‘The Greatest Poet’ – by Duoya Li

‘The Greatest Poet’ – by Duoya Li

March 22, 2021 Mandarin Uncategorized 0

中国最伟大的诗人?

前不久的一部纪录片《杜甫,中国最伟大的诗人》别开生面地追寻诗圣的人生之旅,为西方鲜为人知的中国古诗揭开面纱一角。然而独独一位诗人的历程仅为中国古诗词千年历史的惊鸿一瞥, 而前无古人,后无来者之名加之于杜甫也或过于草率。本文中,笔者将以此纪录片为线索, 试勾勒中国诗歌文脉的草略轮廓以充实抑或启发读者对杜甫更深入的理解。

杜甫科举官场失利的经历在历代诗人文人中并非个例。千年的科举制度模糊了文人与政客之间的界线,高官多是精通儒术的文化人,故文人多怀有政治抱负,然而文人大多性情高雅而不懂政治中的迂回手段,往往直言相谏,最终得罪其他官宦甚至天子而被排挤贬谪。从战国时代被流放的屈原起,官场失意却心系江山就成为了中文诗歌的重要主题之一;唐朝,杜甫的好友李白仕途坎坷,四十三岁才受诏翰林,然而他与宫廷生活仍然格格不入,既安史之乱以来的诗人中,柳宗元遭贬永州;重文轻武的宋朝,陆游与辛弃疾以文写武,无法上疆场只得“醉里挑灯看剑,梦回吹角连营”,乌台诗案中遭诽谤的苏轼一生被贬密州,黄州,直至儋州。可见,辗转流放是诗人们常有的命运。然而或许正是因为他们才华与品格树大招风,平常的仕途才不会成为他们的人生;反之,千古流传的诗作也因苦难历练而不朽。

经历了安史之乱,颠沛流离的生活让他目睹并亲历了世间疾苦,也激发了杜甫的现实主义诗歌创作。长安城气象突变,以致在草长莺飞的春季杜甫“感时花溅泪,恨别鸟惊心”;当他简陋的茅屋被风吹破时,他写下了“安得广厦千万间,大庇天下寒士俱欢颜”;他讥讽权贵在百姓饥寒交迫之际仍奢靡无度的生活:“朱门酒肉臭,路有冻死骨。”;他在诸葛亮祠堂前写下的怀古诗“出师未捷身先死,长使英雄泪满襟”缅怀这位“鞠躬尽瘁”的蜀相却也感叹自己抱负落空的失望。“三吏三别”更是以六首五言叙事诗描绘了百姓生死离别的悲痛与战争的残酷。然而现实主义诗歌在中晚唐动荡时期也十分盛行,如白居易笔下“可怜身上衣正单,心忧炭贱愿天寒”的卖炭翁,和他深感同病相怜受乱世疾苦的《琵琶行》中的琴女,而柳宗元的骈文也发展了唐代现实主义文学。

片中提及李杜交情至深,一同饮酒赋诗出游。杜赠李诗“醉眠秋共被,携手日通行”,虽说知音难觅,诗人之间的金兰之交也常常成为诗作题材,比如交游甚广的李白,赠汪伦诗“桃花潭水深千尺,不及汪伦送我情”;杜甫写给李龟年“落花时节又逢君”;孟浩然与友人“待到重阳日,还来就菊花”。然而范仲淹则感叹忧国忧民的君子不可多求:“微斯人,吾谁与归”,可见大多气节清高的诗人难寻知己,故而有幸遇见志同道合者想必格外珍重他们之间的友情。当然,并非天下诗人自然而然志同道合,以苏轼,王安石为例:东坡曾数次上奏批评王安石变法,二人政治观点水火难容,最终东坡遭贬离开朝廷。然而当苏轼深陷“乌台诗案”的危机时刻,王安石却也上书为苏轼求情“岂有盛世杀才士乎?”。王安石始终关注着东坡的诗作,从不吝啬夸赞之言,而晚年王安石退隐后苏轼也曾前来拜访,甚至理解了荆公的变法。诗人之间,的确有种君子之交淡如水的默契。

此纪录片近结尾也总结道诗圣杜甫未必是最伟大的中国诗人,且其人生经历也并非个例, 然而在他身上常能看到历朝历代文人墨客的影子。 在求索杜甫人生轨迹的过程中, 古诗词的魅力不过展现了冰山一角,在杜甫背后的,是千年诗歌文化的传承。

Brief summary
This is inspired by the BBC documentary Du Fu: China’s Greatest Poet, which follows the life of a poet/politician in the Tang Dynasty in ancient China. This article aims to provide more context for ancient Chinese poetry and more generally the cultural sphere in ancient China. For example, the system deployed at the time to select officials working for the emperor (or empress) was so heavily based on one’s literary skills that often the best poets and writers were also involved in politics. Du Fu is also a good example of realist poet of his time, portraying the human miseries in the time of political tumult as well as recording his own life filled with exile and disappointment. With references to other poets, this article aims to build up a wider picture of the Chinese poetic world and show that despite being a great poet, Du Fu might not be after all, the greatest, but rather one of the many intellectuals who have constructed a Chinese poetic canon.




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