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童話詩

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  童話詩是兒童文學的一門。當然,童話詩必須淺白易懂,使兒童能夠領悟,還常加插畫;但涵義不一定淺,而且可以成為高深的藝術,使年紀大的成人也可以讀。就如布萊克(William Blake, 1757-1827)寫的詩,看來淺白,實際卻不是那回事。


Johnny Appleseed

  下面是現代人寫的童詩,所說的是美國十九世紀的一個傳奇人物“蘋果種約翰”(John Chapman,別名Johnny Appleseed, 1774-1845)。正在美洲殖民地醞釀獨立的時候,他生於1774年九月二十六日,在麻薩諸塞州(Massachusetts)。長大以後,新興的美國,已經在向西擴展;不久,就成為繼英國而起的宣教國家。約翰則以宣教士的精神,徒步由東趄西,走遍中西部,默默的推廣果園種植。
  這不是一篇歌頌英雄的史詩。這是首簡單的童話詩,美國一般學童都誦讀過。其中所敘述的主角,只是一個平凡的人物;但他留下的是美好的果子,表彰生命的意義,卻勝於甚麼“一將功成萬骨枯”的英雄。這詩的簡樸,流露史詩般的美。可見詩歌最適於教導兒童。詩歌是文學的起始,兒童的搖籃曲是詩歌,所以必須記得詩歌的教導功能。

蘋果種子約翰 Johnny Appleseed

這裏的一片蘋果園
  種在一個世紀之前—
  一百年的春暖開花,
  一百年的飄雪冬寒。

一百年的蘋果秋收
  歸雁飛過長空,
  一百年的蘋果醬
  和蘋果餅熱氣騰騰。

當年那種下蘋果樹的人
  曾站在這塊地旁,
  背着一袋的蘋果種子
  一本聖經拿在他手上。

年輕的哈拿.顧德恩首先發現,
  那瘦削的陌生人孤單蒼涼;
  他的臉消瘦,光着腳板,
  身上穿着殘舊的衣裳。

顧德恩家請他進房
  用餐並一同談論。
  那時美國還很荒涼;
  他跋涉千里僕僕風塵。

他說是不能夠長久停住
  但很願意在這裏用飯;
  他必須去把蘋果樹
  種遍在這廣闊的前線。

他說那是一片遼闊的荒原,
  廣漠的大地,而且漫長。
  他說他的蘋果爽脆又甘甜,
  會使這個國家富強。

那家人靜聽他在細述
  綿延的森林茂綠偉大,
  說草原廣遠隨風起伏,
  說河道縱橫縈迴着流沙。

他說到同他們一般的家族,
  都勇敢的向西進行,
  帶着槍枝家小和炊具
  去把那大曠野佔領。

他說要給他們蘋果樹支援,
  我們的主給大地的恩賜;
  他說太陽會將種子溫暖,
  雨會使他們繁殖。

他說每一處美好的果園
  都會照神所定的結出果實,
  滿足拓荒者的意願
  得嘗應許的美地。

顧德恩家祝福送他上道,
  看着他獨自別離。
  他沒有攜槍帶刀;
  他不曾擁有武器。

雖然他步行寂寞孤獨
  經過危險和凶野的大地,
  他說他不加害任何生物;
  每一個都是上帝的孩子。

年輕哈拿聽到他的傳說
  在她所有成年的日子,
  當他帶着爽脆甘甜的蘋果,
  給其他的拓荒者分食。

她聽說他奔波不舍晝夜
  雖然經歷風侵之苦。
  她聽說他不避雨和雪
  寒冷能夠凍得透骨。

她聽說當經過時他輕微發聲
  溫柔的散播,加上祝福:
  種子飄落在野草當中,
  能夠智慧的發展長成。

她聽說他深愛林野
  也愛其中一切受造之物:
  每一隻飛過長空的鳥,
  熊和野狼,野兔並野鹿。

她聽說印地安人對他信託;
  他有他們同樣的知識:
  哪些水流清潔並不乾涸,
  哪種植物治病哪種好充飢。

行過所有的路徑留下所有美談;
  他的果園擴展而且增長,
  所踏的地方蘋果花開遍,
  腳步飄揚着濃郁的芬芳。

當老哈拿末次見到他
  走進那果園的籬門。
  許多的年日已經逝去,
  在安靜破曉的清晨。

老哈拿熟悉他溫和的笑容,
  那張臉消瘦而且長。
  手中拿着一本聖經;
  述說他曾何去何往。

他把全美國走了個遍,
  隨走隨撒下了佳種。
  他所種的蘋果,爽脆甘甜,
  果樹在各處迅速長成。

在西部的平原上
  現在作成了蘋果汁香醇。
  在愛阿華州製作蘋果醬,
  蘋果餅生產在緬因。

蘋果已在密蘇里遍植,
  也傳到俄亥俄州土地上。
  爽脆甘甜遍滿全地,
  蘋果使我們的國家增長。

老哈拿.顧德恩連聲道謝
  因為她的樹也已長高。
  約翰說他不能接受感謝,
  因一切俱都是由神所造。

“培育一棵樹或是一國
  需要栽種的人能夠忠心;
  他播種並管理直到結果
  大地最美的夢想終能成真。”

他道別以後繼續往前
  從此就不曾再復還,
  但這果園,爽脆甘甜,
  他留下的蘋果年又一年。

老哈拿.顧德恩總是述說
  當每年的蘋果季節來臨;
  果園又有新的收穫,
  天高氣晴爽朗又清新。

她囑咐孩子定要謹記
  感謝神豐盛的恩典,
  為蘋果爽脆而甘甜
  和蘋果種子約翰。

瑞芙.林白(Reeve Lindbergh
  航空家林白的女兒,美國詩人。

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

  你讀過這首詩以後,有甚麼感想?從詩人的敘述,你可以看見的是甚麼形象?

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