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2013年12月13日 星期五

物輕情濃

前言:
        
         送禮物的確不容易。雖是說物輕情意重,價錢不論。可是,要送得有意義,不論物品是有記念價值或是有實用價值,選擇哪種禮物才能平衡這兩種看法,令其更有心思,卻是頗費精神。因為,禮物如果是強調實用性的,就很難帶有深厚的記念價值。因為這類物品,大多是用完即棄,消失無影,這可真是物過情輕。事實是,隨着時間過去,接受者也很容易忘記誰是施贈者,贈送的人可能不希望結果是這樣。可是,另一方面,禮物如果是以記念性,和表達情意為主的,對接受者也帶來現實的問題不少。因為香港地寸金尺土,擺放禮物一段時間後,就慢慢的發現,家裡就沒有多餘空間可以再放更多。結果禮物又是被收藏在抽屜裡。不過,話得說回頭,這類物品大多是裝飾性,應該是擺放出來才有價值。如果要搬家的話,對於這類禮物,可真是難捨難留。再者,裝飾性的禮物,多數是很有獨特風格品味的。贈送者也不知接受的朋友喜歡與否。單就顏色而論,就考起人。最近,送了一份禮物給遠方朋友,也有很多感觸,原來真是兩難。


正文:

選擇禮物時,費的時間真不少。心想當然最好是同時又有記念性和又實用性的禮品,但價錢又要合乎中道。仍是那句老套話,物輕情濃嘛。所以,花了一段時間挑選,最後是選定了。但問題竟是顏色。總覺得顏色是很屬個人口味愛好的。可是,並不稱楚接受的朋友的愛好和風格,再者,知道朋友是懂繪畫,所畫的畫也不差,至少我覺得幾有個人品味和風格。真沒想過,要選對顏色,是對方喜歡的,竟然是個大大的難題。更不幸的是,這個禮物也很著重顏色和個人品味。如果選錯,接受者可能提不起勁用,這就可惜了。所以,匆匆打了短訊詢問,得到的答案是可看看配搭哩,無所謂的。這可真惨了。答了等於無答。猶豫了好幾個星期,時間也不能再等,就選了自己也大多會後悔的禮品送過去。幾天後,對方收到了,禮貌的道謝。可是直覺告訴自己,顏色是選錯了。純色是錯誤的選擇。選純色就只因記得以往對方曾說過口味是不喜歡複雜,只喜歡簡單。
這時,心想既是自我推許為文人雅仕,隨後便補了古近體詩一首,算是自嘲,也是添意。


此物無言卻有情

盼於寒夜送溫馨

嫣紅雖未盡君意

還望展眉露笑聲


詩就寫完了,結果是聽到笑聲與否,都不再重要。贈送禮物,當然喜歡接受者歡顏,不喜歡,又能怎樣。說起討人一笑,也記起很多年前有個朋友,希望跟女朋友見面時,送上一份純心意,不含任何金錢價值的禮物予對方。一方面希望對方意會其濃情厚意,另一方面,也算是給對方一個意外驚喜。原來他想親自為其朋友最喜歡的一首英文歌填上中文歌詞,帶朋友到一個幽靜的地方,然後唱給對方聽,兼向對方表白。當時還未流行 Karaoke,所以做這些安排就頗費心思。首先,當然就是填詞工作。然後就練歌,背歌詞,錄音樂等。問題來了,我朋友是不懂音律,又無文采,怎樣填上能向對方表白之心意之詞呢?

結果,當然求救於當軍師的我。

於是,我們就在電話裡一起 (其實全部由本人包辦) 為 Reality 這首當時很流行的英文歌填上了歌詞。


偶遇 (調寄 Reality)


是我踫着妳
是我偶遇妳
相識的一刻是無拘

樂意接受妳
樂意接近妳
願這快樂此世盡記取

風來不再感困憂
人生總不免多唏噓
能共妳一起進退
尋找每個妙趣
從今去譜寫新詩句


結果如何? 想不到就是這數十年後的翻版。朋友的女友的反應就是,Ha Ha 兩聲.... 幾得意啊! 禮貌的回應一句,就不再提了。禮物的記念價值果真不及實用價值了。朋友真的後悔,就說 "早知買隻戒指送俾佢啦。"

這事以後,朋友和他的女友拍了一段時間的拖,最後還是分了手。現在,我相信各人都是名花有主,繼續生活。

所以,對人生的際遇,我還是這句:

豈能盡隨人意,但求無愧我心


全文完


David Leung (theorydavid)
2013-12-13 (published)

2013年12月6日 星期五

無題三首: 唐近體詩的新寫作

前言:

知道誰是蘇曼殊嗎? 他是近代清未民初時文藝全才的出家詩人,畫家,翻譯家。他精通印度文,日文,英文和中文。我說他也是個多情僧人也不為過。因他的詩集中有 "無題" 八首,都是以愛情為題材的。這正合吾之興緻所在。對我來說,詩不是古人所說言志,剛相反,是言情,是談愛。蘇曼殊情詩全是以唐近體詩寫成,遣詞造句的平仄格律要嚴格執行。吾讀過其詩,感覺有李商隱詩之韻味。蓋商隱之詩,也是以描寫浪漫情懷見稱。無獨有偶,曼殊之詩也喜以 "無題"為題。

近月我寫的多是新詩,以語體文寫成,近似優雅的散文風格。可是,知我者,皆了解吾之興趣在於古典文學的韻文,尤喜愛唐近體詩之七絕和宋詞之小令和中調。我以前也為寫過很多這種風格的古詩詞。由於認識之友遠赴國外深造,遂有感而發,即興寫了三首 "無題" 詩以適懷。這三首詩,或多或少,也受杜牧和蘇曼殊詩之影響。


正文:


好一句曼殊之詩,此句有云: "詩成百絕情難寫"

我說這 "百絕" 確是一絕。他的 "百絕"是一百首七言絕詩,我說的 "一絕" 是指其前無古 "情",後無來 "愛" 的絕頂好詩。

我想我就沒有能力寫一百首七言絕詩。但寫十首,八首就或可勉力試之。

近月省悟,吾以往之七絕情詩,不是純為表達詩人主觀的情感世界,總是帶有多有少評論情愛的意味,是哲理性的。例如以下這一首情詩,名為 "悔愛",是寫於十多年前。讀者或可窺悟其中哲理。可說是屬那哲理性的愛情詩。


   悔愛


飄幌寒缸對影深

清宵羅秣步秋塵

月娥忽悟桃源恨

悔愛靈丹不愛人

詩中所說的 "桃源" 是典故,是指陶潛著名的 "桃花源記"。其中所記,漁夫沒有珍惜留在那個世外桃源的地方。住了數日就返回那戰亂的現實世界。後來,漁夫想找回原路,到桃花源去。可是他也忘了路,悔恨也遲。我是以此典故,暗喻嫦娥偷藥奔月,捨離愛人,換來孤獨一生的悔恨。前兩句就明顯描述詩中孤單的女子,切夜難眠而獨對深深庭園之情景。這是常用的舊式寫作手法。以景溶情,以情溶景。當然,詩中的兩個典故,就不須拘泥於時間顛倒了,因為只為取其意而矣。
比較之下,我以下有感而寫的 "無題"三首,其中的第二首,就明顯是首情詩。除了刻意用一些疊字修辭來舖排每句句子,製造張力,並使之啷啷上口,其意境在就於表達詩人那一剎那的感情,是散文式的寫法,特意除去了以往那以景入情,以情入景的造意手法。也不用典故,只忠於那一抹的情感真意。哪種寫法較好,就不須拘泥執著。只要是情真意濃,我相信這就是好詩。
至於其餘兩詩,一首是臨摹杜牧之詩,主題是稱讚青春女子的漂亮,就是全英國也找不到她還美的。另一首是暗諷女子因貪睡而逃學,浪費了大好時光。
杜牧原詩其中的一句真是深得我心。

春風十里楊州里

捲上珠簾總不如


我就變化了這兩句詩,而開始了我這首 "無題" 詩。


  

無題一

娉娉裊裊二十餘

瑩眸雪肌秀如絲

春風萬里英倫地

碧眼黃絲總不如





無題二



歎緣相遇未逢時

一片相思一闕詞

還是有情還有夢

半含心事半恨遲







無題三



夢酣不覺日高升
 
暖枕沉眠夜靜寧
 
不屑人間科舉事
 
香羅綺帳伴淽澄





梁大偉書於二零一三年正冬


後記:
港人常以為男子應日理萬機,學好管理,那能進軍商業金融行業為找大錢的,才是真正事業。男子做企業家,商家才是成功人仕。余深受其害,磋砣歲月數十載,換來一事無成,滿身傷痕,一心懊悔。盼餘生可以就此大徹大悟,甘於當個無名詩人,作家和作曲家好了。

遂記之......................


David Leung (theorydavid )
2013-12-06 published

2013年12月2日 星期一

鏡子

前言:

這也是一首新詩作。我還是不喜歡寫太抽象的新詩,這類詩大多用艱澀的字詞,斷層的修辭意念去讓讀者猜度其意。有時,這類詩也不容易上口。我理想的新詩仍是以浪漫派的風格為主。總覺得詩是感動人而寫的。為清楚的表達個人感情和思想,雖用漂亮的修辭,用字也不想太艱深,造句也不想太斷層。以下的詩是 "興" 的寫法。即是古詩所言,賦比興的興。全詩 "我" 這個詩中人物是以鏡子作比喻。"妳" 就是這鏡子一生要守護的人。 鏡子偶然成為 "妳" 妝台上的東西之後常陪伴著 "妳",不須作任何回報。這就是不自私的真愛。


原文:




鏡子


誰在夢裡是一面鏡子

沉在深遽的海洋底

假如有一天妳拾去

放在妳的妝台上

妳會看見

那靜靜無語的臉容

不再是妳的

卻是含着那真

默默

讓妳凝望

偷偷

把妳的夢境銜了來

承受著數不盡的春來秋去

然後

妳會發現

那靜靜無語的影象

重疊著妳的

倒影在鏡子裡

是守護着妳的忠誠

讓妝台前的妳

不再有悲傷

只因是這面鏡子


梁大偉 – 2013-12-01



David Leung (theorydavid)
2013-12-01 published

2013年11月26日 星期二

A Glamorous Female Figure: Hildegard de Bingen

Foreword:

A friend of mine has a great interest in studying the idea and music of Hildegard de Bingen,  a legendary, yet glaring, female artisit star, living in the period of time in which the Catholic Church and man possess the absolute power over the society, as well as the thinking of every individual. Bingen's music, incredibly, never fails to display her frank, heartfelt affection to both the heavenly God and the earthly people. Her profound ideas and thoughts are always embedded in every nuance of the musical notes, as well as the texts. The following discussion is a reworking of the short introduction of Bingen written by my friend. I expand her ideas and remake the wordings of the original essay in order to lay out briefly the important contribution of Bingen in the western musical world.


Essay:


Doubtless Hildegard de Bingen, as a mere woman living in the so-called “dark” age of the 12th century under the hegemony of the Roman Catholic Church, has exhibited her amazing, yet glamorous, female disposition to the world. Bingen’s life is said to be replete with ineffable meanings of experiences and dramas. She was a prophet, a healer, a writer, a painter, a performer, and a composer, serving the Church in different roles. She experienced the highest acclaim, but at the same time, received the heaviest sentence from the same authority to which she devoted all through her life. As a composer, Bingen’s contemporary attitude in art and innovative way of composing reflect every nuance of her female sensitivity toward her surroundings, her life experiences, as well as her God, displaying a unique, creative thinking of humanity as well as theology. Indeed, she knew what to express and how to express, all of her thoughts, emotions and ideas by skillful use of music.


In fact, the medieval 12th century was the period of time in which the illiterate and the submissive  mass, unlettered woman in particular, were highly recommendable. While the majority of the medieval women were shameful to disclose their affluent emotions and ideas, viewing the take-for-granted silence as a ‘virtue’, Hildegard de Bingen, on the contrary, was boldly to express her spiritual visions and personal ideas, as well as her inner feelings and emotions through musical notes and texts, unleashing the true voice of a medieval woman. Bingen’s individualism, as I believe, is not experienced from her abundant emotions and ideas embedded in musical sounds, but rather, from her genuine and courageous act to expose all these traditionally restrained sentiments to not only the high God but also the ordinary people from all of her musical works.
 
 
Bingen's courage to disclose her affection comes parallel with her great concern of many of the philosphical and theological issues, ranging from the heaven down to the earth, just as contemporary male intellectuals have done. Not surprisingly, in the medieval period, 'great' thinking and idea indubitably belonged to the privilege of man. Woman possessing the thoughts and ideas such as creation, cosmology, nature of God, nature of virtue, and so forth were almost incredible. However, the achievements that Bingen did contribute to the philosphical and theological fields were so influential that almost no male contemporaries could surpass in her day. As such, whether as a mere medieval woman or a creative composer and artist, Hidlegard de Bingen is no doubt a unique and remarkable figure that is worth to invite a further academic study.


David Leung (theorydavid)
2013-11-26 published
 

2013年11月16日 星期六

回音

前言: 

這是一首新詩作。我常說詩言情,文言志。詩的可貴之處,就是傳情達意。不需要過多的句字邏輯和上下文的連繫。這跟寫評論文章,小說或散文隨筆不同。要知感情的流露,往往是不跟一定的思維程序,也不是線性推理,但總是那麼不經意的,是被引發的,是片面的,是難捉摸的,是一剎那的。詩情可算是詩人自身感覺和直覺的混合,並不是苦心積慮下的刻意營造。

很多時候,詩作的感情世界更像回憶,就像心理學所說的意識流 (stream of consciousness)。總是一串串的如潮
水般湧來的非理性片段,無方向的盪來盪去,卻又能喚起讀者心底的共鳴,搔著其不能抓著的癢處。




正文:

以下的兩首詩基本上是同一首詩。第一首是加上了較多的虛字,如連接詞等,使句子間的連接邏輯較強。雖是意思比較易懂,但算是散文的手法居多。另一首就增強了修辭作為感情和語氣的表達,不拘泥句與句間的連接纙輯。結果這更像詩的寫法,情趣也增多了。所以,這兩首詩因多了虛詞連接句子,又或增強了修辭造句,結果,有些句子要表達的意思和內容就稍有不同了。不過總的說來,不論是詩, 還是散文,除了文字要寫得好,唸出來時更要,抑揚頓挫,啷啷上口。才能牽動讀者情緒,使他們產生共鳴。


回音 :


別丟掉

這一把無端的熱情

現在流水似的飄過

幽冷的汪洋底

縱是黑夜

在天邊的無垠

如歎息的渺茫

仍為妳保存著這真 !


............................


是一樣的明月

是一樣的隔岸燈火

隨滿天的星

縱使人不見

在夢迴中掛起

問妳幾時回

那一句話 -- 仍渴望相信

在微風飄盪著

有那 "回" 音 !


...........................



回音 :


別丟掉

這一抹無端的熱情

現在流水似的

綿綿

在幽冷的汪洋底

在陰深的高山處

在深邃的黑夜

在天邊在蒼茫

是歎息著渺茫

偷偷

仍為妳保存著這真 !


...........................


是一樣的月明

是一樣的燈火闌柵

在眼簾盡處

迢迢

在隔岸在千山

在夢中低迴

是滿天的星

碎語著歸期

暗暗

那一句話

在盼望在相信

飄盪在微風

輕輕

是那 "回" 音 !


...................


兩首詩的內容的確差不多,都是送給遠在天涯的摯愛,以表達思念之情。很像貝多芬那首致遙遠的愛人歌曲套曲。細味之下,辭詞改動了,使個別句子的意思稍有不同,感情張力也不同。但懷念遠方的愛人這個主題仍是沒有兩樣。

至於其他的方面的差異,感情觸角,還是留待讀者自行品評好了。

詩言情,感情一事,只有過來人用心中真摯的感情才可以細味。旁人呢,就越解越難明了。



全文完



David Leung (theorydavid)

2013-11-16 published


2013年11月5日 星期二

一則新聞,一個故事,兩份經驗 : 何為真愛 ?

前言:

讀者是否認識高慧然,又或蔣芸? 我知道有關她們的,就只是她們在報刋上的專欄。我喜歡她們的寫作。如我沒有記錯,高慧然是一位醫生,但當她寫有關愛情,戀愛的文章,處處流露出女性特有的敏銳與細緻,很有味道。而蔣芸的寫作風格就帶有若干激情,對愛情在現代生活裡所碰撞出的張力,毫不留情地刻畫出來。把她的文章看後,心裡的悸動仍常常久久未靜。我還記得她們最近寫過有關愛情的文章,讀後使我不禁自問,何為真愛?



正文:


一則外地新聞為這篇文章展開序幕。


據報章報道,話說有位丈夫患有重病。五年來做了七次手術。但當他第七次完成手術後,由於痲醉太多次,亦太久,他的大腦記憶和神智受到傷害。當他醒來時四處張望,發覺樣樣都很陌生。更甚是竟然對正在照顧自己的妻子,完全沒有記憶。還以為只是一位漂亮的護士小姐在工作而矣。

這是可悲的嗎? 世事往往出人意表。雖然所有往事都忘記了,他對妻子已沒有任何印象,也應該是沒有任何愛情感覺,但這位先生卻對近在咫尺的美麗女子一見鐘情,還深深地愛著她。 這個結果是好事嗎?

但想深一層,他對她再一次產生同樣的愛情,沒有兩樣,可是緣份使然嗎? 真的不能解釋! 這愛不可能是丈夫的忠誠,因為他已是失憶了,面前的人就只跟一個陌生人沒有兩樣。所以,這樣的愛情神奇嗎?

我想如這則新聞所言的是事實,這似乎在說,真正的愛情,是跟我先前寫過有關緣份的看法有關。這位丈夫在醒來後甚麼也沒做過,為這緣似乎也沒努力過甚麼,倒是太太今生像要償還這先前結的緣,無悔無恨地照顧在病牀上的他。誰能說這不是緣麼?

莫非是:

煉百世始能共舟,
修千載方能共枕。
............

顰盈耳語枕詩畔,
還予逍遙萬世生。

............

高慧然在曾報章上講述過一個故事:

話說國王有兩個漂亮的女兒。她們都有一個本事,就是可以將自己流出來的眼淚變成黃金。真的是眼淚值萬金。

後來兩位美麗的公主都嫁給了兩個貧窮的人。

一年後,國王去探望兩位自己深愛的漂亮女兒。

國王到了大女兒的家,發覺女兒住在一座金碧輝煌,豪華萬千的宮殿裡。女兒出入更是奴婢成群,伴隨左右。吃的是山珍海錯,穿的是錦繡衣裳。國王很是滿意,覺得自己女兒很幸福,沒有嫁錯郎。所以,還大大稱讚了女婿。

可是,當國王來到了小女兒的家時,情況卻截然不同。小女兒的家仍是家徒四壁,小女婿仍是一貧如洗。吃的三餐仍是醎魚清菜,穿的仍是舊年的破爛衣裳。國王見到後非常忿怒,覺得小女婿沒有好好善待自己的女兒。於是,國王捉拿了小女婿,大興問罪之師。問他為何仍是這樣?

小女婿戰戰競競地回答: "我是深愛著你的女兒啊! 我從來捨不得她哭哩............。 "

朋友們,這兩位女婿,誰更愛自己的妻子? 誰更表現真愛?


高慧然也談及她的一位女性朋友的一份經驗。

她的朋友認識了一個風趣幽默的男子。由於這男子很懂說笑,又經常逗她開心,日子真的是過得十分愉快。高慧然的朋友自然地認為他是真命天子,此生非君不嫁了。

可是好景不常,高慧然的朋友遭遇了人生有使以來最大的困景。在跌落到這人生谷底,最需要溫暖的安慰和真誠的鼓勵的這段歲月中,這位風趣幽默的人卻突然消失,不見影踪。可真是能共富貴,卻不能共患難。

高慧然那極度失望的朋友可說是眼淚都流盡了,才慢慢從新站起來。驀然回首,這才驚覺,真愛不一定是來自那常常能令自己開心的人。那能陪伴自己,互相扶持地走過人生最崎嶇的路的人,才算是真愛。

看來真愛仍需付出努力地結緣,無私的,默默地在身旁守護著所愛的人........

朋友們,你同意這是才算是真愛嗎?


蔣芸所論述的第二份經驗卻卻為讀者帶來無限感慨。

話說蔣芸的一個男性朋友五年前因誤會和自己的初戀人分手了。五年後,他也結識了新的女朋友,最後到了談婚論嫁的時候。當他正準備通知各親朋戚友結婚一事,看著朋友的名單時,偶然發覺前度初戀的電話仍未删除。於是他不經意的發出了那五年來首次的信息。

但世事往往出乎意料之外,前女友竟回覆自己,還相約見個面。朋友欣然答應,也想這正好能將請帖送上。以後的事,可想而知,就是造物弄人。五年相隔,相方都成熟了,比前卻反而更有密契,更加合拍,更加關心對方,更加珍惜對方。自己這時才發現,那初戀的情感,不但仍在,還更深,更濃。怎辦? 婚是要結的,但新娘卻不能是這個。那份無奈就從前度女友在接到請帖時所說的話可見一斑......

她問: "你現在......開心嗎?"...............

看來人是對的,卻在錯誤的時間上碰著了。這就叫無奈........

這一剎的感覺,正如拙作詩云:

醉過方知酒濃
愛過始知情重
失過才懂珍惜
哭過能明心痛
"妳" 不能做我的詩
正如我不能留在妳的夢........

(全詩請看我上一篇文章: 詩,樂,夢)


所以,看來真愛有時只能留在夢中,留在深深的回憶裡........。


何為真愛,也可能永遠也沒有一個絕對的答案。


Finished.......



David Leung (theorydavid)
2013-11-07 published


2013年11月4日 星期一

詩,樂,夢: 一首新的詩作

前言:

自我檢討,寫詩始終還未能臻至大師境界。因為我仍在臨摹階段。可是在表達含蓄的感情,和修辭造句方面,肯定是進步很多,頗有詩人的風範。所以,這也是好詩。

作為詩人與音樂家,不單需要真情流露,還要用優良的技巧去表達這份情意,與讀者,聽眾分享。感謝國學大師胡適的詩作,夢與詩的笫一首詩。我臨摹其結構,借其修辭的形態,寫下這新詩。意念是新的,意境營造也是新的,可算是我近期的佳作。當然胡適提倡新詩的理念,就是詩作要如說話般淺白易懂,我雖不完全贊同,但我這詩的詞句,就只用了顯淺的字詞,外表意思是易懂的。表面上這詩雖只是一首浪漫愛情詩,可是,又有幾多人可以細心嘴嚼到詩中主人公在愛情中的無奈。詩中的 '她' 和 '妳' 同是偶然在那個 '我' 的生命裡不同時間軌迹中碰到的人,一個已消逝,感情也只好在心中暗處冰封 ; 另一個卻在眼前,卻又無端牽起詩中的 '我' 那內心的無限漣。可是,雖然兩個都是對的人,但卻在錯的時間相遇,所以開不到花,也結不出果。原來,這就是我們常說的無奈。。。。

其實這首詩所流露的情感,是自身的體驗。這也是詩的美所在。

因為詩中造句對人的感情世界含有高密度的描繪,所以,詩並不可能如胡適所言,是顯淺如話 ......

'她' 在這詩中只留有伏筆。'我' 對 '她'的感情亦只能封印在那隱藏的失落裡。這已是多年的往事。還記得如康乃馨的 '她' 嗎? 這就是了。可能是這個 '妳' 不經意的出現,雖是在錯配的時間,卻又無奈地喚起了那  '我' 那多年前那冰封了,失落了的對 '她' 的感覺......

而 '妳' 在這詩的出現,明顯的只在最後一句。對 '妳' 是含蓄的情感,沒有刻骨銘心的浪漫,也沒有波瀾壯濶的激情,一切就在於 '平凡' 這個字裡面。不能留在 '妳' 的夢裡,只因在這錯配的時空上, '我' 只能對 '妳' 表達那平凡的詩,平凡的樂,平凡的事,以及那平凡的話。是那麼淡淡然的,不經意的........ 雖是偶然的碰上,但又感情是那麼真摯,那麼動人。不能留在 '妳' 的夢裡,這就叫做無奈.......


正文:


詩,樂,夢

 

寫的是平凡的詩

作的是平凡的樂

湧進了是這偶然的夢

變幻了這冰封的感覺

…………….

 

談的是平凡的事

說的是平凡的話

碰著了是那偶然的人

喚醒了那隱藏的失落

……………..

 

醉過方知洒濃

愛過始知情重

失過才懂珍惜

哭過才明心痛

她不能做我的詩

正如我不能留在妳的夢

……………..

梁大偉
2013-11-04
(Published)

2013年10月12日 星期六

The Affective World of Troubadour's Songs

Forewords:

The paper below is memorable. This is because it is the first academic writing in my previous university life.   Viewing the paper from today, although the English is no good, and the expressions is overwording, I still like it very much, not only of ideas but also the first success of developing my thinking pattern.
 
 
  Article:



The Affective World of Troubadour’s Song: 

A symbol of the relief from religious restraint


 

From time to time, the artistic value of poem not lies in the elegance and sensuous words, but rather, the idea or symbol concealed behind these words. In a similar way, what the troubadours, a group of poet-musicians from the aristocratic class of France active from the 11th to 12th century, leaves to the world is a treasure of heartfelt, profound and consummate affectionate musical works. Although this affection is somewhat idealistic and unattainable, its influence is still far reaching till to many centuries, constituting part of what is  now called European humanistic culture. It was in the 11th century that the troubadours first began to appear. The combination of the ‘Heroic Chivalry’ and the ideal ‘Courtly Love’ that they contributed found expression in the daily words and deeds of the medieval people. The first troubadour of record was Duke William of Aquitaine. His poetry is said to contain all elements of ‘Courtly Love’, a kind of lovely affection commonly reflected in many troubadours’ poems. The nature of 'Courtly Love' is rather ambivalent, sometimes positive and joyful, but sometimes  melancholic and miserable. Although many of the extant troubadour poems exalt the pure and passionate affection of the ‘Courtly Love’ between a gentleman and a courtly lady in the surface, such passions, however, always give evidence of presenting somewhat the religious symbolism as a personal emotional reaction to the social/liturgical orders and codes beneath.[1] In the following discussion, I shall examine the affective world of troubadours through their songs and lyrics, especially seeking the underlying tones of the words, so as to reveal how the ‘Courtly love’, was shaped and shaped the medieval musical culture.

 

It is almost impossible for us to understand the symbolism of the troubadours’ poetry without referring to the culture and religious situation in the Middle Ages. Medieval people lived under a restrained world of codes and rules. Treaties, guidance, manners, no matter on chivalry, on hunting, on table, on liturgy, subliminally directed their daily life[2]. In addition, the Catholic Church acted as the ministry of God’s representative on earth. It was the sole means of maintaining the divine, godly, order of the terrestrial world regardless of her ‘greedy zeal’ in accumulating their prestige and wealth incessantly. The Church doctrine and liturgy not only gave coherence but also restraints to everyday life.

 
The promise of salvation, the soul’s redemption from sin and its eternal life in a world to come, for instance, was assured by the Church through the ways of burdensome sacraments[3]. No matter is the ‘Ladder of Salvation’ of the wall painting of Chaldon Church, or the ‘Ladder of Perfection’ by Whicker, gives the impression of how a medieval individual should put in effort for the whole life but still wore an entire face of fear and uncertainty in the last judgment before the awe-inspiring God[4]. The rooted religious affection of the poets, therefore, like the common medieval people, unavoidably was a contradictive amalgamation of anxiety and devotion, as well as desperation and piousness. It is because of these underlying negative emotions that rooted unconsciously in the mind of the troubadours, the ‘Courtly Love’ that flourished in their poems becomes a kind of substituted and transformed affection, becoming a relief from the liturgical rigidities. In this sense, the poems of troubadour comprise religious symbolism.

 

According to the Webster’s Third New International Dictationary, the word ‘relief’ means that an feeling of removal or lightening or setting free of something burdensome, painful or distressing. One of the ways to remove the stress of the afflicting emotion, in general speaking, is to let the negative affection substituted by another positive one. In the daily experience, for instance, consoling by good friends or enjoying a nice trip can always assist to calm down, or to relieve from the vigorous and agitated emotions after the quarrel between a couple of lovers. It is because the negative affection is overcame, or substituted, by some positive affection. The same thing happens in the poems of the troubadours. It is obvious that the troubadour song presented a kind of love so-called ‘Feudalization’ of love. The lady was called ‘midons’ or ‘senhor’. Only a bad lord refused to protect and aid his vassal with pity. In some poetry of the troubadours, the lady is depicted as so lofty and unapproachable, somewhat like the God in certain ways, that the lover in aspiring to her is like a lesser, humiliate knight seeking a seat by a mighty baron[5]. It can be imagined that a medieval man who was zealous, heartfelt and devout but could not touch even the corner of the “Ladder of Salvation’. Where his affection could be released? It is not surprised to assert that the loyalty or honesty between the lord and the vassal in the feudal society resembled the dedicated love towards God. The more the man dedicated loyally as a serf to his lord, the ‘midons’, the more the man felt relief from the restricted emotion because of the more acceptance from the lord. In Pus Vezem, Guilhem of Poitou, also named William of Anquitane, stated:

 
  Flowering fields again we see, the meadows rich with greenery, the

  springs all rippling lucidly, the wind, the breeze

  With every man that joy should be, which brings him ease…………

 

  Obedience he must not spurn,

  Bowing to many. In his turn he must do pleasant deeds to earn

  The love he has to sought.
  Yes, like a serf he now must learn silence in court………

 Interestingly, ‘Feudalisation of Love’ consists of certain elements of what is said to be called ‘Courtly Love’. The poet is about a serf and how he feels if he could gain more freedom from the rigid and aloof world by showing absolute obedience to the lady in regardless of whatever the pain brought. The rising of love is linked with the spring. The lady is the most beautiful in the world and the poet is submissive to her power.[6] With releasing of his obedient love, poet seems to gain the freedom from his restrained affection world, in the other word, from the very hypocritical and superficial religious orders, and those sacraments. Through the use of feudal metaphor in troubadour’s poem, the negative, unrequited affection towards God was substituted by a kind of positive and rewarding feudalized fidelity, though deriving from poets’ imagery, was still a way of passionate relief. In fact, troubadours showed no pretence of worshipping aloofness. They really wanted the consummating embrace. But not all the idealistic love in the poems give a perfect result from their ‘Midons’, or the lady.

 
Undeniably, many of the ‘Courtly love’ ideas presented in the poems flourishes with grief, sorrow and disappointment. To love is to suffer, and even it associates with distressing physical symptoms such as an inability to eat or sleep[7]. The tenets of such love requires a knight to prove his love for his lady by performing courageous, and often impossible deeds; he must even be willing to die for her. If this kind of affection is another form of affection to substitute the rigid and unfulfilled Christian love, we can understand why when Pope Urban II proclaimed for the bloody crusade in 1095A.D., albeit irrational, the response was a tremendous success that totally exceeded his expectation. However, what remaining nowadays is only a horrible and bloody historical record of mankind.

 
In the troubadour’s song of ‘Distant Lady’, the religious symbolism in the poetry, again, is obvious. The troubadour secularizes this highly self-devoted, vassal-like or even serf-like affection believing that the lesser he asserted his own will, the more he accepted by the lady, that is, he was closer to the top of the ‘Salvation Ladder’[8]. Jaufre Rudel, undoubtedly, depicts us a clear picture of the writer’s devout affection, his inner intense religious love and how it is sublimated and realized into the metaphorical feudal affection towards his ‘Lady’. The ‘Distant Lady’ in the song can be every woman truly loved and loving. The separation is not meant that she is unreal or unattainable but, on the other hand, it is the aim in life to seek or to discover, no matter for the poet or for the others. Rudel wrote:
 

   When now the days are long in May,

   I love to hear the birds far distant,

   And when the song has died away,

   I dream about a love as distant………..

 
   Sad and rejoicing I shall part from her,

   When I have seen this love far away:…………

 
   He speaks the truth who I says I crave

  And go desiring this love far away

For no other joy pleases me more,

For my godfather gave me this fate

  Than the rich enjoyment of this love far away[9]…….
 

In a more concrete sense, Rudel’s poem shows us that seeking for the Courtly Love from the distant ‘Lady’ is the seeking for the love, or the pity from the angry God. The more he suffered in the course of seeking, the more godly devotion he had sacrificed, and thus, another way of relief of his onerous affection. This might be the aim in life of the poet, to some extent, the aim in life of every medieval man[10] in order to fulfill the unsatisfied religious heart.

 As we have seen that how the metaphoric ‘Feudal Love’ or ‘Courtly Love’ plays an important role in troubadours’ poem and is related with their religious affection, it is interested to point out that the cult of the Virgin Mary in the High Middle Ages is also another factor affecting their underlying emotion of the poems. Ironically, Christianity succeeded ultimately in this period because it represented a return to the pagan way of worshipping the original goddess which devotion to the Roman gods or ancient earthly goddess had precluded though the Church had attempted to stamp out previously. The importance of the adoration of the ‘Mother of Heaven’ was not only meant that the rank of the woman, at least in the middle class, was exalted, but also the rigidities of fear underlying the medieval world-views dominated by the concept and image of God’ s harsh judgment, was gradually broken down. The adoration of the Virgin, therefore, satisfied some of the attitudes that went to the troubadour system with its worship of the ‘Lady’. In a more progressive sense, the ‘Feudal Lady’ in the poem of troubadour is now transformed into Virgin Mary who was defined as a human character that could really temper justice with mercy, even with a warm or a merciful smile. On the other hand, Virgin Mary, the intercessor for the salvation of wicked human soul, tended to be humanized. She was seen as a real, fleshy and attainable human of tenderness and compassion. No matter is the ‘Goddess’ transformed to “Lady’ or vice versa, the restrained religious affection is relieved through this religious symbolization process. In poem of Bernart De Ventadorn, the ‘Lady’ is transformed to become the Virgin Mary, Goddess of love, mercy and pity. The ‘God-liked Lady’ is all beautiful and amiable. She lifts all worshippers including the poet himself up to passionate perfection and completeness and never lets down his hopes. The poem states:

 
    This love wounds me so gentle

    In the heart with sweet savor

    A hundred times a day I die of grief

    And revive with joy another hundred………

    good will be the reward after suffering

 

All the gold silver in the world

I would have given, if I had it

Provided my lady might know

How truly I love her………

 

When I see her, it certainly shows

In my eyes, my face, my color

For I tremble with fear, like the leaf in the wind

I haven’t the judgement of a child

 So overwhelmed am I love

  And toward a man who is thus vanquished

A lady could show great pity[11]……….

 

Ventadorn obviously expressed the devotion of a knightly servant to the ‘Lady’, but in one aspect as we have seen, the energies that had alienated into God struggling for salvation had been drawn to the ‘Lady’, a ‘God-liked Lady’ that was more attainable, more perfect and even more human-liked. In a more ridiculous way, the image that appeared before the poet’s eyes when he prayed was his human ‘Lady’, not the angry God swaying to and fro in acceptance of salvation.
 

On the other hand, in the song of Guiraut Riquier, Humils, forfaitz, repress e penedens, we explicitly find that the previous concentrations of love on the feudal ‘Midons’ turned to the Goddess Mary requesting for mercy and redemption. The Goddess, ‘Virgin Mary’, was transformed to become a humanized person, a real person in life that was more sensuous and attainable. He definitely wrote:

  

Humble, guilty, accused and repentant,

Saddened, unhappy to return,

I am, for I have lost my time on account of sin,

I beg mercy, lady, gracious Virgin,

Mother of Christ, son of the all-power, that you take no account of my sin towards you,

If it pleases you, consider the need of my miserable soul………….

 

Again, in another song of Riquier, he begged for love and pardon even more honestly. His poem Be.m degra de chantar tener states:

 

I should certainly refrain from singing,

For to song, happiness is fitting,

And worry constrains me so much

That it causes pain from all sides,……………..

 

My sense, my joy, my displeasure

My pain and my profit truly

For I scarcely say anything else good………

 

With a great umber of setbacks

From which it seems that He is against us

On account of disordered desire

And overweening power………

 

Lady, mother of charity,

Secure for us, out of pity,

From your son, redeemer,

Grace, pardon and love[12].


Goddess Mary is humanized in the poem. This upsurge of deep pagan elements that revived popularly in the medieval period was returned to the hands of Troubadours’. The expression of the poet’s deep and pious devotion of Mother of Heaven was now turned towards his ‘Humanized Lady’. He was requesting for mercy, for redemption, even for the salvation[13]. The goal of joy after redemption, seen as the motive force of love, is interpreted in terms of poet’s experience as he offered his devotion in the face of setback and disappointment. The previous unattainable desires for the religious affection of satisfaction are fulfilled through his own created ‘Virgin Mary’, a humanized Goddess.


In conclusion, it is because of this kind of substituted or transformed lovely affection, the ‘Feudal Love’ or ‘Courtly Love’, relieves the troubadour poets from the restrained religious affliction. Perhaps, this may be the reason why the music of the troubadour was so popular in the Middle Ages. The echo was clear. Whether the influences are directly or indirectly, the ideas of pure love lauded by nobility and idolized by the troubadours spread rapidly and extensively like diseases. Under the influence, Tristram and Ysolt, Wace’s Brut and the romance of Troy were written. Andress Capellanus, furthermore, viewed ‘Courtly Love’ which embraced in the affection world of the troubadours’ poetries, as an art of rules and he regulated these rules into his remarkable work of The Art of Courtly Love. Whether this work is satirical, sincere, or debatable is not the most important. Its recognition is nevertheless the golden testament of love to all medieval people. It is also regarded as the incipient of the ‘Romance Love’, which is the most essential love culture of the European world[14].

The impact of the troubadours’ poems, however, was far beyond this limit. We find that more and more the secular used the religious symbolism that prevailed in troubadours’songs. Chretiende Troyes took over a great deal of the religious vocabulary and turned it to the use of sensual love. Love was adoration. In Gottfried’s Tristan of the early thirteen century there was a Cave of Lovers described as a richly adorned church with its shrine. In the center was ‘the nest of crystalline Love’ with design and proportions explained after the modes of the Gothic World[15]. As the time passed, more and more different kinds of sculptures, literatures, poems reflected in religious symbolism, and even frequently, gave evidence of hostility, or fierce attack on the social inequity and corrupted Church and thus, enforced the reformation of the Church. The poets, the artists tended to express their personal ideas and affection, at the same time, release their religious or social restrained emotions through their artistic activities. Therefore, through the contribution of the troubadours’ music and their ways of discharging the affection by using religious symbolism, it is undeniable to assert that the most precious and valuable lyric poetry in Western humanistic culture begins with the ‘Troubadour’.

 

Bibliography:

Andrea Hopkins, The Passionate Code of the Troubadours, New York: Harper San Francisco 1994.

Fiero Gloria K., The Humanistic Tradition: Medieval Europe and the World Beyond, 2nd ed., Singapore: Brown & Benchmark Publishers, 1995

Goldin Frederick, Lyrics of the Troubadours and Trouveres, New York: Doubleday & Co., 1983.

Lindsay Jack, The Troubadours and Their World, London: Frederick Muller Ltd., 1976.

Rosenberg Samuel N., et al., Songs of the Troubadours and Trouveres, New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1998.

Stoner Kay, L., The Enduring Popularity of Courtly Love http://www.millersv.edu/~english/homepage/dincan/medfem/court.html.

 
Finished
 
David Leung (theorydavid)
2013-10-12 Published





[1] Gloria K. Fiero, The Humanistic Tradition: Medieval Europe and the World Beyond, 2nd ed., Singapore: Brown & Benchmark Publishers, 1995, pp75-76.


[2] Hopkins Andrea, The Passionate Code of the Troubadours, New York: Harper San Francisco 1994, p15.


[3] Gloria K. Fiero, The Humanistic Tradition: Medieval Europe and the World Beyond, 2nd ed., Singapore: Brown & Benchmark Publishers, 1995, p80.

 


[4] Jack Lindsay, The Troubadours and Their World, London: Frederick Muller Ltd., 1976, pp214-217.


[5] Jack Lindsay, The Troubadours and Their World, London: Frederick Muller Ltd., 1976, pp213.


[6] Jack Lindsay, The Troubadours and Their World, London: Frederick Muller Ltd., 1976, pp15-17.


[7] Hopkins Andrea, The Passionate Code of the Troubadours, New York: Harper San Francisco 1994, pp6-7.


[8] Jack Lindsay, The Troubadours and Their World, London: Frederick Muller Ltd., 1976, p221.


[9] Frederick Goldin, Lyrics of the Troubadours and Trouveres, New York: Doubleday & Co., 1983, pp104-107.


[10] Jack Lindsay, The Troubadours and Their World, London: Frederick Muller Ltd., 1976, p69.


[11] Samuel N. Rosenberg, et al., Songs of the Troubadours and Trouveres, New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1998, p65.

 


[12] Samuel N. Rosenberg, et al., Songs of the Troubadours and Trouveres, New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1998, pp172-173.


[13] Jack Lindsay, The Troubadours and Their World, London: Frederick Muller Ltd., 1976, p215.


[14] Kay L., Stoner, The Enduring Popularity of Courtly Love http://www.millersv.edu/~english/homepage/dincan/medfem/court.html.


[15] Jack Lindsay, The Troubadours and Their World, London: Frederick Muller Ltd., 1976, pp222-224.