If only we could find a place of pure, peaceful
human beings , an
orchard of our own between rivers and rocks. Because our hearts will always surpass us,
just like theirs. We will no longer be able to follow it,
but to soothe its dream-images and god-like forms:
there are greater scales there to bring it into higher balance.
——Rilke “Lamentations to Duino”
”The Great Lamentations to John Dunn”, a long poem of more than 200 lines, close to witchcraft, prayer, prophecy and myth. Brodsky (1940-1996), who wrote this poem, was in his early 20s. He worked successively as a train stoker, sheet metal worker, hospital morgue worker, and handyman for the geological survey team. . Poets in the marginal zone need to fill the gap between dreams and reality, and need to identify with their authenticity and self-identity – “I write poetry is labor”.
Brodsky divides the “labor feast” of “The Lamentation to John Dunn” into three groups, so we need a great deal of patience to listen to the tenderness of one more patient poet to another.
The tone of the three parts of the poem changes from slow to urgent, and finally slows down. The opening verse tells us:
John Dunn slept/slept, everything around slept/slept, walls, floors, portraits, beds, slept, tables, rugs, latches, door hooks, entire wardrobes, bowls cupboards, curtains, candles/everything slept/jugs, cups, washbasins, bread, bread knives, china, crystal utensils, cutlery, sconces, sheets, standing cabinets, glass, clocks, steps of stairs, doors/nowhere in the night not.
All the still life of the everyday living room breathes smoothly, laid out quietly before our eyes: floors, curtains, images, latches, windows, carpets. As if everything is far away, we only need the quietest sea. The world of transcendental stillness brings us into the residences, alleys and streets of more than 300 years ago, and the night seeps into the shadows and darkness. The real world, the mundane world, our bodies sink to the bottom, lethargic. The soul escaped from that layer of skin and floated between heaven and earth. The poet takes us into the quiet hinterland below the horizon, on the back of the map, before time. The only thing beating is the whisper of the snow.
The second appearance of John Dunn is already in line 40 of the poem, “The sea slept with him”. A flat and peaceful picture emerges:
Asleep, maple, pine, elm, firs and spruce/asleep, hillside, stream on slope, mountain road/fox, wolf/bear on the bed/stacks of falling snow The hole is blocked/the birds are sleeping/they can’t be heard singing.
Plants, beasts, mountains, canyons, are all sleeping. All the living and the dead, even gods and demons, slept peacefully. In the quiet choice of nouns, Brodsky’s unhurried bearing is conveyed. “John Dunn” slept, and all the verses passed away like a maid of honor, including time, sin, glory, “evil and good embrace”, in memory of Dunn.
Russian winter, St. Petersburg on the Neva River, polar night and polar day harass living beings in their daily orbits – bizarre times blur the scales of day and night, life and death, existence and time. The death of the poet takes away reality, nature and the world of art. Brodsky uses his reason to control his emotions, and his calm and natural tone stretches out like the breathing of the ocean waves. Every gap contains greater energy.
In the first part of the poem, Brodsky boldly uses a series of nouns to provide a quiet undertone. Is everything really asleep? “There is no other movement in the world”? It is very wonderful, logic has such a saying, anti-inclusion comes first, and negative propositions always presuppose positive propositions. Those who do not have words should be dismantled based on the existence of words. For example, “Wanhe has a sound and a late lament, and Shufeng is speechless and sets the sun”. We endured everything that was slumbering, but the silence was like a jar of wine, a hidden laughter, a burning heart, a budding bud. Meng and Luo Xue are waiting for a colorful encounter. Brodsky is ready to go, Ye Weiyang has not slept, only waiting. A whole sea held its breath, waiting for the poet who wrote it.
The background of tranquility reflects the loneliness of the soul, and the loneliness of language and art makes the existence more anxious.
”But, listen,” Brodsky finally couldn’t hold back the pain and anxiety he spoke. “Someone cried in the cold darkness”, the cry was solitary and sublime, trying to sew “night to dawn”.
”Who is there weeping? Is it you, my angel, who waits under the snow, waiting like summer for the return of my love? You come home in the dark / Is it you who cry in the haze?”— —No reply/”Is it you, wise angels, this symphony of tears reminds me of that melancholy chorus/Have you decided to leave my sleeping church suddenly Is it you? Is it you?” A silence/”Yes Are you, Paul? Really, your voice has been so rough with stern words / Is it you with your grey head hanging in the dark, where you weep?” – only silence flew on her face, “It was the Is the omnipresent giant hand, obscuring the view in the dark? Is it you, my lord? There is a noble voice crying there, though my thoughts are eccentric.” Silence/Silence/ “Is it you, Archangel Gabriel, you sounded the horn? Who is barking? Why am I the only one with my eyes open, when the knights put their saddles on their horses?” All sleeps / In a thick, dark embrace / The Hound Flocks have fled from the sky/”Is it you, Gabriel, with a trumpet, weeping lonely in this winter darkness?”
Brodsky cried urgently, tremblingly, to “my angel” Crying, questioning “the wise angels” and “Gabriel”, crying to “my lord”, and testifying to Paul. A lost soul roams about, opening its mouth and shouting dumb words, and the veil of night shrouds it… Where is the world?
Everything is asleep/asleep, forests, mountains, rivers/asleep, beasts, birds, the world of the dead, everything alive/only the white snow dances in the night sky/there, over the heads of all, is also a Sleeping peacefully/The angels are sleeping, the saints are ashamed, in their sleep they left the restless world behind/Hell is sleeping, and the wonderful heaven is sleeping/No one walks out of the house at this hour/God sleeps / The earth now seems strange / Eyes no longer see, hearing no longer accept pain / The devil sleeps / Hostility sleeps with him in the snow of the English fields / The knights sleep / The archangel sleeps with his horn / The horse sleeps , swaying leisurely in the dream / The intelligent angels huddled together and slept under the dome of Paul’s church / John Dunn slept / The verses also slept / All the images, all the rhymes / The good and the bad , indistinguishable / vices, melancholy, sins, just as quiet, pillow their own syllables / verse and verse are like brothers, whispering to each other occasionally: don’t be too crowded / but every line of verse is so far from the gate of heaven, All so pitiful, dense, pure, like one whole/All the lines are sleeping, the strict iambic dome is sleeping/The Iambic is sleeping, like a staggered guard/The phantom of the waters of the Forgotten River sleeps peacefully in the lines / Glory is also sleeping, following the apparitions / All disasters are sleeping / Grief is sleeping / All kinds of vices are sleeping / Good and evil are hugging / The prophets are sleeping / The dark snow is looking for rare black marks in space /Everything is asleep/Rows of books are sleeping/Rivers of words are sleeping, covering the ice of oblivion/All words are sleeping, with all their truths/The chains of words are sleeping, the stitched link is light Whispering/Everything is sleeping: saints, demons, gods/their wicked servants/their friends and descendants/only snow whispers in the light and dark of the road/there is no other movement in the whole world.
Suddenly, a cry dripped from the sky, and a soul wandering at night like him, imagine how ecstatic the poet is! I ask God where are you, I ask myself. If it is said that I, standing on the earth, cannot be the measure itself, then, according to Heidegger, people will look up to the sky and look for the divine measure.
Brodsky repeats the question five times, as if repeating a word gains the power to control it, like “sleep,” the question is written by the author under some unusually intense emotion, and the poet’s emotion is transmitted through consciousness. stream to us. In a world where “God” is absent (heaven and hell are hidden), five times he asks a question and calls out “God”. Paul was an early Christian propagator who sowed the seeds of Christianity to non-Jews. His missionary journeys covered Asia Minor, Macedonia, Greece, and countries in the eastern Mediterranean; Gabriel was the leader of the intelligent angels, leading them to guard the Garden of Eden together to prevent Satan’s attacks. Invasion, he is a symbol of resurrection, rebirth. Both Paul and Gabriel have become the propaganda and patron saint of the true existence.
No, it’s me, John Dunn: it’s your soul/I’m alone in this high heaven, for I’ve created this heavy chain of feelings and thoughts with my labor/Bearing the load, You can make a higher flight through passion through sin / You are a bird, you see your people everywhere, you roll over the slopes of roofs / You have seen all the seas, all the frontiers / You have seen hell , first in yourself, then in reality / You have also seen the apparently bright paradise, inlaid with the saddest desire of all passions / You see: life, like your island / You meet this ocean, all around There is only darkness, only darkness and whistling / You have flown over God and hurriedly retreated / This burden will not let you fly high, from a high place, the world is but a streamer of countless towers and a few rivers, looking down from a high place, the doomsday The judgment also seems no longer terrible.
Look up to God to ask questions and get feedback. The souls of Brodsky and John Dunn overlapped. Through Dunn’s mouth, a dialogue and fusion of spirit and flesh, life and death, soul and soul began. Everyone in the world is drunk and I am only awake, and everyone in the world is turbid and I am only clear.
Dunn was awake, Brodsky was awake, and the night was all around, “dawn is far away.” Two lonely souls came together across more than 300 years of time and space barriers. They are also incarnated as “birds”, “loaded with heavy burdens”, “also able to fly higher through passion and through sin” – free spirits, dancing in shackles. The 17th-century poet Dunn, witty, bold, and fun: “For God’s sake, please shut up and let me love you.” People who start a poem with such words will not imitate anyone, use their own It looks at all living beings, human society and the vast universe from a perspective. In the 20th century, Brodsky, who used calm nouns to write lamentations repeatedly and quietly, would not imitate anyone.
When they woke up, the world was far away. “Everything is in the distance. This is the misty area”, so they need the wildest wind and the quietest sea; so they carry the burden and prove their existence by flying. Even if the first ray of sunshine, they will grind to dust and disappear with the wind, but “the snowflakes will not melt, they are flying into the darkness”, mending the distance between body and soul, and seeing hope in despair. “The field lies still/The plough has not tilled the field/The years have not been tilled/The century has not been tilled/The same forest stands like a wall around it/Only the rain beats on the great grass.” The poet seems to be the first to ride a horse The “woodman” who came, ploughed the fields with poetry, ploughed the years, and ploughed the centuries. Resist the anxiety and fear of lacking “God” due to “poor times”. The verse is like a thicket that blocks quicksand; it walks over us, and the mind is no longer desolate.
Entering the second part, the rhythm of the poem suddenly accelerates, the poet’s soul is urgent, anxious, and contradictory; Brodsky is struggling between confusion and perseverance, despair and hope. “There’s no way out / I’m doomed to go back to these gravestones / Me in the flesh, go there / I can only be the dead and fly there / Yes, yes, only the dead / Forget you, mine The world, in the damp underground, forgets forever, following the pain of wandering toward vain desire, so that it can mend and separate with its own flesh.” As Heidegger said: “The poets of the age of poverty are destined to be left behind by men and gods. In between, this is his position. This position puts the poet in an extremely dangerous position.” “Poets are those who sing the Dionysian with all their heart, perceive the ruins of the departed gods, and linger. On the way the gods are far away, and thus the way of turning for their kin.”
Brodsky’s bewilderment was inexhaustible, “Like a bird/He sleeps in his nest/His pure path and The longing for a better life / Is forever entrusted to that star / That star is now obscured by dark clouds”. After muttering like a stray bird for a while, he curled up his faint body and fell asleep under the cover of his wings. A conversation of the soul swept the world, and Brodsky muttered to comfort John Dunn and his own soul. “There is a star shining in the clouds, she is watching your world for a long time.” Life is no different from this kind of throwing: overcome in falling, and persevere in staying. Under the protection of his muse, Brodsky never gave up his poetic exploration and writing during the second half of his life in exile while serving his sentence. The way of using words establishes existence.