970s, while an undergraduate at Oxford University, he began his career in journalism: as a book reviewer, then as a war reporter, a foreign correspondent, a theatre critic and now as a popular commentator on American politics. From 1994 until 1999 he was Oxford professor of poetry and, more lucratively, wrote an early libretto for “Les Miserables”, the hit musical of Victor Hugo's sprawling novel. During all this time, he has also written poetry.

詹姆斯.芬顿的人生极为丰富。20世纪70年代后期,詹姆斯.芬顿还只是牛津大学在读大学生时,就开始了他的新闻事业:书评撰稿人、战地记者、驻外通讯记者、戏剧批评家,而现在他是著名的美国政治时事评论员。1994年至1999年间,詹姆斯.芬顿任牛津大学教授,主讲诗学。而且他曾为维克多.雨果的长篇巨作《悲惨世界》的音乐剧写过剧本,该音乐剧风靡一时,芬顿获利颇丰。在此期间,他亦有写诗。

Covering the period from 1968 to 2011, “Yellow Tulips”, Mr Fenton's latest collection of new and previously published poems, traces his constant movement from place to place. In many respects it is remarkable that these poems were written at all. Some were composed after Mr Fenton fled from Cambodia in 1975, just before it fell to the Khmer Rouge, or in Hong Kong, Germany and the Philippines, where he was posted on various assignments. They feature downtrodden hotels or bars, diplomatic dinners and country estates, reflecting the life of a journalist who finds himself continually displaced. He describes student hangovers and heartbreak (and shows the uncanny similarities between the two). But his most common theme is combat, and how it affects those who have the least say in it, “those whom geography condemns to war”.

芬顿的最新诗集《黄色郁金香》收录了他1968年至2011年间出版的新旧诗篇,从这些诗,我们可以看到他在这段时间辗转于不同地方的经历。从很多方面来说,能写出这样的诗本身便是很神奇的。一些诗歌是在芬顿1975年逃离柬埔寨之后创作的,也就是红色高棉事件发生之前,一些是香港、德国和菲律宾写的。他曾因各种原因被派到这些地方。这些诗歌以那些被剥削压迫的小旅馆或酒吧,外交晚宴还有乡村庄园为背景,反映了诗人长期背井离乡的记者生涯。他描述了学生的宿醉与心碎(并且在他的诗间,我们可见两者之间离奇的相似之处)。而芬顿最常写的其实是“战争”,以及那些在战争中最没发言权的人们,“那些人为艰苦的地理环境所迫,不得不选择战争”。

Mr Fenton describes visiting an orphanage of exiled Cambodian children, each “caught in the tight security of grief”. He writes from the perspective of a 16-year-old soldier in Phnom Penh, his verse suddenly bristling with danger. His poetry waits “for reinforcements to arrive” or remembers “drivers, interpreters” and how “Death waved them through the checkpoint. They were lost.” On the whole, he manages to tackle these political themes without descending into sentimentality.

芬顿描绘了他在一家收容那些流亡的柬埔寨孤儿的孤儿院的所见所闻,在那里,每个人都被忧伤所缠绕。他从一位柬埔寨金边的16岁战士的视角切入,整首诗弥漫着一种危险的气息。他的诗描绘了他们是如何等待救兵,回忆了他们的司机和翻译,讲述了“他们如何在关卡死里逃生。那时他们已经迷路啦。”概言之,芬顿在处理这些政治主题时成功地没有陷入到情绪化的漩涡当中。

Instead, there is a constant satirical edge, and a certain bite to his tightly rhythmic verse. A keen observer, his poetry excels in the minute description, and the audacity of a rhyming phrase: “Tiananmen/ Is broad and clean/And you can't tell/Where the dead have been.” Often impersonating the voices of others, Mr Fenton revels in using the forms of narrative poems or ballads, taking these older poetic structures and bringing them up to date.

相反,他的诗节奏紧凑,往往似讽非讽。读者如果足够敏锐,便会发现他的细节描写极为杰出,且敢于用押韵的词句:“天安门广场,洁净而宽敞,难以分辨,亡者曾几何处葬。”芬顿善用叙事诗或者情诗的形式,拟声的手法,将旧的诗歌形式适用于新的时代,来表达自己的思想。

However, some of his poems are less powerful. Mr Fenton's early love poetry, in particular, lacks the wit of his later work, and his political statements are occasionally rather crude: “Blank terror doth stalk/ The poets of New York.” This is a shame; the many fine poems in the collection stand proud on their own.

但他的一部分诗却有些软绵绵的。尤其是他早期的爱情诗,不及他后期作品来得灵动。而且他言及政治时,偶有粗鲁处:“极度的恐慌惊扰了纽约的诗人们。”这是一种缺憾吧,但那些收到了诗集里的好诗,数目众多,卓然于世。

Mr Fenton's recent work is particularly good. More contemplative and meditative, poems such as “At the Kerb”, which is dedicated to Mick Imlah, a British poet who died at 52 in 2009 of motor neurone disease, show the more mature side of Mr Fenton's voice.

芬顿先生的近期作品尤是优异,其思想愈见成熟,亦更见深度,便如他献给英国诗人米克.伊姆拉的《在路边石》。米克.伊姆拉因运动神经疾病,卒于2009年,享年52岁。于此诗间,我们可见芬顿诗歌更为成熟的一面。

Brutal disease has numbered him a victim,

残虐的病魔,数次纠缠,

As if some unmarked car had appeared one day

仿若哪一日不知什么车便会出现,

And snatched him off to torture and confinem

抓他去囚禁、折磨,

Then dumped him by the kerbside and sped away

继而扬长而去,弃他于路边。

Such moments are startling and help Mr Fenton's simple lyricism achieve a certain vivid gracefulness. The 17 recent poems that make up the last section of “Yellow Tulips” show the development of a compelling poetic voice. Most important, they suggest that there is more to come.

诗中的情境令人揪心,因之芬顿简单的抒情诗却取得了某种生动雅致。《黄色郁金香》最后一章节由十七首他近期创作的诗构成,从这些诗我们可见诗人愈见迷人的诗歌语言。更为重要的是,这些美妙的诗句间隐隐暗示着更深层的内涵。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
covering ['kʌvəriŋ]

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n. 覆盖物,遮避物 adj. 掩护的,掩盖的

 
rhythmic ['riðmik]

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adj. 有节奏的,有韵律的

 
description [di'skripʃən]

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n. 描写,描述,说明书,作图,类型

联想记忆
audacity [ɔ:'dæsiti]

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n. 大胆,厚颜

 
verse [və:s]

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n. 诗,韵文,诗节
vi. 作诗

 
previously ['pri:vju:sli]

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adv. 先前,在此之前

 
occasionally [ə'keiʒənəli]

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adv. 偶尔地

 
stalk [stɔ:k]

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n. 茎,梗
n. 跟踪,高视阔步

联想记忆
certain ['sə:tn]

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adj. 确定的,必然的,特定的
pron.

 
particular [pə'tikjulə]

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adj. 特殊的,特别的,特定的,挑剔的
n.

联想记忆


关键字: 经济 学人 诗歌

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