夏树小唯

世界上最坏的诗人

The worst poet in the world.


这是“The Town Below The Ground”中一个章节的名字,也是这个名字吸引我在买了这本书后第一时间从目录里把这个男人的一生硬扯出来,甚至排在了著名的Mary King's Cross之前。 


这个世界上最坏的诗人名为William Topaz McGonagall,搜索引擎一般省略了他的中间名。他于1825年出生在爱丁堡以脏乱差出名的牛栏街。随后他搬去了邓迪并在那里当了大半辈子的织工。尽管作为社会的最底层没有受过系统的教育,他却热爱莎士比亚作品并热衷于把莎翁当作自己的标签,就好像在今天的微博介绍那里tag上“红蓝家”,“赤西仁”或者“漫威”那样。“厄运”在他52岁那年降临在他头上,因为经过一朝坐化,他忽然发现自己拥有了无限的诗歌灵感,并开始源源不断地吐着唾沫星子。


(并没有任何恶意的评论,只不过对我来说,诗歌真的就是诗人最明亮璀璨的唾沫星子。)


要了解为什么他能摘取世界上最坏的诗人的桂冠,请允许我展示出他的提名片段,那是他闻名遐迩的一首诗,The Tay Bridge Disaster.


Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay!

Alas! I am very sorry to say

That ninety lives have been taken away

On the last Sabbath day of 1879,

Which will be remember’d for a very long time.


‘Twas about seven o’clock at night,

And the wind it blew with all its might,

And the rain came pouring down,

And the dark clouds seem’d to frown,

And the Demon of the air seem’d to say-

“I’ll blow down the Bridge of Tay.”


When the train left Edinburgh

The passengers’ hearts were light and felt no sorrow,

But Boreas blew a terrific gale,

Which made their hearts for to quail,

And many of the passengers with fear did say-

“I hope God will send us safe across the Bridge of Tay.”


But when the train came near to Wormit Bay,

Boreas he did loud and angry bray,

And shook the central girders of the Bridge of Tay

On the last Sabbath day of 1879,

Which will be remember’d for a very long time.


So the train sped on with all its might,

And Bonnie Dundee soon hove in sight,

And the passengers’ hearts felt light,

Thinking they would enjoy themselves on the New Year,

With their friends at home they lov’d most dear,

And wish them all a happy New Year.


So the train mov’d slowly along the Bridge of Tay,

Until it was about midway,

Then the central girders with a crash gave way,

And down went the train and passengers into the Tay!

The Storm Fiend did loudly bray,

Because ninety lives had been taken away,

On the last Sabbath day of 1879,

Which will be remember’d for a very long time.


As soon as the catastrophe came to be known

The alarm from mouth to mouth was blown,

And the cry rang out all o’er the town,

Good Heavens! the Tay Bridge is blown down,

And a passenger train from Edinburgh,

Which fill’d all the peoples hearts with sorrow,

And made them for to turn pale,

Because none of the passengers were sav’d to tell the tale

How the disaster happen’d on the last Sabbath day of 1879,

Which will be remember’d for a very long time.


It must have been an awful sight,

To witness in the dusky moonlight,

While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,

Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,

Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,

I must now conclude my lay

By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,

That your central girders would not have given way,

At least many sensible men do say,

Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,

At least many sensible men confesses,

For the stronger we our houses do build,

The less chance we have of being killed.

http://www.ximalaya.com/42332658/sound/ (要不要跟我一起感受一下)


我想一遍读罢,你心中一定是有成千上万只草泥马,或者一满屏的彩虹猫,他们在尖叫着奔跑,却被你理智地掐断了声源,你不禁想:为什么有这么蠢的诗?!可是为什么读着又那么爽?!别以为kuso是二十一世纪的产物,McGonagall的诗歌让他在十九世纪一边被乡亲们丢菜瓜,一边又被邀请到上层阶级的家里娱乐权贵。


McGonagall诗歌的蠢就像一般诗歌中的闪光点一样,藏在每个街角的偶尔相遇。即便你曾经读过他的其他诗歌,知晓他喜欢无端反复,蹩脚押韵,强行直抒胸臆的风格特点,你能避无可避地被他雷倒。第一段结束之际,你不会想到“Which will be remember’d for a very long time” 竟然是被反复咏叹的对象,它跟“蜀道难,难于上青天”也差得太远了吧!寻常的诗歌是与尴尬的攻防战,与灵光一闪的追逐赛。McGonagall的伟大在于他丝毫不屑于任何闪光点,勇敢地正面拥抱了尴尬。他不在乎用了八个小节去白描一桩桥墩塌陷火车失事的事故是否稍显拖沓,来回跳跃于“吹风要塌了”——”人们预想的是多么快乐啊“——“又吹风要塌了”——“人们啊”——“真的真的要塌了”的重复叙事当中,英勇地面对了台下观众焦躁的催促,仿佛预知了一个世纪后兴起的电影蒙太奇,制造了敖德萨阶梯的效果。


——如果是这样便好了。但其实,他的八小节中,大部分的内容都在重复,简单词语的替换仿佛小学生语文课上“被”和“把”的造句互换练习。他不像同时期的浪漫主义诗歌,不对暴风雨的场景作任何比喻和修饰。即便那是一件街知巷闻的大事件,他也丝毫不考虑隐藏叙事的线索将此化入诗歌;他仿佛作为你邻居家比你还迟一步看到报纸头条的阿姨,用他能达到的最激动的情绪,再强行向你讲述一遍。


可是它到底让你爽在哪里呢?你无法不注意到,尽管这简直是个报纸头条又臭又长的续写版,但是它认真地切分了句子,认真地压了句末的韵,你可能被每段最末反复出现的句子雷倒了,但你不会不知道那是反复咏叹的手法。它的的确确是一首诗歌,却在除诗歌的基本形式外完全颠覆了人们对诗歌的认知。你对诗歌多年的学习与鉴赏成为了你欣赏诗歌必带的画框,那么在他打碎这个画框的瞬间,他的诗歌必定是立体的,让你惊诧的。试想一下你是爱丁堡十九世纪的贵族或富人,当你在一个衣香鬓影的高雅聚会中悠闲地坐着,稍微放松了姿势,享受你的财富带给你的安定和满足,这时候McGonagall站在大厅中央,一本正经地读着他的诗歌,一场值得吟诵的大灾难,Tay Bridge在经历九九八十一句后终于倒了,如果我们当初把桥墩用扶壁加固该有多好啊!我想即便你是再高冷的豪绅或贵妇,都会笑两声的。尔后,一整天里,你的脑海都会魔性地蹦出那句“Which will be remember’d for a very long time”。


除去形式和内容,McGonagall还有特别牛的本事——把他的小世界展现的和大世界一样重要。他一生在邓迪蹉跎了许多年月,在他决定回到爱丁堡的地下城之前,他写了一首诗宣言自己终于离开了这个终于让他恨大于爱的城市。


Welcome! Thrice welcome! To the year 1893, 

For it is the year I intend to leave Dundee,

Owing to the treatment I receive

Which does my heart sadly grieve.

Every morning when I go out

The ignorant rabble they do shout

‘There goes mad McGonagall’

In derisive shouts as loud as they can bawl,

And lifts stones and snowballs, throws the at me;

And such actions are shameful to be heard in the city of Dundee.

And I’a ashamed, kind Christians to confess,

That from the magistrates I can get no redness.

Therefore I have made up my mind, in the year of 1893,

To leave the Ancient city of Dundee,

Because the citizens and I cannot agree.

The reason why?- because they disrespect me,

Which makes me feel rather disconnect.

Therefore to leave them I am bent;

And I will make my arrangements without delay,

And leave Dundee some early day.


这里的人不尊重我,我真为他们感到羞耻,所以我要走了,远远地离开这个圈子,此诗为证,你们都给我看好了,老子要走了——这简直是哪个饭圈的大大或者有相互关注的小透明在自己微博上发的退圈宣言。McGonagall的这首诗放在现在可能还没什么,但在那个被出版业统治了发言权的年代他认真地贯彻着自媒体的精神简直就是既模拟信号媒体之后又成为了数字媒体的先知。


在这个世界上,大部分做喜剧的人洞悉人类的许多表现以及隐藏本质,懂得在对的时候对的情境里运用幽默。但总有些天才,他们认真地做每一件事,其本身却成为喜剧,他们规避了“我们”所明里暗里有意识无意识定下的规矩,于是能反照出我们是怎样的“我们”。


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