31(242)
Li Po’s gifts as the brightest star in the early T’ang galaxy lay in three traits: first, his discernment of the futility of superficial embellishments in traditional poetry, which he tried to correct by fully exploiting the possibilities of folk song. Second, while other poets were mindful of the earthly rewards which could be derived from successful versification, Li Po was entirely free from all such utilitarian considerations. In the third place, while most of his contemporaries would make a special effort to put up fronts of patriotism and heroism, Li Po was always forthright enough to reveal his own feelings and reactions unashamedly and unadornedly.
作為初唐傑出詩人當中最閃亮的明星,李白的才氣具有三項特點:第一,他洞察到傳統詩中無用的表面裝飾,並試著充分利用民歌來修正之。第二,儘管其他詩人察覺到成功的詩可以得到世俗的報酬,李白卻完全不考慮如此的實用價值。第三,儘管當時之人多在詩中建立特別的愛國主義和英雄主義陣線,李白總是夠直率地坦露自己毫無顧忌和未加雕琢的情感和反應。

32(242)
While se should not belittle the genius of Li Po, we must bear in mind that his gifts were those that belong to an otherworldly order. In spite of his rare moments of grave concern with the human world:

his preoccupation was always to transcend rather than to abet the evils of the human world. It is because of this transcendency that for all our admiration for him, we do not feel his nearness of his being one of us common mortals. For the same reason, although his models in poetic composition, the popular ballads, had come from the world of the people, singing their joys and sorrows, this very vehicle, once guided by Li Po’s hand, had a natural tendency of rolling upward to the heavenly regions. Thus we feel that Li Po’s songs, beautiful as they are, were not originally sung to us and for us, As we imagine him high in the clouds-looking down upon his great contemporary, Tu Fu, we feel that the latter stands by us while the ethereal spirit of Li Po is, as Ho Chih-chang put it, a heavenly immortal in temporary exile on earth. Before we leave Li Po’s company, let us enjoy a few more of his masterpieces:
將進酒 李白
君不見黃河之水天上來,奔流到海不復回;
君不見高堂明鏡悲白髮,朝如青絲暮成雪。
人生得意須盡歡,莫使金樽空對月。
天生我材必有用,千金散盡還復來。
烹羊宰牛且為樂,會須一飲三百杯。
岑夫子,丹丘生,
將進酒,君莫停。
與君歌一曲,請君為我側耳聽。
鐘鼓饌玉不足貴,但願長醉不願醒。
古來聖賢皆寂寞,惟有飲者留其名。
陳王昔時宴平樂,鬥酒十千恣歡謔。
主人何為言少錢,徑須沽取對君酌。
五花馬,千金裘,
呼兒將出換美酒,與爾同消萬古愁。
宣州謝朓樓餞別校書叔雲 李白
金陵三首‧其三 李白
秋浦歌 李白

33(246)
Tu Fu and Li Po were twin stars of the golden period of Chinese poetry—the T’ang Dynasty. They were both complete masters of the art of poetry, they were contemporaries, and they were devoted friends. But between them there was a great chasm—created not only by different personal circumstances but also by the emergence of political and social upheavals after Li Po’s death in 762; these created a new age with which Tu Fu was to identify himself and of which Tu Fu was the major prophet.
杜甫和李白是盛唐的兩顆明星。他們都是寫詩的大家,大約在同一時期,而且互為知己。但是兩人之間有個很大的落差:他們的創作不僅來自於不同的際遇,還受到李白卒後(762)的政治社會遽變所影響;這使杜甫開創了新的時期,在這時期中他確認自己的價值並且成為一個重要的預言家。
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