Observation

菲利普·拉金(Philip Larkin,1922-1985)是著名的英国诗人。他曾担任过诗集学会主席、大英文艺促进会文学委员会委员、美国文理科学院名誉院士。1985年12月2日因喉癌逝世于赫尔。著有诗集《北方船》、《少受欺骗者》、 《降灵节婚礼》和《高窗》。曾获女王诗歌金质奖章、美国艺术和文学学术院洛安尼斯奖、德国FVS基金会莎士比亚奖和W.H.史密斯文学奖等。拉金被公认为 是继T.S.艾略特之后二十世纪最有影响力的英国诗人。拉金反现代主义,高度强调个人性,冷眼看世界。他的诗歌主题建立在英国事实之上,这和他始终如一地保守“英国精神”息息相关。他的诗歌大多采用传统的英诗 格律,运用自如而巧妙,但他又将粗鄙的俚语和口语成分引入到考究的诗歌结构与韵法之中。他的诗歌充满想像力,但又具有逼真的细节。他的诗歌风格深受哈代影 响,冷静、忧郁、自嘲,精心地绘制出一代英国人的历史环境与精神肖像。

“Observation”是拉金的一首短诗。偶然读到,一下子被其朴素的语言营造出来的独特意境和丰富的内涵深深吸引。收录于此,与同好者分享:

Observation

Philip Larkin

Only in books the flat and final happens,
Only in dreams we meet and interlock,
The hand impervious to nervous shock,
The future proofed against our vain suspense;

But since the tideline of the incoming past
Is where we walk, and it is air we breathe,
Remember then our only shape is death
When mask and face are nailed apart at last.

Range-finding laughter, and ambush of tears,
Machine-gun practice on the heart’s desires
Speak of a government of medalled fears.

Shake, wind, the branches of their crooked wood,
Where much is picturesque but nothing good,
And nothing can be found for poor men’s fires.

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