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美国文学 Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson 艾米莉·狄金森 (1830 - 1886) 1.The usual beginning : her life 1) Born to religious, well-to-do New England family

2) Heartbreak :

?Well-behaved, well-educated, obedient ?Expected to become a graceful woman, marry well, and settle into a life of church service

?Heartbreak At 24, travels with her father to Washington D.C. Escaping her love of an older lawyer, who was married, and would die of tuberculosis that same year ?On the journey, falls in love with Charles Wadsworth, a married pastor of a church in Philadelphia In
1862, Wadsworth leaves for San Francisco, and Emily falls into despair 3) The Nun of Amherst : 阿默斯特的女尼

?Emily withdraws from social life – except for immediate family gatherings ?Dresses all in white – like the wedding gown she would never wear ?Communicates mostly through notes
4) A Published Poet :

?During her period of recluse, Emily send a few poems to be published. ?Her poetry was never widely admired during her lifetime ?and she assumed her audience would only be her family and few close friends. ? Dickinson asked that upon her death, all of her poems be destroyed.
5) After her death :

?She wrote altogether 1775 poems, of which only seven appeared in print in her lifetime. ?These were eventually published and Dickinson has become one of the most widely known of the
American poets. 2. Themes in her poetry 1). The largest poetry concerns death and immortality. For Dickinson, death leads to immortality.

?E. g: “Because I could not Stop for Death”
因为我不能为死神止步 Because I could Not Stop For Death 因为我不能为死神止步

?Beause I could not stop for Death—

?He kindly stopped for me—

?The Carriage held but just Ourselves—

?And Immortality.

?We slowly drove— He knew no haste,


?And I had put away ?My labor and my leisure too
我也把我的劳与闲 统统丢掉一边,

?For His Civility —

?We passed the School where Children strove

?At Recess —

in the Ring — 在休息时间,在圆形广场 我们走过在田间凝眸的麦田—.

?We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain— ?We passed the Setting Sun—

?Or rather— He passed Us—

?The Dews drew quivering and chill—

?For only Gossamer, my Gown—

?my Tippet —

only Tulle— 我的披肩如丝网

?We paused before a House that seemed

?A swelling of the Ground—

?The Roof was scarcely visible—

?The Cornice —

in the Ground— 屋檐—在地里 —

?Since then — `tis Centuries— and yet
离那时—已是几个世纪— 然而

?Feels shorter than the Day

?I first surmised the Horses' Heads

?我开始猜想着马车 ?Were toward Eternity— ?正驶向永恒—
该诗的核心意象是通向永恒的生命旅程. Journey of life:

?the School--childhood ?the Field --adult/maturity ?the Setting Sun - old age ?the grave - end of life’s journey-death--Eternity
Detailed analysis of the poem

?The first line hints that death is not the final stopping place or terminus of existence. ?i had...too:figuratively I put behind me the labour and toil of worldly existence.

Literally, as a courteous passenger she puts aside her work, possibly her knitting ("labour") and gives all her attention to the coach driver (Death).

?where...ring: they pass children at playtime ("recess") actively engaged in playing a game (symbolic of the world, and/or of meaningless worldly striving). ?fileds of
gazing grain: cornfields,perhaps suggestive of harvest, or the cycle of the seasons, the natural world she is leaving behind. ("Gazing" is nicely alliterative but difficult to explain to expain-may mean simply something gazed at through the carriage window).

?The dews: in the English culture, drew is traditionally associated with transience and also, because of a dew-drop's pearl like shape, with the soul. ?My tippet only tulle:my fur was only soft fine silk (I wore little to protect me from the cold). ?We...ground: a grave or tomb. ("paused"implies that burial in a grave signfied no more than a temporary restinplace before the soul attends to heaven). ?Since then 'tis centuries:time is meaningless in terms of eternity,and therefore it seems no time at all since she first suspected("surmised")that the horse drawing Death's carriage were heading for Eternity. ?"Surmised"is a beautifully apt word in this context because it tactfully suggeste something less than a certitude, but someting more than guess or conjecture-the sound of the word with its long drawn out second syllable counts for a good deal here(possibly about Cortez the explorer first viewing the continent of South America:"...and all his men Look'd at each other with a wild surmise..."). ?Other poems dealing with death: ?My life closed twice before its close 在我生命结束之前已经结束过两次 ?I heard a fly buzz—when I died 我死时听到了苍蝇的嗡嗡声 She began to conceive of the process
of dying. 2). She regards nature as both kind and cruel

?Extol the magnificence of sunrise in “I’ll tell you how sun rise”我将告诉你太阳如何升起, ?In the meantime, reveal the cold indifference of nature. ?In “Apparently with no surprise”显然地并无伴随惊讶 , Frost kills a happy flower without being
punished while both the sun and God look on. 3). On the ethical level she emphasizes free-will and human responsibility.

?In “To fight aloud” ?The individual’s highest duty is to resist anything that will do harm to man’s self-respect and spiritual
heritage. 4). Like Emerson, she holds that beauty, truth and goodness are ultimately one.

?In “I died for beauty”(我为美而死), discusses beauty and truth, concludes that the two are one.
I Died for Beauty — But was scarce

?I died for Beauty — but was scarce


Adjusted in the Tomb 适应坟墓里的生活, 这时一位为真理而死的人被安放在

?When One who died for Truth , was lain ?In an adjoining Room —

?He questioned softly"Why I failed?“

?"For Beauty ",I replied —

?"And I — for Truth — Themself are One —

?We Bretheren, are", He said —

?And so, as Kinsmen, met a Night —

?We talked between the Rooms —
我们隔墙 而谈,

?Unti the Moss had reached our
直到青苔把我们的嘴封闭, 将我们的名字掩埋。

lips —

?And covered up — our names —

5)Show concern for the social politics.


show sympathy for the poor and the weak in “The beggar lad dies early”(讨饭的小伙子夭逝了 attack over emphasis on materialism and commercialism, give warm response to the expansion of America. Styles of her poems Her poetry is famous for technical irregularities.

?Frequent use of dashes ?Irregular capitalization of nouns ?Ungrammatical phrasing ?off rhyme
部分的或不完全的押韵,通常只使用元音韵或辅音韵,如 dry 和 died

?Unconventional metaphor
Comparison: : Differences Walter Whitman 1. keep his eyes on society at large-- “national”—remarkable range of subjects 2. Language -- powerful, colorful with rarely-used words Dickinson 1.explores the inner life of the individual--“regional” — pays attention to only one region “New England” 2. concise, direct and simple diction and syntax Similarities: Both are pioneers in American poetry 1.thematically Both praised an emergent America, its expansion, its individualism and its Americanness. 2.technically Both added to the literary independence 1) breaking free of the convention of the iambic pentameter(五步抑扬格 五步抑扬格) 五步抑扬格 2) exhibiting a freedom in form

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