诗家三昧 – Chinese philosophy and culture

shījiā sānmèi 诗家三昧

The Key to Poetic Creation

指诗歌创作的秘诀。“三昧”一词,源于梵文samādhi音译,意思是止息杂念、使心神平静,是佛教的重要修行方法,后借指事物的要领、真谛,被诗歌、绘画、书法等各领域借用,成为各领域要领、技巧、秘诀的代名词。“诗家三昧”由南宋著名诗人陆游(1125—1210)在《九月一日夜读诗稿有感走笔作歌》中使用,后用以指代诗歌创作过程中出现的一种灵感突发、文思泉涌的生命状态。陆游在这首诗中讲述年轻时学诗未有心得,后从军,驻守南郑,火热、紧张、刺激的军营生活,使其诗风发生巨变,灵感纷至沓来。从陆游的创作历程可以看出,诗歌来源于生活,“诗家三昧”只有在表现生活、反映现实的创作活动中才能获得。

Sanmei (三昧) originates from the Sanskrit word samādhi, meaning “the mental state of being firmly fixed on a single object” or “meditative absorption.” Samadhi used to be Buddhism’s important way to engage in self-cultivation. Later, it took on the meaning of “the gist or true essence of things.” This Sinicized phrase thus made its way into the fields of poetry, painting, and calligraphy and began to be used in the sense of a “knack,” a “trick” or a “secret.” The whole term, “the key to poetic creation,” was first put forward by the Southern Song poet Lu You (1125-1210) in his poem “Poetic Lines Scribbled Down on the Night of the First Day of the Ninth Lunar Month.” Over time, it became used to refer to a burst of inspiration, with words pouring forth like the flow of a spring, in poetic creation. In that poem, Lu You describes how his initial effort to learn to write poetry failed in his youth and how life in the army at Nanzheng, hectic, vibrant, and exciting as it was, thoroughly changed his poetic style and brought forth great ideas. The way Lu You wrote poetry shows that poetry has its origins in life. The inspiration of poetic creation can be drawn solely from the creative activity of reflecting and portraying life through poetry.

引例 Citations:

◎长沙僧怀素,好草书,自言得草圣三昧。(李肇《唐国史补》卷中)

(长沙僧人怀素喜爱草书,说自己悟到了草圣张旭书法的诀窍。)

Huaisu, a Buddhist monk in Changsha, loved the cursive style of calligraphy. He said that he had fortunately captured the key to the calligraphic work of cursivestyle master Zhang Xu. (Li Zhao: A Supplement to Liu Su’s Dynastic History)

◎诗家三昧忽见前,屈贾在眼元历历。天机云锦用在我,剪裁妙处非刀尺。(陆游《九月一日夜读诗稿有感走笔作歌》)

(我突然领悟了作诗的诀窍,屈原、贾谊文章的奥秘在眼前清晰呈现。天赋灵机与云锦般文章全在自己灵活运用,素材选取与文章构思绝非随意尺量刀剪。)

I suddenly captured the key to poetry writing. The secret of success of the poems of Qu Yuan and Jia Yi clearly presents itself before my eyes. Swift inspiration endowed by heaven and truly beautiful writing depend on an author’s flexible use of such a knack. The choice of material and structuring of an article should not subject themselves to arbitrary measurement with a ruler or cutting with a pair of scissors. (Lu You: Poetic Lines Scribbled Down on the Night of the First Day of the Ninth Lunar Month)

◎余尝观荆浩论山水而悟诗家三昧,曰:远人无目,远水无波,远山无皴(cūn)。(王士禛《香祖笔记》卷六)

(我曾经从荆浩的山水画论中悟到了写诗的诀窍,他说:画远处的人不可画眼睛,画远处的河不可画水波,画远处的山不可画褶皱。)

I came to see the key to poetic creation through Jing Hao’s commentaries on landscape painting. He said: “He who depicts a distant human figure should not try to draw his eyes; he who depicts a distant river should not draw its ripples; he who depicts distant hills, not their folds.” (Wang Shizhen: Notes Written in the Orchid Studio)

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