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《菩提田》

 

BODHI FIELD

陶淵明詩講錄(續)
Lectures on Tao Yuanming's Poems (continued)

葉嘉瑩教授講 By Professor Yeh Chia-ying
郇若慧‧比丘尼恆音 英譯 English translation by Josey Shun and Bhikshuni Heng Yin

我剛才說過,陶詩裏喜歡用松樹和菊花的形象。陶淵明有這樣的句子:「芳菊開林耀。青松冠岩列。懷此貞秀姿。卓為霜下傑。」(和郭主簿二首之二)他說:「芬芳的菊花在叢林之中,顯得很有光彩;翠綠的松樹排列在高山之上,好像高山戴了 一頂帽子。「貞」是堅貞;「秀」是美好。別的草木一陣秋風過去就變黃了,但松樹永遠是綠的;別的花在一陣秋風過去就零落了,但菊花仍然開放。這就是「堅貞」,「堅貞」就是不改變。

松樹和菊花有這種不改變的品格,有這種秀美的姿質,所以能「卓為霜下傑」。「卓」是跟別人不一樣,比別人高出來的樣子。在寒冷的風霜之中,松樹和菊花可以不屈服,不零落,所以是「霜下傑」。那麼現在我們所說的這隻鳥,牠懷著如此依戀的感情,去尋找一個清淨高遠的落腳之處,結果,你看牠遇到了多麼美好的東西!是那「懷此貞秀姿,卓為霜下傑」的松樹。

在這首詩裏,陶淵明所寫的松樹跟「青松冠岩列」的松樹還不大一樣。「青松冠岩列」是很多的一排松樹,而這首詩所寫的是一棵孤生的松樹。它不是因為身邊有許多伙伴才碧綠,才不凋零;它只是孤身一棵松樹就可以站住不跌倒,也不凋零。 所以,當這隻鳥終於發現了這株孤獨的,秀美的,堅強的松樹,牠就「斂翮遙來歸」。

這句詩的形象也寫得很生動,很美。「翮」字讀「喝」音,是鳥的翅膀下邊最粗,最強硬的那幾根羽毛。這隻鳥它不是「夜夜聲轉悲」嗎?牠看到下邊到處都是骯髒和污穢,因此不肯落下來。為了找一個清遠的歸宿,它飛了很久很久,一直不能夠 收攏它的翅膀。可是現在,當牠遠遠地望見那棵松樹,牠就說:「那正是我要找的地方!」於是牠把翅膀一收,就從那麼高的空中,一直向著目標落下來。這形象寫得真是很生動,很逼真。

下面他說:「勁風無榮木,此蔭獨不衰。」。「榮」是草木茂盛的樣子。他說:「在強勁的寒風下每一棵樹的葉子都黃落了,只有這棵孤生松還保持著青翠茂盛。」你要知道,一隻好的鳥牠是不肯隨便在什麼樹上棲息的。《莊子•秋水》裏邊說,有一種鳥名叫鵷鶵,如果不是竹子的果實牠就不吃,如果不是最甜的泉水牠就不喝,如果不是梧桐的樹枝牠就不棲落。

而有一隻鴟梟,找到一隻腐爛的死老鼠在那裏吃,正好鵷鶵從上面飛過,牠就抬起頭發出嗚嗚的聲音,以為鵷鶵會來搶奪牠的死老鼠。這真是小看了鵷鶵!現在陶淵明這隻鳥也是如此。這樣的鳥牠是不會隨便在骯髒的地方落下來的,只有看到這棵 孤生的松樹,牠才算真正找到了安身立命的所在。

「託身已得所,千載不相違」,他說:「我既然找到了這樣一個適合我的所在,我就決心在這裏住下來,無論再有什麼事情發生,我也不會遷移了。」中國人常說「千年萬載」,這「千」和「萬」都是加重口氣。「違」就是離。陶淵明在這裏所寫的,其實也就是古代儒家的教條「擇善而固執」。就是說,你在人生中要選擇一個你真正認為好的理想,你就在那裏堅守住,再也不要改變。

孟子說,你要「富貴不能淫,貧賤不能移,威武不能屈」《孟子•滕文公》。孔子說,你任何時候也不要拋開仁,「造次必於是,顛沛必於是」《論語•里仁》。「造次」,是說如果有什麼意外發生的時候;「顛沛」,是說遭受顛沛流離的困難。一個人如果真正認識了「道」對你人生理想的意義和價值,你就守住它再也不會改變了。所以這《飲酒詩》的第四首,是從前三首所提出的盛衰的無定,福禍的無常和人生中的疑問、困惑、徬徨中找到了自己的一個立腳點,找到了應該持守的一個最根本的安身立命之所在。

好,今天我們就停止在這。


I mentioned that Tao liked to use images of pine trees and chrysanthemums in his poems. Tao Yuanming wrote such lines as: Gorgeous, fragrant chrysanthemums blossom in the woods; / Rows of verdant pine crown the mountains. / Chaste and lovely, they are heroes in the icy weather. (The second of "Two Poems in Response to Chief Kuo"). Tao was saying: "The fragrant mums in the woods are blooming resplendently. The rows of green pine trees crowning the high mountains make it look as if the mountains are wearing hats." 'Chaste' means resolutely pure, and 'lovely" means beautiful. Other plants turn yellow as soon as the autumn wind blows, but the pine is evergreen. Other flowers wither and drop in the autumn breeze, but chrysanthemums continue to blossom. These images symbolize resolute, unchanging chasteness.

Both pine and chrysanthemum are characterized by their resolute character and elegant beauty, thus becoming "heroes in the icy weather." They stand out from ordinary plants. Pine and chrysanthemum do not bend or wither in the icy wind; hence they are heroes of the icy weather. Now, this bird yearns to find a pure and lofty roost and see what a fine thing she comes across! She finds a pine tree that is chaste and lovely, a hero in the icy weather.

The pine tree in this poem differs from the 'rows of verdant pine' that 'crown the mountains' in that it is solitary. It stays green and vibrant, not because it has many companions, but because it can stand alone without falling and withering. When the bird finally discovers this solitary, elegant, and tough pine tree, "she gathers her wings and comes to land."

This is a vivid and poignant scene. Literally, she gathers in those strongest, biggest wing feathers. This is the bird whose "cries grow sadder each night." Seeing the all-pervasive filth and corruption down there, she refuses to land. She flies for a long time without pulling in her wings, looking for a pure and lofty place to make her roost. Now, when she spots that pine tree from afar, she says, "That's the place I'm looking for." She collects her wings and descends directly towards her target. This scene is described with vivid reality.

In the following line, Tao says: "No other tree can withstand the harsh wind, yet this one alone stands tough." "Tough" indicates a plant with abundant leaves. Tao says: "In the harsh and freezing wind, every tree's leaves turn yellow and fall off. The pine alone retains its luxuriant green foliage." You know, a good bird won't casually roost on just any tree. In "Autumn Waters," Zhuang Zi wrote about the yuanchu (a bird resembling the legendary phoenix) that would not eat any fruit except that of the bamboo; would not drink any water except the sweetest spring water; and would not roost on any tree except the firmiana.

An owl found a rotten mouse corpse and was eating it. A yuanchu happened to flyover. The owl lifted its head and called out, worrying that the yuanchu would grab the dead mouse. It really underestimated the yuanchu's standards! Now, Tao Yuanming's bird is the same way. Such a bird would not arbitrarily land in any filthy place. She found a roost only after seeing that lonesome pine tree.

"Hating found a secure perch, she won't desert it for a thousand years." Tao said, "Since I have found a place that suits me, I've decided to settle down. No matter what happens, I won't move." The Chinese have a phrase, "thousands of years and tens of thousands of years." Both 'thousands' and 'tens of thousands' are for emphasis. Tao Yuanming is referring here to the traditional Confucian teaching: "Choose the right way and persist in it.' That is to say: "You should seriously choose an ideal for your life, then stick to it and never change it."

Mencius said that "one must not be corrupted by wealth and honor, be swayed by poverty and low position; or yield to force." (Tengwengong Chapter of Mencius). Confucius said that one should never renounce humaneness under any circumstances. "You must adhere to it, no matter what happens; you must adhere to it, no matter how difficult it is." (Liren Chapter of Analects) "No matter what happens" means even when accidents happen; "no matter how difficult means even in times of deprivation and hardship. When a person truly recognizes the meaning and value of the 'Tao' in one's life, one will uphold it and never compromise it.

The fourth poem of On Drinking represents finding firm ground to stand upon and a basic place to settle, after experiencing the ephemerality of prosperity and decline, the uncertainty of fortunes and misfortunes, and the doubts, confusion and anxieties of life described in the previous three poems. All right, we will stop at here today.

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