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唧啾,唧啾 --吉恩.彬塔.布里日

已有 164 次阅读2017-4-6 16:46 |个人分类:赏析|系统分类:诗歌

我的芒果树上
有一只乌鸫鸟
我想起马利/
唱着自由之歌

我随着鸟儿
从山坡
到家中
又回来
想知道锡安山在何方

但,现在我满足于
这个走廊

乌鸫鸟来到我的芒果树上
歌唱

家总是
它注定该来的地方

我确信
那就是乌鸫鸟歌唱的东西

芒果的季节,我读到这儿,就是牙买加的一年之初。在此期间,乌鸫鸟在英国通报春天到来已经好几个月了,不管风吹雨打。唧啾,唧啾,在吉恩“彬塔”布里日的最新血斧出版社出版的集子,《
诗歌长廊》里,愉悦感官的,希望和家园,芒果树和乌鸫鸟,两种事物紧密结合的象征,在一首诗中,欢迎光明,无论我们可能在何处都感觉鼓舞

鸟和树的象征意义在开篇诗节的高潮诗行中浓墨重彩低描述,诗人在此“想到马利/唱着自由之歌”。

聆听布里日,一位经常被描述为强节奏音乐感的第一位女子,我听了她唱的《赎罪之歌》的片段,感觉惊喜和快乐。她是一位了不起的表演者,在她较早期录制的作品中,有一种强烈,公然的政治冲击力。

现在的这首诗,虽然谈不上和非政治有关,贯穿了比较温和的强调和沉默,一条婉转曲折的旋律线从过去和痛苦中抽出。其救赎的故事比马利讲述的那一个简单质朴,也许更多的依靠读者理解背景。然而这首诗不间断的流动赋予马利反复出现的抒情诗体的某些品质,他的优美旋律和从容的节奏。唧啾,唧啾让耳朵和眼睛都印象深刻。我喜欢它占据页面的样子,允许光透过其短缺的诗行,简单的用词和频繁的诗节换行。

很明显的特征,布里日的诗歌比较个性化:它们概括,讲述一个共同经历,经常是女性的体验。这儿,这个巨大,神圣的锡安山,拉斯特法里教的幻象及相关的政治胜利和比较小的,本国的家庭观念相对比。在“想知道锡安山在何方”这句诗中,诗人用反讽暗示,读者或许也注意到,嵌入巧妙选择的现在分词的声响之中,“想知道,” 旅人的“想知道共享的理想的家。第二诗节唤起烦躁不安,尽管做出的停顿在换行时候吸了一口强劲的气息。一种古老的疲惫感弥漫在诗章上”从山坡/到家园/再回来“。乌鸫鸟很容易飞到它们选择的树上,它们的芒果树-锡安山。

这首诗中大概至少有14中方式看着乌鸫鸟。首先从字面意义上来说,我对物种自身感觉好奇。牙买加的乌鸫鸟是一种高度适应的鸟,带着”呼哧呼哧叫声的“的森林居民。所以它大概不是诗中的那种。如果布里日的乌鸫鸟属于更广泛的“普通”物种(有时可能是迁徙来的鸟),它可能被看作在诗人理解的“家”中是不和谐的因素。布里日,我理解,以加勒比地区和英格兰为据点:她可能“在家”听见优美的乌鸫鸟的鸣唱。移植到芒果树上,那歌或许就让家的观念复杂化。

乌鸫鸟的消息,“家总是/它注定要去的地方”似乎,不管怎样,都是毫不含糊的。有一种淡淡的宗教语调:注定的事物被理解为传统意义上的神圣的法令,或至少被命运注定。家园的恢复,流散的终点,或许被视为与生俱来的权利的保证。嵌入的双关语“乌鸫鸟”就是轻轻地弹奏,基于这首诗的稳健的韵脚。最后两行诗有一种回响,或许关于保罗.劳伦斯和梅亚.安吉罗(“我知道笼中的鸟儿为何唱歌”)。但这里的鸟笼是敞开的,鸟儿依然歌唱。

不管颂扬的喜悦还是反讽的笔触(不要忘了主题),唧啾,唧啾是坚持己见的诗歌特有的感觉,满足地断言其原则和重点。家,对于讲述者来说,不在千年的锡安山那里,不在任何移居的土地上。它在这里,诗人坐着写作的地方,恢复元气的地方,社交的地方,在一个非常具体的地点:她的牙买加式的走廊上。


Tweet Tweet

There’s a blackbird
in my mango tree
and I think of Marley
and singing songs of freedom

I have followed birds
from hills
to home
and back
wondering where was Zion

but now I am content
on this verandah

the blackbirds come to my mango tree
and sing

home is always
where it’s meant to be

I am sure
that’s what blackbirds sing

Mango season, so I read, is just about starting in Jamaica. Meanwhile, blackbirds have been announcing spring in the UK for many months, in defiance of wind and weather. Tweet Tweet, from Jean “Binta” Breeze’s latest Bloodaxe collection, The Verandah Poems, twins these sense-delighting symbols of hope and home, the mango tree and the blackbird, in a poem to welcome the light and cheer us up wherever we may be.

The symbolism of bird and tree is heightened in the culminating lines of the opening stanza, where the poet “think(s) of Marley/and singing songs of freedom”.

Listening to Breeze, a Jamaican who’s often described as the first woman dub poet, I was surprised and delighted to hear her singing part of the same Redemption Song. She is a magnificent performer and in this earlier recording of her work there’s a powerful and overt political thrust.
The current poem, while far from apolitical, works through gentler stresses and silences, winding a thread of melody out of the past and its suffering. Its redemption story is simpler than the one Marley tells, and perhaps relies more on the reader to understand context. Yet the unpunctuated flow of the poem imparts some quality of Marley’s haunted lyricism, his sweet tone and leisured pace. Tweet Tweet impresses both the ear and the eye. I like the way it occupies the page, allowing light through its short spare lines, simple diction and frequent stanza breaks.

Characteristically, Breeze’s poems are more than personal: they gather up and speak for a collective experience, often the experience of women. Here, the big, sacred, Rastafari vision of Zion and associated political triumph contrasts with the smaller, domestic concept of home. In “wondering where was Zion” the poet hints at irony, and the reader might also notice, embedded in the sound of the cleverly chosen present participle, “wondering”, the “wandering” of a traveller between unsatisfied ideals of home. This second stanza evokes restlessness, despite the stops it makes to draw a strong breath at the line breaks. An ancient weariness pervades the movement “from hills/to home/and back”. Blackbirds fly more easily to their chosen tree, their mango-Zion.

There are probably at least 14 ways of looking at the blackbird(s) in this poem. Taking the literal one first, I wondered about the species itself. The Jamaican blackbird is a highly adapted bird, a forest dweller with a “wheezing call”. So perhaps it’s not the one in the poem. If Breeze’s blackbird belongs to the more widespread “common” species (which sometimes migrates), it could be seen as the unifying factor in the poet’s understanding of “home”. Breeze, I understand, has bases in the Caribbean and in England: she may well be “at home” with the English blackbirds’ song. Transplanted to the mango tree, that song may complicate ideas of home.

The blackbirds’ message, “home is always/where it’s meant to be” seems, however, to be unambiguous. There’s a faintly religious intonation: things that are “meant to be” are thought traditionally to be divinely decreed, or at least ordained by fate. The recovery of home, post-diaspora, might be seen as guaranteed by birthright. The embedded pun in “blackbirds” is light touch, sure-footed and it grounds the poem. There’s an echo in the last two lines, perhaps, of Paul Lawrence Dunbar and Maya Angelou (“I know why the caged bird sings”). But here the cage is open, and the bird still sings.


Despite the glow of celebration and the touch of irony (not forgetting that of the title), Tweet Tweet is a strong-minded poem of identity, contentedly asserting its principles and priorities. Home, for the speaker, isn’t “over there” in millenarian Zion, nor in any adopted land. It’s here, where the poet sits writing, recuperating, socialising, in a very specific location: her Jamaican verandah.


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