I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. For most men, it appears to me, are in a strange uncertainty about it, whether it is of the devil or of God, and have somewhat hastily concluded that it is the chief end of man here to "glorify God and enjoy him forever."
Henry David Thoreau:Walden,or Life in the Woods
ROBIN WILLIAMS念的《哦,船长!我的船长!》是纪念大胡子林肯的,WHITMAN(1819-1892)原作,出自《草叶集:纪念林肯总统》LEAVES OF GRASS:Memories of President Lincoln.我手头没有中文译文,但问题不大,WHITMAN的诗还是挺好懂的.他活在一个人们可以自由自在地理直气壮地粗俗的时代,粗俗得纯粹,粗俗得磅礴,粗俗得欣欣向荣,粗俗得可爱之极.之后美国文学便由浪漫主义转入现实主义, 从W.D.HOWELLS到MARK TWAIN到HENRY JAMES到JACK LONDON主题渐渐深沉,情节渐渐复杂,作家那支笔也渐渐拖泥带水起来.随后的自然主义作品行文虽稍稍松了口气,主题却达到了凝重的极至.WHITMAN的时代一去不返.
O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up&emdash;for you the flag is flung&emdash;for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths&emdash;for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
The arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You've fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won:
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
ROBERT FROST(1874-1963)的诗,我一直比较感兴趣,大三时上美国文学课,听到他和HENRY JAMES的名字时就会莫名地兴奋上好一阵子.和FAULKNER一样,FROST也算是个大器晚成的人,11岁丧父后随母迁居新英格兰,曾在哈佛求学,但学业未竟.1900-1909年,他闲居乡里,,养鸡,喝酒,种田,写诗,度过一段惬意却挺没出息的生活.1912年他去了LONDON,结识了初期意象派诗人F.S.FLINT,EZRA POUND,EDWARD THOMAS等人.1913年,他发表了第一部诗集A BOY’S WISH,从此开始了他的诗人生涯,随即一路发达:中年时担任哈佛的诗学教授,4次获得普利策奖,成为美国最负声名的诗人.FROST认为作家的职责在于说出”人民所明白却说不出来的东西”.他常以新英格兰的点点滴滴为题材作诗, 从生活中汲取象征和隐喻,并将当地的口语语言融入诗的表现风格,因此作品显的平朴而恬淡,意味却深远,就是所谓”小生活中的大道理”吧.
THE ROAD NOT TAKEN是他的名作之一,令人想到我国古代杨朱见歧路而哭的传说.其实我想在面对选择面对分岔路时,我们嘴上说不知该如何是好,心里却总还是有些底的.真真假假的犹豫过后,最终总会迈出脚步踏上一条路.而之后若是再念叨FROST的这首诗,很明显的就只是为了让自己好过一点而已了.
THE ROAD NOT TAKEN
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler,long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other,as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim;
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that,the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh,I kept the firs