Du Fu Poems: To Swallows Coming to My Boat – 杜甫《燕子来舟中作》

燕子来舟中作

湖南为客动经春,

燕子衔泥两度新[1]。

旧入故园尝识主,

如今社日远看人。

可怜处处巢居室[2],

何异飘飘托此身[3]?

暂语船樯还起去,

穿花贴水益沾巾[4]。

公元769年正月,诗人由岳州到潭州,写这首诗时,已经是第二年的春天了,诗人仍在潭州,客居舟上。时值燕子衔泥的春季,诗人生命将尽,经一春则少一春,故此诗弥漫出一片萧索、苍凉、悲怆的身世之慨。旧时故园燕,所以“尝识主”,如今远看人,大约是因为变化之大不敢相认。想到燕子“处处无家处处家”,诗人顿生“同是天涯沦落人”之感。燕子飞入舟中,寥寥数语而去,继续飘零此生,又不忍径去,穿花贴水,徘徊顾恋,似在惜别,诗人禁不住老泪纵横。全诗极写漂泊动荡的忧思,满是凄怆悲楚,字字血泪。

注释:

[1]两度新:到现在已是第二个春天,第二次见到燕子衔泥。

[2]巢居室:燕子在屋子梁上筑巢。

[3]托此身:到处流浪,寻求安身之处。

[4]沾巾:落泪。此处指作者因感动于燕子多情而落泪。

To Swallows Coming to My Boat

It is the second spring I stay on Southern shore,

To build their nest, the swallows peck twice clods of clay.

“Friends to my garden, you should have known me before.

Why should you gaze at me on this festive spring day?

It is a pity you should build nest here or there.

Does it not look like my boat floating far and nigh?

I should tell you to leave the mast without your stare.

Don’t wrinkle the water and bring tears to my eye!”

 

《燕子来舟中作》是唐代诗人杜甫创作的一首七言律诗。这首诗极写漂泊动荡的忧思,看似咏燕,实是慨叹诗人的茫茫身世。此诗是杜甫生命即将走到尽头的一篇诗作,已经淡去了早些年强烈的时代和政治主题,而弥漫出一片萧索、苍凉、悲怆的身世之慨。首联点名时间并引出所咏对象——燕子;中间两联是对燕子形象的描绘和倾诉,诗人想象着所见即是旧日筑巢于自己屋室的燕子,说自己四处漂泊居无定所,和燕子到处筑巢别无两样;尾联写燕子弃我而去,留下的只有空虚、惆怅和寂寞而不禁老泪横流。这首诗借轻盈的燕子的形象深沉真挚的人性表达出来,写得朴实自然而深沉真挚。

A poem in seven lines written by Du Fu, a poet of the Tang Dynasty, is entitled “The Swallow Comes to the Boat”. It is a poem about the wandering and turbulent thoughts of the poet, seemingly singing about swallows, but actually lamenting the poet’s uncertain life. The poem is a poem written at the end of Du Fu’s life, and it has lost the strong theme of the times and politics of the earlier years, and is instead filled with a sorrowful, desolate and pathos of his life. The first couplet names the time and introduces the object of the poem, the swallow; the middle two couplets depict and confess the image of the swallow, which the poet imagines to be the swallow that used to nest in his own house, saying that he is wandering around with no fixed place and is no different from the swallow nesting everywhere; the last couplet says that the swallow has abandoned me, leaving only emptiness, despair and loneliness and I can’t help but shed old tears. This poem expresses the deep and sincere humanity through the image of light swallows, written in a simple, natural and deep way.

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