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She Walks in Beauty的英文鉴赏


The Appreciation of She Walks in Beauty
Byron is one of the most excellent representatives of English Romanticism and one of the most influential poets of the time. His literary career was closely linked with the struggle and progressive movements of his age. He opposed oppression and slavery, and has an ardent (passionate) love for liberty. He praised the people’s revolutionary struggles in his works. His poems are favorites of

the British workers and the laboring people of other countries. Byron’s poems show energy and vigor, romantic daring (bold, brave) and powerful passion. He stands with Shakespeare and Scott among the British writers who exert the greatest influence over the mainland Europe and the Chinese youth greatly. But some critics think many of his lines are harsh (unkind), rugged (rough) and not rhythmical. Some poems show his individual heroism and pessimism. "She Walks in Beauty” is frequently considered one of his most powerful works.It is an eighteen-line poem, much shorter than Byron's famous narrative poems, like Childe Harold's Pilgrimage or Don Juan. But despite its relative brevity, "She Walks in Beauty" has become one of the most well-known and easily recognized poems written by Byron. It is a lyric poem centering on the extraordinary beauty of a young lady. Lord Byron wrote the poem in

1814 and published it in a collection, Hebrew Melodies, in 1815. As the name of the volume suggests, the poems in that volume were written to be set to music. On the evening of June 11, 1814, Byron attended a party with his friend, James Wedderburn Webster, at the London home of Lady Sarah Caroline Sitwell. Among the other guests was the wife of Byron’s cousin, the beautiful Mrs. Anne Beatrix Wilmot, who was newly widowed and wore a black mourning gown brighten with spangles. Her exquisite good looks dazzled Byron and inspired him to write “She Walks in Beauty.” As the title says, She walks in beauty, the main theme of the poem is the description of a lady, the enumeration of certain qualities that the author considers give her beauty. The introduction of the verb to “walk” in the title is important because it gives connotations of advancing, not only in space but also in time. It makes reference to the movement of walking, introducing the reader this way into a reading which is going to be constant through out the entire poem. The poem uses images of light and darkness interacting to describe the wide spectrum of elements in a beautiful woman's personality and looks. Unlike common love poetry, which makes the claim that its subject is filled with beauty, this poem describes its subject as

being possessed by beauty. This woman does have beauty within her, but it is to such a great degree that she is actually surrounded by it, like an aura. To some extent, her positive attributes create her beauty, and so the poem makes a point of mentioning her goodness, her serenity, and her innocence, which all have a direct causal effect on her looks. The three six-line stanzas of this poem all follow the same rhyme scheme and the same metrical pattern. There are only six rhyming sounds in this eighteen-line poem because the poem rhymes ababab, cdcdcd, efefef . Oftentimes poets use their poetic structures to mirror what the poem's chief concerns are. Poetic form—stanzas and meter—and content—what the poem's subject is—are almost always related. The meter is also very

regular—iambic tetrameter. The pairing of two rhyming sounds in each stanza works well because the poem concerns itself with the two forces—darkness and light—at work in the woman's beauty, and also the two areas of her beauty—the internal and the external. The rhyming words themselves, especially in the first stanza, have importance: notice how "night" rhymes with its opposites, "light" and "bright," in the same way that this woman contains the two opposing forces in her particular type of beauty.

The first couple of lines can be confusing if not read properly. Too often readers stop at the end of the first line where there is no punctuation. This is an enjambed line, meaning that it continues without pause onto the second line. That she walks in beauty like the night may not make sense as night represents darkness. However, as the line continues, the night is a cloudless one with bright stars to create a beautiful mellow glow. The first two lines bring together the opposing qualities of darkness and light that are at play throughout the three verses. The remaining lines of the first verse employ another set of enjambed lines that tell us that her face and eyes combine all that's best of dark and bright. No mention is made here or elsewhere in the poem of any other physical features of the lady. The focus of the vision is upon the details of the lady's face and eyes which reflect the mellowed and tender light. She has a remarkable quality of being able to contain the opposites of dark and bright. The third and fourth lines are not only enjambed, but the fourth line begins with an irregularity in the meter called a metrical substitution. The fourth line starts with an accented syllable followed by an unaccented one, rather than the iambic meter of the other lines, an unaccented syllable followed by an accented one. The result is that the word "Meet" receives attention, an emphasis.

The lady's unique feature is that opposites "meet" in her in a wonderful way. The second verse tells us that the glow of the lady's face is nearly perfect. The shades and rays are in just the right proportion, and because they are, the lady possesses a nameless grace. This conveys the romantic idea that her inner beauty is mirrored by her outer beauty. Her thoughts are serene and sweet. She is pure and dear. The last verse is split between three lines of physical description and three lines that describe the lady's moral character. Her soft, calm glow reflects a life of peace and goodness. This is a repetition, an emphasis, of the theme that the lady's physical beauty is a reflection of her inner beauty. Lord Byron greatly admired his cousin's serene qualities on that particular night and he has left us with an inspired poem. Before you go any further, we should warn you: "She Walks in Beauty" is not a love poem. Sure, it's a celebration of a woman's beauty, but the speaker never says he's in love with her. He just thinks she's really, really gorgeous. The poem is about an unnamed woman. She's really quite striking, and the speaker compares her to lots of beautiful, but dark, things, like "night" and "starry skies." The second stanza continues to use the contrast between light and

dark, day and night, to describe her beauty. We also learn that her face is really "pure" and "sweet." The third stanza wraps it all up – she's not just beautiful, she's "good" and "innocent," to boot. The theme of the poem is the woman's exceptional beauty, internal as well as external. The first stanza praises her physical beauty. The second and third stanzas praise both her physical and spiritual, or intellectual, beauty. Byron presents an ethereal portrait of the young woman in the first two stanzas by contrasting white with black and light with shadow in the same way that nature presents a portrait of the firmament—and the landscape below—on a cloudless starlit evening. He tells the reader in line 3 that she combines “the best of dark and bright” (bright here serving as a noun rather than an adjective) and notes that darkness and light temper each other when they meet in her raven hair. Byron's words thus turn opposites into compeers working together to celebrate beauty.


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