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美丽优雅的大天鹅  

2015-03-20 21:42:45|  分类: 科学与自然 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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原作者:
来源Whooper Swans - National Geographic Magazine
译者Lineker

Swan Serenade

Whooping Swan 天鹅情歌

The whooper swan is a bird to inspire flights of fancy.

大天鹅是一种能激发浪漫幻想的鸟类。

By Cathy Newman

撰文:Cathy Newman

Photograph by Stefano Unterthiner

摄影:Stefano Unterthiner

From the swirl of its initial letter to its sighing vowel and feather-soft final consonant, the very word—"swan"—suggests grace. Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky did not, after all, write Duck Pond. The whooper swan, like its onomatopoeic cousins, the whistling and the trumpeter, belongs to an elegant society of sisters; the mute, Bewick's, black, and black-necked fill out the ranks. First described by Carl Linnaeus in 1758, Cygnus cygnus can be considered a swan among swans, the type species, hence archetype, of all swans. It is also a swan of superlatives. With a population of about 180,000, the whooper, though vulnerable to loss of habitat, is among the most abundant of swans and trumps others in the sweep of its range.从回旋婉转的首字母,到叹息般的元音,再到羽毛般轻柔的后辅音,swan这个非凡的单词几乎就是优雅的同义词,若非如此,彼得·伊里奇·柴可夫斯基(Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky)又怎能写出《天鹅湖》那般伟大的作品来。大天鹅和它以拟声命名的表亲——小天鹅(whistling swan)和号角天鹅(trumpeter swan)一样,都属于同一种高雅的鸟类家族;而著名版画家汤姆斯·比尤伊克(Thomas Bewick)画笔下的沉默的黑天鹅和黑颈天鹅亦同属此列。卡尔·林奈(Carl Linnaeus)于1758年首次描述的大天鹅(Cygnus cygnus)可被视为天鹅中的天鹅,即所有天鹅的模式种(type species),同时它也是天鹅家族中体型最大的一种。尽管栖息地容易遭到破坏,但大天鹅仍以18万只的种群数量冠居天鹅家族之首,而且其栖息范围也超出了其他种类的天鹅。
To the ancients, the appearance of a swan, with its effortless glide on the mirror of a lake and lovely, unfurling flight, signaled evanescence and evoked immortal longings. Socrates, Plato tells us, heard the song of a swan on the day of his death. The Valkyries, in the guise of swans, bore their fallen heroes to the Valhalla of Norse mythology. Pythagoras believed the souls of poets passed into swans, a fitting entombment that turns the tattered phrase "poetry in motion" into a truly lyrical trope.

自古以来,在世人的心目中,天鹅那优美的外形、在清澈如镜的湖面上自如的滑翔能力以及可爱舒展的飞行姿态如同幻灭的信号,让人心生不朽的热望。柏拉图告诉我们,苏格拉底在离世的那天就曾听见天鹅的歌声;而在北欧神话中,女武神瓦尔基里(Valkyries)化作天鹅,将阵亡的武士带回瓦尔哈拉英灵殿(Valhalla);毕达哥拉斯甚至认为诗人的灵魂会托生为天鹅,如此奇妙的联系让原本空洞无物的“诗韵(poetry in motion)”一词顿时化作了万千意象。

The swan, Russian poet Anna Akhmatova writes, "floats through the centuries" and into the turning wheel of seasons. Swans on their autumnal migratory flight—the celestial flutter of wings, the silver arrow of a flock splitting the sky—evoke poetic melancholy. Shadows lengthen. Days shorten. Another year closes in. Still, there is the reassuring uplift of fairy tales like Hans Christian Andersen's duckling turned swan, with its metamorphosis from plain to princely.

在俄罗斯诗人安娜·阿赫玛托娃(Anna Akhmatova)的笔下,天鹅“飞掠了时光”且飞越了四季轮回。在秋天的迁徙飞行中,天鹅们化身为长着翅膀的飞仙,似银箭一般刺破蓝天,此情此景不免会勾起诗意愁绪来:光阴渐长,时日变短,又是一年将来到。幸好,还有安徒生虚构的丑小鸭变成白天鹅的童话来作为精神鼓励,平凡与高贵原来只有一线之隔。

Bittersweet, these beautiful birds. Yet their loveliness masks the toll exacted by the gravitational pull of their large bodies and the strain of daily survival. Labored takeoffs, the frantic paddling of webbed feet and heavy beating of wings before their soaring ascent, a territorial aggressiveness directed at other swans and waterfowl that can turn vicious and, occasionally, deadly, suggest that beauty does not come as easily or kindly as we might wish.这些美丽的大鸟,让人忧伤又甜蜜。它们的美好姿态掩饰了飞行时引力对巨大身体的沉重拖累和日常生活的艰辛不易。费力的起飞,尽力的拨动脚蹼,猛烈的拍打双翅,然后再升空翱翔,这种领地意识极强的鸟类让其他天鹅或水禽望而生畏,它们的攻击不仅恶毒,有时甚至会带来致命伤害。所以,美丽也并不如我们平素所认为的那般从容或亲切。
Stefano Unterthiner’s book about whooper swans, The Angels of Winter, was published in Italy this year.

斯特凡诺·安特锡纳(Stefano Unterthiner)关于大天鹅的新书《隆冬天使》今年已经在意大利出版了。

Swan Serenade
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