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童话诗

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  童话诗是儿童文学的一门。当然,童话诗必须浅白易懂,使儿童能夠领悟,还常加插画;但涵义不一定浅,而且可以成为高深的艺术,使年纪大的成人也可以读。就如布莱克(William Blake, 1757-1827)写的诗,看来浅白,实际卻不是那回事。


Johnny Appleseed

  下面是现代人写的童诗,所说的是美国十九世纪的一个传奇人物“苹果种约翰”(John Chapman,別名Johnny Appleseed, 1774-1845)。正在美洲殖民地酝酿独立的时候,他生於1774年九月二十六日,在麻萨诸塞州(Massachusetts)。长大以后,新兴的美国,已经在向西扩展;不久,就成为继英国而起的宣教国家。约翰则以宣教士的精神,徒步由东趄西,走遍中西部,默默的推广果园种植。
  这不是一篇歌颂英雄的史诗。这是首简单的童话诗,美国一般学童都诵读过。其中所敘述的主角,只是一个平凡的人物;但他留下的是美好的果子,表彰生命的意义,卻胜於什么“一将功成万骨枯”的英雄。这诗的简朴,流露史诗般的美。可见诗歌最适於教导儿童。诗歌是文学的起始,儿童的搖篮曲是诗歌,所以必须记得诗歌的教导功能。

苹果种子约翰 Johnny Appleseed

这里的一片苹果园
  种在一个世纪之前—
  一百年的春暖开花,
  一百年的飘雪冬寒。

一百年的苹果秋收
  归雁飞过长空,
  一百年的苹果酱
  和苹果饼热气腾腾。

当年那种下苹果树的人
  曾站在这块地旁,
  背着一袋的苹果种子
  一本圣经拿在他手上。

年轻的哈拿.顾德恩首先发现,
  那瘦削的陌生人孤单苍涼;
  他的脸消瘦,光着腳板,
  身上穿着残旧的衣裳。

顾德恩家请他进房
  用餐並一同谈论。
  那时美国还很荒涼;
  他跋涉千里仆仆风尘。

他说是不能夠长久停住
  但很愿意在这里用饭;
  他必须去把苹果树
  种遍在这广阔的前线。

他说那是一片辽阔的荒原,
  广漠的大地,而且漫长。
  他说他的苹果爽脆又甘甜,
  会使这个国家富強。

那家人靜听他在细述
  绵延的森林茂绿伟大,
  说草原广远随风起伏,
  说河道纵橫萦回着流沙。

他说到同他们一般的家族,
  都勇敢的向西进行,
  带着枪枝家小和炊具
  去把那大旷野佔领。

他说要给他们苹果树支援,
  我们的主给大地的恩赐;
  他说太阳会将种子溫暖,
  雨会使他们繁殖。

他说每一处美好的果园
  都会照神所定的结出果实,
  满足拓荒者的意愿
  得尝应许的美地。

顾德恩家祝福送他上道,
  看着他独自別离。
  他沒有攜枪带刀;
  他不曾拥有武器。

虽然他步行寂寞孤独
  经过危险和凶野的大地,
  他说他不加害任何生物;
  每一个都是上帝的孩子。

年轻哈拿听到他的传说
  在她所有成年的日子,
  当他带着爽脆甘甜的苹果,
  给其他的拓荒者分食。

她听说他奔波不舍昼夜
  虽然经历风侵之苦。
  她听说他不避雨和雪
  寒冷能夠冻得透骨。

她听说当经过时他轻微发声
  溫柔的散播,加上祝福:
  种子飘落在野草当中,
  能夠智慧的发展长成。

她听说他深爱林野
  也爱其中一切受造之物:
  每一只飞过长空的鸟,
  熊和野狼,野兔並野鹿。

她听说印地安人对他信托;
  他有他们同样的知识:
  哪些水流清洁並不干涸,
  哪种植物治病哪种好充飢。

行过所有的路径留下所有美谈;
  他的果园扩展而且增长,
  所踏的地方苹果花开遍,
  腳步飘扬着浓郁的芬芳。

当老哈拿末次见到他
  走进那果园的篱门。
  许多的年日已经逝去,
  在安靜破晓的清晨。

老哈拿熟悉他溫和的笑容,
  那张脸消瘦而且长。
  手中拿着一本圣经;
  述说他曾何去何往。

他把全美国走了个遍,
  随走随撒下了佳种。
  他所种的苹果,爽脆甘甜,
  果树在各处迅速长成。

在西部的平原上
  现在作成了苹果汁香醇。
  在爱阿华州制作苹果酱,
  苹果饼生产在缅因。

苹果已在密苏里遍植,
  也传到俄亥俄州土地上。
  爽脆甘甜遍满全地,
  苹果使我们的国家增长。

老哈拿.顾德恩连声道谢
  因为她的树也已长高。
  约翰说他不能接受感谢,
  因一切俱都是由神所造。

“培育一棵树或是一国
  需要栽种的人能夠忠心;
  他播种並管理直到结果
  大地最美的梦想终能成真。”

他道別以后继续往前
  从此就不曾再复还,
  但这果园,爽脆甘甜,
  他留下的苹果年又一年。

老哈拿.顾德恩总是述说
  当每年的苹果季节来临;
  果园又有新的收获,
  天高气晴爽朗又清新。

她嘱咐孩子定要谨记
  感谢神丰盛的恩典,
  为苹果爽脆而甘甜
  和苹果种子约翰。

瑞芙.林白(Reeve Lindbergh
  航空家林白的女儿,美国诗人。

These apple trees were planted here
A century ago—
A hundred years of springtime bloom,
A hundred years of snow.

A hundred apple autumns
With the wild geese flying by,
A hundred years of applesauce
And steaming apple pie.

The man who planted apple trees
Once stood here on this land,
A sack of seeds upon his back,
A Bible in his hand.

Young Hannah Goodwin saw him first,
A stranger lean and lorn;
His face was thin, his feet were bare,
His clothing old and worn.

The Goodwin family asked him in
To dine and talk awhile.
America was lonely then;
He’d traveled many a mile.

He said he’d gladly stay to sup
But could not linger here;
He had to go plant apple trees
Across the great frontier.

He said it was a wide, wild land,
A lonesome land, and long.
He said his apple, sharp and sweet,
Would make the country strong.

The family listened while he spoke
Of forests green and grand,
Of prairies vast with waving grass,
Of rivers ribbed in sand.

He spoke of families like their own,
All moving bravely west
With guns and tots and cooking pots
To claim the wilderness.

He said he’d bring them apple trees,
Our Lord’s gift to the earth;
He said the sun would warm his seeds,
The rain would give them birth.

He said that each good orchard grown
Would bear fruit as God planned,
And give the yearning pioneers
A taste of Promised Land.

The Goodwin family wished him well,
And watched him leave alone.
He carried neither gun nor knife;
No weapon did he own.

For though he walked alone and lorn
Through the dangerous land and wild,
He said he’d harm no creature born;
Each one was God’s own child.

Young Hannah heard the tales of him
All through her growing years,
As he brought apples, sharp and sweet,
To others pioneers.

She heard he walked through day and night
And through the winds that moan.
She heard he walked in snow and rain
That chilled him to the bone.
  
And where he walked she heard he gave
His blessings, softly thrown:
The scattered seeds among the weeds,
The sweet fruit wisely grown.

She heard he loved the forest land
And all its creatures, too:
Wild deer and hare, wild wolf and bear,
And every bird that flew.

She heard the Indians trusted him;
He knew the thing they knew:
What plants would heal or make a meal,
Which streams ran clear and true.

He walked all the trails and heard all the tales;
His orchards spread and grew,
And where he went the deep, rich scent
Of apple blossoms blew.

Old Hannah Goodwin saw him last
When many years had gone.
He came in by the orchard gate
A quiet hour past dawn.

Old Hannah knew that gentle smile,
That face so long and thin.
There was a Bible in his hand;
He spoke of where he’d been.

He’d walked all through America
And all his seeds he’d sown.
He’d planted apples, sharp and sweet,
And swiftly they had grown.

There are spicy apple cider now
Out of the western plain.
There was applesauce in Iowa
And apple pie in Maine.

Apple ‘cross the wide Missouri
And down the Ohio.
Sharp and sweet across the land,
They made our country grow.

Old Hannah Goodwin offered thanks
For her own trees grown so tall.
He said no thanks were owed to him:
The Lord had made them all.

“To grow a country or a tree
Takes just a planter who
Will seed and tend till in the end
The earth’s best dreams come true.”

He said farewell and traveled on
And did not come again,
But in this orchard, sharp and sweet,
His apples still remain.

Old Hannah Goodwin talked of him
In apple time each year
When the orchard came to harvest
And the air was crisp and clear.

She’d ask children to remember
And to thank the Lord indeed
For apples sharp and sweet
And Johnny Appleseed.

Reeve Lindbergh
American poet, Daughter of Charles Lindbergh

  你读过这首诗以后,有什么感想?从诗人的敘述,你可以看见的是什么形象?

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