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HOPE is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all..........................................

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The Dead

by Billy Collins


他們說,死者總是從天上望著我們
The dead are always looking down on us, they say.

當我們正在穿鞋時,或吃著牛排的時候
while we are putting on our shoes or eating a steak,

死者緩慢划過永恆,透過天堂中的透明玻璃船底看著我們
they are looking down through the glass bottom boats of heaven
as they row themselves slowly through eternity.

看著我們在人間庸庸碌碌
They watch the tops of our heads moving below on earth,

而當我們將頭仰在沙發上
and when we lie down in a field or on a couch,

被煩悶的下午搞的頭暈腦脹時
drugged perhaps by the hum of a long afternoon,

他們認為我們也回望著他們
they think we are looking back at them,

讓他們停下划槳的動作,靜默著等待
which makes them lift their oars and fall silent

像是父母等待孩子合上雙眼一樣
and wait, like parents, for us to close our eyes.

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I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us -- don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

by Emily Dickinson

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There as he stood, he heard a mournful voice,
Such as once heard, in gentle heart, destroys
All pain but pity: thus the lone voice spake:
"When from this wreathed tomb shall I awake!
When move in a sweet body fit for life,
And love, and pleasure, and the ruddy strife
Of hearts and lips! Ah, miserable me!"
The God, dove-footed, glided silently
Round bush and tree, soft-brushing, in his speed,
The taller grasses and full-flowering weed,
Until he found a palpitating snake,
Bright, and cirque-couchant in a dusky brake.

She was a gordian shape of dazzling hue,
Vermilion-spotted, golden, green, and blue;
Striped like a zebra, freckled like a pard,
Eyed like a peacock, and all crimson barr'd;
And full of silver moons, that, as she breathed,
Dissolv'd, or brighter shone, or interwreathed
Their lustres with the gloomier tapestries -
So rainbow-sided, touch'd with miseries,
She seem'd, at once, some penanced lady elf,
Some demon's mistress, or the demon's self.
Upon her crest she wore a wannish fire
Sprinkled with stars, like Ariadne's tiar:
Her head was serpent, but ah, bitter-sweet!
She had a woman's mouth with all its pearls complete:
And for her eyes: what could such eyes do there
But weep, and weep, that they were born so fair?
As Proserpine still weeps for her Sicilian air.
Her throat was serpent, but the words she spake
Came, as through bubbling honey, for Love's sake,
And thus; while Hermes on his pinions lay,
Like a stoop'd falcon ere he takes his prey.

"Fair Hermes, crown'd with feathers, fluttering light,
I had a splendid dream of thee last night:
I saw thee sitting, on a throne of gold,
Among the Gods, upon Olympus old,
The only sad one; for thou didst not hear
The soft, lute-finger'd Muses chaunting clear,
Nor even Apollo when he sang alone,
Deaf to his throbbing throat's long, long melodious moan.
I dreamt I saw thee, robed in purple flakes,
Break amorous through the clouds, as morning breaks,
And, swiftly as a bright Phoebean dart,
Strike for the Cretan isle; and here thou art!
Too gentle Hermes, hast thou found the maid?"
Whereat the star of Lethe not delay'd
His rosy eloquence, and thus inquired:
"Thou smooth-lipp'd serpent, surely high inspired!
Thou beauteous wreath, with melancholy eyes,
Possess whatever bliss thou canst devise,
Telling me only where my nymph is fled, -
Where she doth breathe!" "Bright planet, thou hast said,"
Return'd the snake, "but seal with oaths, fair God!"
"I swear," said Hermes, "by my serpent rod,
And by thine eyes, and by thy starry crown!"
Light flew his earnest words, among the blossoms blown.
Then thus again the brilliance feminine:
"Too frail of heart! for this lost nymph of thine,
Free as the air, invisibly, she strays
About these thornless wilds; her pleasant days
She tastes unseen; unseen her nimble feet
Leave traces in the grass and flowers sweet;
From weary tendrils, and bow'd branches green,
She plucks the fruit unseen, she bathes unseen:
And by my power is her beauty veil'd
To keep it unaffronted, unassail'd
By the love-glances of unlovely eyes,
Of Satyrs, Fauns, and blear'd Silenus' sighs.
Pale grew her immortality, for woe
Of all these lovers, and she grieved so
I took compassion on her, bade her steep
Her hair in weird syrops, that would keep
Her loveliness invisible, yet free
To wander as she loves, in liberty.
Thou shalt behold her, Hermes, thou alone,
If thou wilt, as thou swearest, grant my boon!"
Then, once again, the charmed God began
An oath, and through the serpent's ears it ran
Warm, tremulous, devout, psalterian.
Ravish'd, she lifted her Circean head,
Blush'd a live damask, and swift-lisping said,
"I was a woman, let me have once more
A woman's shape, and charming as before.
I love a youth of Corinth - O the bliss!
Give me my woman's form, and place me where he is.
Stoop, Hermes, let me breathe upon thy brow,
And thou shalt see thy sweet nymph even now."
The God on half-shut feathers sank serene,
She breath'd upon his eyes, and swift was seen
Of both the guarded nymph near-smiling on the green.
It was no dream; or say a dream it was,
Real are the dreams of Gods, and smoothly pass
Their pleasures in a long immortal dream.
One warm, flush'd moment, hovering, it might seem
Dash'd by the wood-nymph's beauty, so he burn'd;
Then, lighting on the printless verdure, turn'd
To the swoon'd serpent, and with languid arm,
Delicate, put to proof the lythe Caducean charm.
So done, upon the nymph his eyes he bent,
Full of adoring tears and blandishment,
And towards her stept: she, like a moon in wane,
Faded before him, cower'd, nor could restrain
Her fearful sobs, self-folding like a flower
That faints into itself at evening hour:
But the God fostering her chilled hand,
She felt the warmth, her eyelids open'd bland,
And, like new flowers at morning song of bees,
Bloom'd, and gave up her honey to the lees.
Into the green-recessed woods they flew;
Nor grew they pale, as mortal lovers do.

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前去死者的國度,將某個已死之人帶回人世,這是一種人心深處的渴望,但也被視為極大的禁忌。但寫作可以帶來某種生命。霍何‧路易斯‧波赫士在九篇但丁式的文章中提出一個有趣的理論:整部神曲,全書的地獄、煉獄與天堂三篇,但丁創作出這整個龐大又精細的架構,主要是為了想再見死去的碧翠絲,想在自己的詩作中讓她死而復生。因為他在寫她,而且只因為他在寫她,碧翠絲才能再度存在,存在於作者與讀者的腦海中。

 

波赫士說:我們必須記得一個無可辯駁的事實,單單一個卑微的事實:這情景是但丁想像出來的。對我們而言,他非常真實,對他而言並非如此。對他而言,真實的情況是,碧翠絲先是被人生際遇、而後死亡從他身旁帶走,他永遠無法與碧翠絲相聚,孤獨且可能感到羞辱,於是他想像出這番情景,以便想像自己與他同在。

 

接著波赫士指出她驚鴻一暼的微笑和永遠轉開的臉。這與奧菲爾斯的故事多麼相似,詩人只有自己的詩作可恃,進入死者的國度,越過地獄,到達天堂,找到自己心愛的人,卻又再度失去她,且這一次是永遠的失去。就像是蒂朵從阿伊尼身旁跑開,像是尤芮蒂絲由奧菲爾斯身旁轉開,碧翠絲也從但丁身旁離去。儘管她轉開的臉是面對上帝,儘管她很快樂 但對他來說,最重要的一點是,他失去了她。卻又再度得回。卻又再度失去。除非我們對很多東西視而不見,才能把神曲天堂篇結局看成皆大歡喜的結局。

 

仔細想想,其實所有書的皆大歡喜結局都是這樣,湯瑪斯‧沃夫說,你不能再回家了。但當你書寫到關於家的文字,你就多少算是可以回家。但你會走到最後一頁。一本書是另外一個國家,你進入,但最後必須離開,你不能住在那裡,就像你不能住在冥界。

 

(節錄至 Negotiating with the dead by Margaret Atwood )

記得老師以前講解神曲的時候,提到但丁花了十年的時間才寫完神曲, 這也讓碧翠絲在他心中多活了長達十年,雖然是沉溺在失去中的十年,但最後換回他不朽的名聲與地位,希望但丁他自己覺得值得,那就夠了,雖然我懷疑他當初在寫作的時候這些東西是否有跑進他的腦袋中。

不過,不管波赫士的理論,有時候看著所愛之人得到快樂,那對活著的人來說就是一種幸福...........不是嗎?

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Cats believe that all human beings, animals and plants should congregate in a huge heap in the centre of the universe and promptly fall asleep together. 這是加拿大詩人 Gwendolyn MacEwen的詩句。

 這解釋了我們家貓咪目前的瘋狂昏睡狀態,還有他為何總是用勉強睜開的迷濛雙眼望著我…………..

 女詩人寫了一連串關於貓的爆笑詩句,像是Cats never get baptized. They lose their dry,是沒錯啦。

 The only reason cats do not carry passports is because they have no pockets. 不然勒??他也沒有皮包啦~

 Magic Cats這首詩讓我愛上Gwendolyn MacEwen。

 雖然說我更喜歡她說的另一句名言

 我們是這個時代的重大宣言,因此可以預期,聽眾的數目大概會很小…………..這是我用來安慰自己的話語~藉口藉口~都是藉口呀~

 總之,願他安息,不管是藉口還是瑣事,那都是活著的人要煩的事情了。死者跟貓不受世俗的牽絆呀。


 
Magic Cats

 

Most cats, with the exception of Burmese, do not celebrate their birthdays. Rather, they are extremely sentimental about Palm Sunday and Labour Day, at which times they survive solely on white lace and baloney sandwiches.

Cats on the whole are loath to discuss God.

Generally speaking, cats have no money, although some of them secretly collect rare and valuable coins.

Cats believe that all human beings, animals and plants should congregate in a huge heap in the centre of the universe and promptly fall asleep together.

Of all the cats I have known, the ones I remember most are: Bumble Bee, Buttonhole, Chocolate Bar, Molten Lava and Mushroom. I also remember Tabby who was sane as a star and spent all his time lying on his back in the sink, thinking up appropriate names for me.

Cats see their Keepers as massive phantoms, givers of names and the excellent gravy of their days.

Cats who have been robbed of balls and claws do not lament. They become their Keeper's keepers.

When cats are hosts to fleas they assume the fleas are guests.

Most cats would rather be covered with live fleas than dead ones.

Cats hold no grudges and have no future. They invade nets of strangers with their eyes.

The patron saint of cats is called: Beast of the Skies, Warm Presence, Eyes.

Cats do not worry about the gurgling horrors of the disease listed in catbooks, some of which are Hairballs Enteritis and Bronchitis. But they do become very upset about Symptoms, which is the worst disease of all.

When cats grow listless (i.e. lose their list) they cease to entertain fleas. They mumble darkly about radishes and death. They listen to Beethoven and become overly involved in Medieval History.

When cats decide to die   they lie alone   lost among leaves beneath the dark winds and broad thunders of the world and pray to the Beast of the Skies, Warm, Presence, Eyes.

Broadly speaking, cats do not read Gothic novels, although they tend to browse through Mary Shelley on the day before Christmas.

The only reason cats do not carry passports is because they have no pockets.

When a black cat crosses your path it usually means that he is trying to get to the other side of the street.

Cats never get baptized. They lose their dry.

Cats only perspire during Lent.

Cats have no memory and no future. They are highly allergic to Prime Ministers, radishes, monks, poets, and death.

 

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Dying
Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I've a call.

It's easy enough to do it in a cell.
It's easy enough to do it and stay put.
It's the theatrical

Comeback in broad day
To the same place, the same face, the same brute
Amused shout:

'A miracle!'
That knocks me out.
There is a charge

For the eyeing my scars, there is a charge
For the hearing of my heart---
It really goes.

And there is a charge, a very large charge
For a word or a touch
Or a bit of blood

Or a piece of my hair on my clothes.
So, so, Herr Doktor.
So, Herr Enemy.

I am your opus,
I am your valuable,
The pure gold baby

That melts to a shriek.
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

Ash, ash---
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there----

A cake of soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer
Beware
Beware.

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.

 

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1095324854  

他們說,讓鉅作成為垃圾最好的方式就是

在它沒完成之前就到處喧嚷
如果你寫起來行雲得水,易如反掌
他們是這樣警告的
你的詩就會像鳥一樣飛走

 
 
記得那天晚上嗎?我告訴你我想寫某首關於那些狂人的詩
那些報紙專欄上用的就是這樣的字眼─狂人
他們攻擊藝術,而非評論藝術
拿著利刀與鎚子,在寂靜阿姆斯特丹與布拉格的博物館破壞

 
 
可是,誰知道呢?或許他們才是真正的藝術家們

 

 

你搖晃著杯中的冰塊說道
螺絲起子就是他們畫筆
真正的狂暴份子是那些修復古畫者
你說,那些穿白袍的傢伙,把燈上的破洞補了
同時也破壞了真正的藝術。
 

所以我坐在那裡,一句話也不說,看著我的小詩飛走
在吧檯旁邊盤旋
直到下一個酒客開門走了進來
我的小詩就隨著開著的門飄進了夜色裡
越行越遠,我只能想像
在黑夜的建築中,我的小詩就在那兒。
 
 
而我心裡盼望
藝術─相較起來,是如此的短暫
像是把尖銳的刮鬍刀,最多刮個兩次就鈍了
即使如此與生命本身比起來
藝術才是那能恆久留下的東西
 
 
可那一晚,我孤身上路
心裡平靜的連一絲波紋都沒有
除了藏在裡頭已久的黯淡願望
眼角餘光掃過車燈照耀的街上
撇見了某個反光的影子
或許是個光滑路牌,還是街燈?
但卻是可憐的無名鳥,折了翼
用發光的雙眼盯著我...........

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1095324856  

所有的歲月都已變成

一篇虛幻的神話 任它

綠草如茵 花開似錦

也終於都要紛紛落下

在墜落的昏眩裡

有誰能給我一句滿意的解答

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