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Emily Dickinson诗歌赏析


①I’m Nobody! 我是无名之辈 -Emily Dickinson I’m nobody! Who are you? 我是无名之辈!你是谁? Are you nobody, too? 你也是无名之辈吗? Then there’s a pair of us----don’t tell! 那么我们就是一对儿了!千万不要透露出去 They’d banish us, you know! 不然我们都会被他们驱逐,你知道。 How dreary to be somebody! 做一个某某,是多么沉闷无聊 How public, like a frog 众人像是青蛙 To tell your name the livelong day 整日地把你谈论啊 To an admiring bog! 对着他们倾慕的泥沼 我是无名之辈 艾米莉·狄金森 我是无名之辈,你是谁? 你,也是,无名之辈? 这就凑成一双,别声张! 你知道,他们会大肆张扬! 做个,显要人物,好不无聊! 像个青蛙,向仰慕的泥沼—— 在整个六月,把个人的姓名 聒噪——何等招摇! This poem is Dickinson’s most famous and most defense of the kind of spiritual privacy she favored, implying that to be a Nobody is a luxury incomprehensible to a dreary somebody—for they are too busy keeping their names in circulation. But to be somebody is not as fancy as it seems to be.

Emily Dickinson
As you probably noticed when you read this poem, none of the themes that I discussed in the Overview of Dickinson applies to this poem. My list was not meant to cover every topic Dickinson wrote on, nor does every poem she wrote fit neatly into a category.

Dickinson adopts the persona of a child who is open, naive, and innocent. However, are the questions asked and the final statement made by this poem naive? If they are not, then the poem is ironic because of the discrepancy between the persona's understanding and view and those of Dickinson and the reader. Under the guise of the child's accepting society's values, is Dickinson really rejecting those values? Is Dickinson suggesting that the true somebody is really the "nobody"? The child-speaker welcomes the person who honestly identifies herself and who has a true identity. These qualities make that person "nobody" in society's eyes. To be "somebody" is to have status in society; society, the majority, excludes or rejects those who lack status or are "nobody"--that is, "they'd banish us" for being nobody. In stanza 2, the child-speaker rejects the role of "somebody" ("How dreary"). The frog comparison depicts "somebody" as self-important and constantly self-promoting. She also shows the false values of a society (the "admiring bog") which approves the frog-somebody. Does the word "bog" (it means wet, spongy ground) have positive or negative connotations? What qualities are associated with the sounds a frog makes (croaking)? Is there satire in this poem? Some readers, who are modest and self-effacing or who lack confidence, feel validated by this poem. Why?

②To Make a Prairie… To make a prairie It takes a clover and one bee, One clover and a bee, And revery. Revery alone will do, If bees are few.
去造一个草原 张祈试译 去造一个草原 需要一株三叶草和一只蜜蜂, 一株三叶草和一只蜜蜂, 还有梦。 如果蜜蜂不多,

单靠梦也行。

Dickinson's tiny poem makes a huge statement about the nature of musing, day-dreaming, or as she puts it, "revery."

Analysis
This little poem expresses Dickinson’s continuing love affair with the spiritual level of being. She begins by claiming that to make a physically large item, “a prairie,” all one needs is two small physical items, “a clover and one bee.” Then she qualifies that by saying, “One clover, and a bee / And revery”; then she qualifies that claim further, by saying if you don’t have one of those physical components, “bees,” (and by implication, the clover as well), then you can still make the prairie by revery alone. “Revery” means dream, thought, extended concentration on any subject, or even day-dreaming wherein the mind is allowed to roam free over the landscape of unlimited expansion, but to the speaker in this poem, “revery” is more like meditation which results in a true vision. The speaker’s power of revery demonstrates an advanced achievement, far beyond ordinary day-dreaming or cogitation. Ultimately, this speaker is claiming that without any physical objects at all, the mind of one advanced in the art of revery can produce any object that mind desires.

③Success Is Counted Sweetest

成功的含义

Success is counted sweetest 从未成功的人们 By those who ne'er succeed. 最懂得成功的甜美. To comprehend a nectar 惟有极度的渴求 Requires sorest need. 方能体会甘露的滋味.

Not one of all the purple host 身穿紫服的王者之师 Who took the flag today 今日虽高扬凯旗, Can tell the definition, 却无一人能把胜利的含义

So clear,of victory, 说清道明.

As he,defeated,dying, 战败者奄奄一息, On whose forbidden ear 凯乐在远处奏响, The distant strains of triumph 冲破阻隔,飞到他的耳际 Break,agonized and clear. 悲痛而嘹亮.

A common idea in Dickinson's poems is that not having increases our appreciation or enjoyment of what we lack; the person who lacks or does not have understands whatever is lacking better than the person who possesses it. In this poem, the loser knows the meaning '"definition" of victory better than the winners. The implication is that he has "won" this knowledge by paying so high a price, with the anguish of defeat and with his death. In stanza one, she repeats the s sound and, to a lesser degree, n. Why does she use this alliteration? i.e., are the words significant? "Sorest" is used with the older meaning of greatest, but can it also have the more common meaning? What are the associations of "nectar"--good, bad, indifferent? Does "nectar" pick up any word in the first line? In stanza two, "purple" connotes royalty; the robes of kings and emperors were dyed purple. It is also the color of blood. Are these connotations appropriate to the poem? In a battle, what does a flag represent? Why is victory described in terms of taking the losing side's flag? In stanza three, what words are connected by d sounds and by s sounds? Is there any reason for connecting or emphasizing these words? Dickinson is compressing language and omitting connections in the last three lines. The dying man's ears are not forbidden; rather, the sounds of triumph are forbidden to him because his side lost the battle. The triumphant sounds that he hears are not agonized, though they are clear to him; rather, he is agonized at hearing the clear sounds of triumph of the other side. They are "distant" literally in being far off and metaphorically in not being part of his experience; defeat is the opposite of or "distant" from victory. Success is counted sweetest..."

Summary

The speaker says that "those who ne'er succeed" place the highest value on success. (They "count" it "sweetest".) To understand the value of a nectar, the speaker says, one must feel "sorest need." She says that the members of the victorious army ("the purple Host / Who took the flag today") are not able to define victory as well as the defeated, dying man who hears from a distance the music of the victors.

The three stanzas of this poem take the form of iambic trimeter--with the exception of the first two lines of the second stanza, which add a fourth stress at the end of the line. (Virtually all of Dickinson's poems are written in an iambic meter that fluctuates fluidly between three and four stresses.) As in most of Dickinson's poems, the stanzas here rhyme according to an ABCB scheme, so that the second and fourth lines in each stanza constitute the stanza's only rhyme.

Commentary
Many of Emily Dickinson's most famous lyrics take the form of homilies, or short moral sayings, which appear quite simple but that actually describe complicated moral and psychological truths. "Success is counted sweetest" is such a poem; its first two lines express its homiletic point, that "Success is counted sweetest / By those who ne'er succeed" (or, more generally, that people tend to desire things more acutely when they do not have them). The subsequent lines then develop that axiomatic truth by offering a pair of images that exemplify it: the nectar--a symbol of triumph, luxury, "success"--can best be comprehended by someone who "needs" it; the defeated, dying man understands victory more clearly than the victorious army does. The poem exhibits Dickinson's keen awareness of the complicated truths of human desire (in a later poem on a similar theme, she wrote that "Hunger--was a way / Of Persons outside Windows-- / The Entering--takes away--"), and it shows the beginnings of her terse, compacted style, whereby complicated meanings are compressed into extremely short phrases (e.g., "On whose forbidden ear").

Theme of Success Is Counted Sweetest "Success Is Counted Sweetest" by Emily Dickinson basically sends the message that success, like any other possession tangible or intangible, is only appreciated by those whom it is not always readily available. The theme of the poem is that only those who have not been successful think that success is so important. The loser is the one who continues to crave success as the winner fades into a neutral state of emotion.

Dickinson clearly states this message and implies it throughout the poem, and uses rhyme, imagery, and irony to incorporate the theme that the one who thirst for success is the one who never succeeds. The rhythmic pattern makes the poem flow together, using the rhyme scheme ABCB in the short, three stanzas, like a song. This typical rhyming scheme gives a light affect to the poem; creating the feeling of simpleness and achieving the feeling that the message is not buried deep in the poem's lines and is easy to comprehend. In the first stanza, the speaker declares that it is only those who “ne’er succeed” who have the notion that success is the best thing. “A nectar” metaphorically represents the thing that is desired. Nectar is anything that is sweet. Emily also uses imagry to develop her message. In the second stanza, the speaker dramatizes a field victory , saying that the winners cannot clearly state a definition of victory. The stanza paints a picture of the victor in the war, but the victor does not understand to the full extent what his victory is, and just counts it as victory. In the third stanza, the defeated, however, is in 'agony' and knows how powerful success is and what affect it has. Dickinson also implies irony in the third stanza as she implies that the defeated is the one that actually feels what success is, even though he is not the one that achieved it. She implies that the message of triumph is louder in the ears of those who do not have it; those who have reached success have not felt what it is like without success. The speaker here exaggerates the notion of the defeated by saying they lay” dying” - this exaggeration is one of the reasons that readers may misunderstand and claim that the speaker is referring to a Civil War battle. But the “forbidden ear?” is not literally dying but merely suffering the defeat. The loser, by suffering defeat still has in his heart the deep desire to win, while the winners can merely wallow in the glow of victory. Emily's theme is typical, she sends the message that one never fully appreciates what one has until it is no more, because an abundance is usually taken for granted. In this case, the possession that is not appreciated by those who have it is success, because not being victorious is surely a greater loss than being victorious is a gain.


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