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美国文学14讲-诗歌赏析

3 The Wild Honey Suckle (P29) The Wild Honey Suckle
Philip Freneau

Fair flower, that dost so comely grow, Hid in this silent, dull retreat, Untouched thy honied blossoms blow, Unseen thy little branches greet: No roving foot shall crush thee here, No busy hand provoke a tear. By Nature's self in whitearrayed, She bade thee shun the vulgar eye, And planted here the guardian shade, And sent soft waters murmuring by; Thus quietly thy summer goes, Thy days declining to repose, Smit with those charms, that must decay, I grieve to see your future doom; They died - nor were those flowers more gay, The flowers that did in Eden bloom;

Unpitying frosts, and Autumn's power Shall leave no vestige of this flower. From morning suns and evening dews At first thy little being came: If nothing once, you nothing lose, For when you die you are the same; The space between, is but an hour, The frail duration of a flower.
1st stanza: The honey suckle lives an obscure, unknown, forgotten, serene, and safe life. 2nd stanza: The pure, innocent honey suckle is not contaminated by the vulgar eye of people and protected, embraced, and nurtured by Nature. 3rd stanza: grief upon the flower’s death 4th stanza: nothing gained, nothing lost

4. Success is counted sweetest

Success is counted sweetest By those who ne’er succeed. To comprehend a nectar Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple Host Who took the Flag to-day Can tell the definition, So clear, of victory,

As he, defeated, dying, On whose forbidden ear The distant strains of triumph Burst agonized and clear!

Interpretation: 1. Only those who desire success most can tell how sweet it is; and people who easily obtain success can hardly realize what it really means. 2. Even though the old-time fighters could not taste the sweetness of victory in all their life, they are those

who know what success really is. Compared with the present easy success winners, they deserve more respect. 3. In consideration of the poetess’s life experience and her temperament, here in this poem she may imply her determination to pursue or quest her ideal even though her value was not recognized at her time. That is to say, she firmly believes that even she was regarded as a loser at her time (few poems were published in her life), she herself clearly knows where she stands. 4. In a broader sense, the little poem can serve as a piece of encouragement for those who are struggling for and pursuing their dreams and ideals---- if what you are fighting for is meaningful, don’t give up, no matter what the result is. The easy success is not so sweet.

5. The Soul Selects Her Own Society The Soul selects her own Society--Then---shuts the door---

To her divine Majority--Present no more---

Unmoved ---she motes the Chariots---pausing--At her low Gate--Unmoved---an Emperor be kneeling Upon her Mat--I’ve known her---from an ample nation--Choose One--Then---close the Valves or her attention--Like Stone---

1)

the soul made its choice and wanted no more. This showed her resolution and determination.

2) 3)

Unmoved by any other temptation Since I have made my choice, I will stick to it and will never be tempted by other things.

Soul, one: art , poetry, love, ideal


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