Du Fu Poems: Thinking of My Brothers on a Moonlit Night – 杜甫《月夜忆舍弟》

月夜忆舍弟[1]

戍鼓[2]断人行[3],

边秋[4]一雁声。

露从今夜白,

月是故乡明。

有弟皆分散,

无家问死生。

寄书长不达,

况乃未休兵[5]。

《月夜忆舍弟》是公元759年所作。一般望月思亲多写所见,杜甫却写所闻戍鼓和雁鸣,使人觉得凄凉,可见杜甫匠心。说今夜露白,既是写景,又是点明时令;说故乡月明,看似写景,实是抒情,这样借景抒情,就化平板为神奇了。接着转入主题,说兄弟离散,生死难卜,既说“无家”,自然寄信也收不到;最后说“未休兵”,又和最初说的“断人行”前后呼应。全诗层次井然,结构严谨,写出兄弟情深,可见大家本色。

注释:

[1]舍弟:自己称呼弟弟的谦词。

[2]戍鼓:边防驻军的更鼓。

[3]断人行:鼓声响起,宵禁开始。

[4]边秋:边塞的秋天。

[5]未休兵:战争还未停息。

Thinking of My Brothers on a Moonlit Night

War drums break people’s journey drear;

A swan honks on autumn frontier.

Dew turns into frost since tonight;

The moon viewed at home is more bright.

I’ve brothers scattered here and there;

For our life or death none would care.

Letters can’t reach where I intend;

Alas! the war’s not come to an end.

 

《月夜忆舍弟》是唐代诗人杜甫创作的一首五言律诗。诗中写兄弟因战乱而离散,居无定处,杳无音信,生死未卜。正值白露时节,在戍楼鼓声和孤雁哀鸣的映衬之下,诗人对兄弟的忧虑和思念之情愈发显得深沉和浓烈。此诗前两联侧重写景,后两联侧重抒情,情景交融,结构严谨,首尾呼应。颔联用语平易而意味新警,将“露”“月”前提、“白”“明”殿后,倒装的句式顿收奇崛之效。全诗语言精工,格调沉郁哀伤,真挚感人。

The poem “Thinking of My Brothers on a Moonlit Night” is a five-line poem written by Du Fu, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. The poem is about a brother separated by war, living in a place with no fixed location, with no news, and with his life and death uncertain. The poem is written at the time of the White Dew, and the poet’s worries and longing for his brother become deeper and more intense against the sound of the drums in the garrison and the mournful call of the lonely geese. The first two lines of the poem focus on the scenery, while the second two lines focus on the lyricism, with the interplay of scenes and a rigorous structure, echoing the first and last lines. The first two lines of the poem focus on the scenery and the second two lines on the emotion. The inverted stanzas have a strange effect. The poem’s language is refined, its tone is melancholy and sorrowful, and it is sincere and touching.

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