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《父親的詩》__ 陳柏齡 (71)






The towering currents of Yangtze returns not,
A fisher confronts the deep fearing naught,
Brave in experience a man's will is reinforced,
A lazy life will end up in remorse。


這詩畫有一段故事。當年我在荷李活馬場賭馬,單Q五元exacta, 一注中的。六十倍行頭,二十三倍隨後。連贏位派彩二千七百美元。七十年代初期,二千七等於今天的二萬七。我大喜之下,用紅色信封發信告訴父親。現在想來,我實在不應該把事情讓他知道,令他擔心。他可能覺得兒子的行為不妥,故寫畫作詩勉勵。

丁已放夏。 南海塵瀝。」



essay 寄去了 Amherst college, 這全美數一數二的 liberal arts 學校,拒絕了他的申請。兒子申請的多所大學,其中有金榜提名的,也有名落孫山的。送給 Amherst 的「爺爺的詩」是敗筆之作。小兒文章如下:

  #2. "Literature is the best way to overcome death. My father, as I said, is an actor. He's the happiest man on earth when he's performing, but when the show is over, he's sad and troubled. I wish he could live in the eternal present, because in the theater everything remains in memories and photographs. Literature, on the other hand, allows you to live in the present and to remain in the pantheon of the future. Literature is a way to say, I was here, this is what I thought, this is what I perceived. This is my signature, this is my name."
Ilan Stavans, Professor of Spanish, Amherst College
From "The Writer in Exile: an interview with Ilan Stavans" by Saideh Pakravan for the fall 1993 issue of The Literary Review

     I never thought much about the Chinese hanging scroll that hung discreetly behind my living room television. I frequently passed by it, but the scroll never caught my attention. As my family moved furniture one day, I happened to take down the framed scroll. My dad looked at me and asked, "Do you know who made all these paintings hanging in our house?"
     "No," I replied. He told me that the paintings and short poems that caption them were made by my grandfather. I never met my grandfather because he passed away before I was born. I stared at the fine detail of the painting and the dynamic brush strokes of the calligraphic poetry.
     I asked my dad if he could translate the poem on the scroll. He said he would do his best, but that many nuances would be lost in translation. Still, he was able to provide a translation that I deeply enjoyed. The poem was about the Yangtze River and a fisherman, but it was the last line that struck me.
     "A lazy life will end up in remorse." my grandfather writes. The veracity of the message and the eloquence of the phrase astounded me. I was in disbelief. "Did my own grandfather really write this?" I asked myself. He was telling me to work hard like the fisherman and not squander my time. This man whom I had never met was posthumously giving me advice. The eternal nature of literature enabled me to connect with someone I had never met. My grandfather is able to live on through his writing.      As I look at all his other poetry, I realize that they immortalize him. They are his signature, they are his mark on the world. Literature grants writers the power to transcend death.

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