英语四级

听力入门英语演讲VOA慢速英语美文听力教程英语新闻名校课程听力节目影视听力英语视频

VOA词汇掌故:Swan Song 绝唱

kira86 于2010-04-13发布 l 已有人浏览
增大字体 减小字体
Words and Their Stories: Swan Song高速下载 Now, the Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.(MUSIC)Eve
    小E英语欢迎您,请点击播放按钮开始播放……

Words and Their Stories: Swan Song


高速下载

Now, the Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.

(MUSIC)

Every people has its own way of saying things, its own special expressions. These are the living speech of a people. And a story can be told about each of them.

The white swan – with its long, graceful neck – is among the most beautiful of birds. The swan is mostly silent through its life. It floats quietly on the water, unable to sing sweet songs like most other birds.

In ancient times, however, people believed that the swan was given a special gift of song at the end of its life. They believed a swan sings a most beautiful song...just before it dies.

The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates talked of this two thousand three hundred years ago. Socrates explained that the swan was singing because it was happy. The bird was happy because it was going to serve the Greek God Apollo. Swans were holy to Apollo, the god of poetry and song.

The story of the swan's last song found a place in the works of other writers, including the early English writers Chaucer and Shakespeare.

And, the expression swan song has long been a part of the English language. At first, swan song meant the last work of a poet, musician or writer. Now, it means the final effort of any person. Someone's swan song usually is also considered that person's finest work.

A political expression with a similar meaning is the last hurrah. The expression may be used to describe a politician's last campaign, his final attempt to win the cheers and votes of the people. The last hurrah also can mean the last acts of a politician, before his term in office ends.

Writer Edwin O'Connor made the expression popular in nineteen fifty-six. He wrote a book about the final years in the political life of a long-time mayor of Boston, Massachusetts. He called his book, The Last Hurrah.

Some language experts say the expression came from a name given to noisy supporters of Andrew Jackson...America's seventh president. They cheered hurrah so loudly for Andy Jackson during his presidential campaign that they became known as the hurrah boys.

Jackson's hurrah boys also played a part in the election to choose the next president. Jackson's choice was his vice president, Martin VanBuren.

A newspaper of the time reported that VanBuren was elected president, in its words: "...by the hurrah boys, and those who knew just enough to shout hurrah for Jackson." So, President Jackson really heard his last hurrahs in the campaign of another candidate, the man would replace him in the White House.

(MUSIC)

This VOA Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES was written by Marilyn Christiano. Maurice Joyce was the narrator. I'm Shirley Griffith.

Swan Song字面译做“天鹅之歌”,源于希腊成语Kykneion asma.

天鹅,我国古代叫鹄,是一种形状似鹅而体形较大的稀有珍禽,栖息于海滨湖畔,能游善飞,全身白色。因此,英语成语black swan,用以比喻稀有罕见的人或物,类似汉语成语“凤毛麟角”之意。

在古希腊神话中,阿波罗(Apollo)是太阳神、光明之神,由于他多才多艺,又是诗歌与音乐之神,后世奉他为文艺的保护神。天鹅是阿波罗的神鸟,故常用来比喻文艺。传说天鹅平素不唱歌,而在它死前,必引颈长鸣,高歌一曲,其歌声哀婉动听,感人肺腑。这是它一生中唯一的,也是最后的一次唱歌。因此,西方各国就用这个典故来比喻某诗人,作家,作曲家临终前的一部杰作,或者是某个演员,歌唱家的最后一次表演。即a last or farewell appearance;the last work before death之意;偶尔也可指某中最后残余的东西。

 Swan Song是个古老的成语,源远流长。早在公元前6世纪的古希腊寓言作家伊索(Aisopos)的寓言故事中,就有“天鹅临死才唱歌”的说法。古罗马政治家、作家西塞罗(Cicero,公元前106-前43)在其《德斯肯伦别墅哲学谈》等论文中,就使用了“天鹅之歌”来比喻临死哀歌。在英国,乔叟,莎士比亚等伟大诗人、剧作家,都使用过这个成语典故。如:莎翁的著名悲剧《奥噻罗》(othello)中塑造的爱米莉霞的形象,她在生死关头勇敢得站出来揭穿其丈夫的罪行。她临死时把自己比做天鹅,一生只唱最后一次歌。

 1 2 下一页

分享到

添加到收藏

VOA慢速排行