Poem Appreciation: 第九讲—第十讲 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 he 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 第十四讲 A Psalm of Life (p102) by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow . Tell me not, in? mournful numbers, Life is but an empty dream! For the soul is? dead that slumbers, And things are not what they seem. . Life is real! Life is? earnest! And the grave is not its goal; Dust thou art, to dust returnest, Was not spoken of? the soul. . Not enjoyment, and not sorrow, Is our destined end? or way; But to act, that each? tomorrow Find us farther than today. . Art is long, and Time is fleeting, And our hearts,? though stout and brave, Still, like muffled? drums, are beating Funeral marches to the grave. . In the world's broad field of? battle, In the bivouac of? Life, Be not dumb, driven? cattle! Be a hero in the strife! . Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant! Let the dead Past? bury its dead! Act,~act in the? living Present! Heart within, and? God o'erhead! . Lives of great men all remind? us We can make our lives? sublime, And, departing, leave behind us Footprints on the sands of time; . Footprints, that perhaps another, Sailing o'er life's? solemn main, A forlorn and? shipwrecked brother, Seeing, shall take heart again. . Let us, then, be up and? doing, With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to? wait. 1st Stanza: If your soul is not keen,if it is dead, you will not sense the true feature or charm of the world, 2nd Stanza: Life is full of flesh and blood, beauty, charms, and meanings. We need to be enthusiastic towards life. It is not a course from birth to death; it has meanings and goals to strive for. It should be enriched. 3rd Stanza: We should enhance and improve ourselves continuously, and should not be stopped by temporary joy or sorrow. 4th Stanza: If there is no fire burning in our soul or heart, if we have no passion, we are just on the way to death, even though we are courageous or brave. 5th Stanza: Do not live passively, we should live in dignity, we should have an aim or cause to strive for. 6th Stanza: Don’t rely too much on the future, and not be obsessed by the past. Stick to your ideal fast, hold belief in your heart under the guidance of God. 7th Stanza: We can be great. 8th Stanza: What we have done or left behind us may cheer up and stimulate those lonely and frustrated fighters. What we do is of significance. 9th Stanza: We should begin (take action) now, with courage and confidence, to work hard and be patient. up: stand up, wake up. Heart: belief, resolution, steadfastness, courage For any fate: to face any destination 第十六讲( April 14, 2003) The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow The tide rises, the tide falls, The twilight darkens, the curlew calls; Along the sea-sands damp and brown The traveler hastens toward the town, And the tide roses, the tide falls. Darkness settles on roofs and walls, But the sea, the sea in the darkness calls; The little waves, with their soft, white hands, Efface the footprints in the sands, And the tide rises, and the tide falls. The morning breaks; the steeds in their stalls Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls; The day returns, but nevermore Returns the traveler to the shore, And the tide rises, the tide falls. Hey We just did this poem in my lit class. This poem is about life. The first stanza is actually talking about the walk through life hence the mention of the Traveller. The author uses the same line "And the tide rises and the tide falls" to show that nothing in life is for certain but the world and everything keeps going even after your death. The second stanza is talking about the ?process of death. He mentions the footprints because just like the water washes the prints away, life isn't permanent just as the prints weren't permanent. The 8th line of the poem has personification in it. " The little waves, with their soft, white hands" is personification. The third stanza is talking about the afterlife. The hostler is God and he calls his children home. We know that the traveller died ?because in lines 13-14 It says that the traveller never returned. And it says the day returns but the traveller does not. which goes back to what I said earlier. Nature is eternal but life is not. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was contemplating death when he wrote this poem. He died shortly after writing this poem. If you have any more questions about this poem or Longfellow you can email me at annaclassof2004@yahoo.com. I hope my explanation helped you understand this poem and I hope you have a wonderful day. Anna The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls 潮涨潮落 作者简介 朗费罗(1807-1882),美国诗人,生于美国波特兰,曾任哈佛大学近代语言教授[1836-1854],主要诗作有抒情诗集《夜吟》(Voices of the Night)、长篇叙事诗《伊凡吉林》(Evangeline)、《海华沙之歌》 (The Song of Hiawatha) 等。 The tide rises, the tide falls, The twilight darkens, the curlew calls; Along the sea — sands damp and brown The traveler hastens toward the town, And the tide rises, the tide falls.  ?  Darkness settles on roofs and walls, But the sea, the sea in the darkness calls; The little waves, with their soft, white hands, Efface the footprints in the sands, And the tide rises, the tide falls.  ?  The morning breaks; the steeds in their stalls Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls; The day returns, but never more Returns the traveler to the shore, And the tide rises, the tide falls.   潮涨,潮落, 暮色渐浓,麻鹬鸣叫; 沿着潮湿灰褐色沙滩, 行路人匆匆往城里赶, 潮涨,潮落。  ?  黑暗把屋顶墙壁笼罩, 但大海在黑暗中呼啸; 细浪白白的手,悄悄 把海滩上的脚印抹掉, 潮涨,潮落。  ?  破晓时分,厩中骏马 闻马夫唤,踏啼嘶鸣; 海岸边,白昼又来到, 但行人从此形去影消, 潮涨,潮落。  朗费罗的这首诗,既像写景诗,又不像写景诗。要说它不是写景诗吧,它的确描写了大海边的景色——黄昏时的大海边, 潮涨潮落,鸟鸣马嘶,有行人赶路,有黑暗笼罩的房屋,甚至连轻柔的白色浪花把沙滩上人的脚印抹掉这样的细节都写到了;要说它是写景诗吧,它却又多了一些别的东西,特别是前面说“行路人匆匆往城里赶”,后面又说他“从此形去影消”,似乎包含着某种哲理和对人生的感悟。当然,这不是说,写景诗就该是纯粹的写景,“情”与“景”,“理”与“景”常常是互相交融的;而是说它与一般的写景诗不同,它更多的是“理”的内涵。此诗的写作时间是1880年,这时作者已73岁,到了人生的暮年。因此可以说,这首诗是一位垂暮老人在一天中的垂暮时刻——黄昏,面对潮起潮落的壮阔大海,看到有人沿着沙滩匆匆走过,在抒发诸如“人生天地间,忽如远行客”(《古诗十九首》)或“人生寄一世,奄忽若飚尘”(老莱子)之类的感慨。而景则是寄寓这一“意”的“象”,故不妨称之为哲理意象诗。 以上的讨论,实际上已交待了这首诗的写作特点,即理景交融。这里还须指出的是,它的景都是“动态”的:从小的方面说,麻鹬鸣叫,行人赶路,马儿踏蹄嘶叫,细浪抹去脚印等是“动态”的;从大的方面说,时间的变化(“暮色渐浓”,“白昼又来到”),大海的潮涨潮落,更是“动态”的,尤其是“潮涨,潮落”这两句形成每一小节的burden(末尾的叠句),回环往复,给人以强烈的印象:一切都在变化着;加之“小”与“大”形成强烈的对比,更使人觉得天地的广阔,人的渺小;时光的无穷,人生的短暂。 Why does this poem disturb Salamanca so much? Ask how is her mother Chanhassan a "traveler"? Where is she going (Idaho to see her cousin) and why (to her cousins' house so she will tell her who she was "underneath" before being a wife and mother) (143)? Ask what "the shore" is…Ask why the repetition of "the tide rises, the tide falls"? Compare the poem to Chanhassan's tale explaining life and death."My mother once told me the Blackfoot story of Napi, the Old Man who created men and women. To decide if these new people should live forever or die, Napi selected a stone. 'If the stone floats,' he said 'You will live forever. If it sinks, you will die.' Napi dropped the stone in the water. It sank.. People die" (150)."The tide rises, the tide falls." "It sank. People die." Sal also reacts strongly to this legend about life and death, even before her mother dies. Why didn't Napi use a leaf? ? How is Salamanca a traveler and what is she looking for? She has illusions about finding her mother (p. 141 has some of her self-deceptions). "We were following along in her footsteps" (40). "It was only then, when I saw the stone and her name….that I knew, by myself and for myself, that she was not coming back" (268). How does she finally come to terms with the facts of life and death? "We didn't need to bring her body back because she is in the trees, the barn, the fields" (276). After the sheriff takes her to her mother's gravesite Sal says, "She isn't actually gone at all. She's singing in the trees" (268). The 1st stanza: When the it is getting late, a traveler hurries off along the sea-sands to somewhere. (Where does the traveler head for? What is he about to do?) The 2nd stanza: When night falls, when darkness permeate everywhere, when darkness swallows everything, something somewhere is calling. The traveler’s footprints are wiped out by the sea’s repetitive , rhythmic ,solemn, and steadfast action. (What does the sea call?) The 3rd stanza: Another new day begins, but the traveler does not return. ( Why? What is the whereabouts of the traveler?) tide: time history, the tempo or rhythm of history , secular events, a person’s (or a nation’s) ups and downs traveler: particular person who shows up once and disappears for ever, a short life, a mortal life, but also a person with a soul of quest; the representative of human beings, a spirit of quest and adventure. time: twilight—darkness--morning darkness: foreshadow of death, the power of destruction, swallowing, covering everything sea: an eternal call, eternity, the source of meanings, full of magic, fascinating but dangerous power which perches in the universe. bird: messenger of death, (different from the rooster) 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: 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. 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. 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. 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. 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--- the soul made its choice and wanted no more. This showed her resolution and determination. 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 Richard Cory? by Edwin Arlington Robinson Whenever Richard Cory went downtown, We people on the pavement looked at him: He was a gentleman from sole to crown, Clean favoured and imperially slim. clean favoured =? good looking "imperially (庄严地, 肃穆地)slim"? 1) What's the? connotation of that? ? And he was always quietly arrayed, And he was always human when he talked; But still he fluttered pulses when he said, "Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked. arrayed = dressed? in fine clothes flutter: 烦扰, 焦急不安 2) What does the?? word quietly imply? 3) Human?? (有同情心的, 有人性的) 4) What does "...fluttered pulses? when he said, 'Good Morning...'" mean? And he was rich – yes, richer than a king – And admirably schooled in every grace: In fine, we thought that he was everything To make us wish that we were in his place. 5) Would you want to? be Richard Cory? 6) There is one stanza left.? From what we know about? Richard Cory so far, predict? what the last stanza will be about.? So on we worked, and waited for the light, And went without the meat and cursed the bread; And Richard Cory, one calm summer night, Went home and put a bullet through his head Here we have a man's life-story distilled into sixteen lines. A dramatist would have been under the necessity of justifying the suicide by some train of events in which Richard Cory's character would have inevitably betrayed him. A novelist would have dissected the psychological effects of these events upon Richard Cory. The poet, with a more profound grasp of life than either, shows us only what life itself would show us; we know Richard Cory only through the effect of his personality upon those who were familiar with him. Therein(在那里) lies the ironic touch, which is intensified by the simplicity of the poetic form in which this tragedy is given expression Form in poetry, however, as has been said, involves not only adherence(忠实) to a central story or theme, but some kind of progress or development toward a final effect to which each particular part has made its particular contribution. A simple and famous illustration is Richard Cory . . . . We need not crush this little piece under a massive analysis; a few more or less obvious comments will suffice to show how carefully the poem is put together. The first two lines suggest Richard Cory's distinction(差别,特性), his separation from ordinary folk. The second two tell what it is in his natural appearance. The next two mention the habitual demeanor(行为, 风度) that elevates(提升) him still more in men's regard: his apparent lack of vanity, his rejection of the eminence(显赫, 出众) that his fellows would accord(授予,给予) him. At the beginning of the third stanza, "rich" might seem to be an anticlimax(突降法)—but not in the eyes of ordinary Americans; though, as the second line indicates, they would not like to have it thought that in their eyes wealth is everything. The last two lines of the stanza record a total impression of a life that perfectly realizes the dream that most men have of an ideal existence; while the first two lines of the last stanza bring us back with bitter emphasis to the poem's beginning, and the impassable gulf, for most people—but not, they think, for Richard Cory—between dream and fact. Thus the first fourteen lines are a painstaking preparation for the last two, with their stunning(足以使人晕倒的) overturn( 倾覆,颠倒) of the popular belief. To repeat this sort of analysis for each of Robinson's poems would be as profitless as tedious to most readers, who will want to do it themselves if they want it done at all. We may, however, dwell a little on some of the patterns that the poet likes to follow. And first of all, it is to be observed that the structure of Richard Cory—the steady build-up to the surprise ending in the last line, is not characteristic. This fact fits in with what was said about Robinson's handling of the sonnet, and the quiet, unhurried close that he most often gives it; as well as with what has been all along implied concerning his distaste for every sort of sensationalism(追求轰动效应). But sometimes, as in Richard Cory, a different turn of mind reveals itself, perhaps sprung from the perception that life does have surprises, that sometimes only at the very last do we find the key piece that makes the hitherto(至尽, 迄今) puzzling picture all at once intelligible. "Richard Cory" is perhaps the best-known example of his respect for the inaccessible recesses(深处, 隐秘处) of man’s inner being . . . The poem is a powerful statement of an inner, even if an undefined, tragedy in the life of one man. The external man the "people on the pavement" praised and envied and acknowledged; for Cory, to them, seemingly had everything. What private sense of failure, what personal recognition of his own inadequacy, or what secret unfulfilled longing drove Cory to suicide Robinson does not say; he leaves the reason for his readers to determine. But the crashing climactic(高潮的, 层进的) moment of the night that Richard Cory "went home and put a bullet through his head" appalls every reader with its suddenness. After he has recovered from his shock and has reflected upon the intensity(张力) of the poem created by the contrast of the somber people of the community on the one hand and the brilliant heroic stature(高度,形象,境界) of Cory on the other, the reader is left with a sharp sense of emptiness, of a life wasted, of failure kind of Cory's hidden agony. The suicide of Richard Cory is not, or ought not to be, a surprise. It is an inevitability(必然性), predetermined by the subjugation(压抑,克制) of selfhood. Even more significantly, however, the subjugated self reclaims(要求归还) itself in the act of suicide. Not that the poem recommends suicide as a way of asserting(宣称, 维护) individuality. Rather, it observes (观察,奉行)an extreme gesture in an extreme case. To see the poem in this way is to see it as neither bitter nor negative, at least not entirely so. We read ill if we cannot see that Richard Cory is granted an oblique(间接的) triumph at the end, for he has refused to suppose himself made happy by what "everyone" supposes will make him everyone happy. In short, Richard Cory’s self emerges neurotically(神经质地, 神经病地) perhaps; still it emerges triumphant over the imposed role of "success." The poet avoids the nineteenth-century, common-sense method of realistic characterization and gives us nothing of his subject’s motives or feelings. He sketches in Cory’s gentlemanliness and his wealth, but not his despondency(失去勇气, 失望), and he lets the suicide seal the identity of the man forever beyond our knowing or judging. On the other hand, he can characterize the chorus(大众, 合唱队) just because they lack individuality. So on we worked, and waited for the light, And went without the meat, and cursed the bread; And Richard Cory, one calm summer night, Went home and put a bullet through his head. They do not serve ,but only work and wait. Those who count over what they lack and fail to bless( 对…感恩) the good before their eyes are truly desperate. The blind see only what they can covet(desire) or envy. With their mean complaining, they are right enough about their being in darkness, and their dead-gray triviality illuminates by contrast Cory’s absolute commitment to despair. A wealthy man, admired and envied by those who consider themselves less fortunate than he, unexpectedly commits suicide. Cory's portrait is drawn for us by a representative man in the street, who depicts him as "imperially slim," "a gentleman from sole to crown," "richer than a king." An individual set apart from ordinary mortals, Cory is, in their opinion, a regal(帝王的) figure in contrast to his admiring subjects(国民), "the people on the pavement." This contrast between Cory and the people, seemingly weighted in favor of Cory in the first three stanzas, is the key to the poem. Nowhere are we given direct evidence of Cory's real character; we are given only the comments of the people about him, except for his last act, which speaks for itself. Ironically, Cory's suicide brings about a complete reversal of roles in the poem. As Cory is dethroned the people are correspondingly elevated. The contrast between the townspeople and Cory is continued in the last stanza. The people worked, and waited for the light, And went without the meat, and cursed the bread; but they went on living. Cory, wealthy as he was, did not live; instead, be "put a bullet through his head." This occurred "one calm summer night." Calm, that is, to the people, not to Cory. Because the people "went without the meat, and cursed the bread," it might seem that life was both difficult and meaningless to them. But difficulty is not to be equated with meaninglessness; in fact, Robinson is suggesting just the opposite. "Meat" and "bread" carry biblical overtones that remind us that man does not live by bread alone. It is "the light" that gives meaning. In opposition to meat and bread, symbols of physical nourishment and material values, light suggests a spiritual sustenance of greater value. As such it clarifies the intent of the poem, for it reveals the inner strength of the people and the inadequacy of Cory. Belief in the light is the one thing the people had; it is the one thing Cory lacked. Life for him was meaningless because he lacked spiritual values; he lived only on a material level. Once this is realized, the characteristics attributed to Cory in the first three stanzas take on added significance and become even more ironic: He was "a gentleman from sole to crown" (appearance and manner); he was "clean favored" and "slim" (physical appearance); he was "quietly arrayed" (dress); he was "human when he talked" (manner); he "glittered" (appearance); he was "rich" (material possessions); he was "schooled in every grace" (manner). "Glittered" not only emphasizes the aura(气味.味道.光环) of regality(君权,王位) and wealth but also suggests the speciousness of Cory. Even his manner is not a manifestation of something innate but only a characteristic that has been acquired ("admirably schooled"). All these details are concerned with external qualities only. The very things that served to give Cory status also reveal the inner emptiness that led him to take his own life. As "Richard Cory" is only sixteen lines, we scarce need be reminded at the beginning that because of its compactness each word becomes infinitely important. While stanza one introduces the narrator, more importantly it emphasizes his limited view of Richard Cory. Line one introduces us to Cory while line two establishes that the narrator has only an external view of Cory. From this viewpoint, then, the narrator proceeds to make an assortment of limited value judgements. Richard Cory resembles a king ("crown," "imperially slim," and "richer than a king") ; obviously the speaker’s imagery (as well as movement in "sole to crown") reveal his concerns with Cory’s status and wealth (further emphasized by "glittered"). The speaker’s use of anglicisms(英国惯用法) ("pavement," "sole to crown," "schooled," and "in fine") pictures Cory as "an English king;" thus, the narrator can be seen expressing prejudices in terms of nationalistic pride. Stanza two, however, appears to contrast and even contradict the previously established viewpoint. Lines five and six offer a different wording from any other lines as the "And he was always . . ." contrast with "(And) he was. . ." of lines three, nine, and eleven where the emphasis is on Cory’s regal nature; not only the repetition of a similar structure in successive lines but also the addition of the word "always" suggest that while external appearances seem eternal verities, they are only temporary illusions. Whereas Richard Cory seems at times like a king the narrator admits he is always "quietly arrayed" and "human." Thus, the speaker appears to contradict himself, or, more exactly, state the truth about Richard Cory: Cory is not a king; he is human. The narrator then confesses to his own hyperbole, his own exaggerated viewpoint of the man. In the next lines the narrator even acknowledges ("But still") the collective fault of the people; the lines might be paraphrased as follows: even though we knew deep inside us Cory was human, something else inside compelled us to blow up his proportions ("he fluttered pulses" and "he glittered"). The narrator admits essentially to this view in lines eleven and twelve: In fine, we thought that he was everything To make us wish that we were in his place. Why the people feel such a need has already been suggested by the representative narrator’s types of envy. Charles Burkhart remarks that their view of Cory is "a familiar illusion which brightens their drab lives." Yet even these reasons conceal the deepest motivations. In fact, to understand the final effects of Cory on the people we need to see precisely what other information the narrator reveals and place it in its proper perspective. In light of the narrator’s attitude line one establishes that it is Richard Cory who comes down town; in other words, Richard Cory makes an attempt to communicate with the people. His activity contrasts with their passivity or stasis(停滞) ("on we worked and waited"). Consonant with his general communicative attempts in line eight the very "human" Richard Gory tries to talk with the people. As nowhere in the poem is it suggested that the people try to come to Richard Cory, nowhere is it either intimated that they approach him, much less respond to him. Quite simply the people have erected a barrier around themselves and their only reaction to Cory is stasis and silence. The phrase "when he talked" even suggests that Cory makes more than a taken effort. The importance of communication is revealed through a familiar Robinson image? light. In line thirteen the speaker claims the people "waited for the light" but in line eight the narrator has admitted that Richard Gory "glittered." We need not be reminded by Charles T. Davis that light in the early Robinson represents "the perception of spiritual truth" and in the later Robinson, "the understanding or truth in human relationships" to see that Richard Cory becomes a Promethean figure bringing the word of the necessity of human communication for survival. Cory, not the people, then, is the man of spiritual values (such a context is suggested by the obvious religious overtones of "meat," "bread," and "light"). The first three stanzas are not, as Wallace Anderson believes, "seemingly weighted in favor of Cory;" they are weighted in favor of Cory. Richard Cory’s suicide can thus be seen in a different light. Instead of suicide because of "inner emptiness" or "an absolute commitment to despair," or because he was "sick," we are presented with a case of regicide(弑君); the townspeople with some degree of consciousness have extinguished the light. The irony of the ending, then, is not that the people were endowed with greater values than Cory or that simply they failed to understand his message, or even that the light they sought glowed in their midst all the time. The irony is that through their own mental prejudices and unfounded exaggerations the people, like eagles, claw at Prometheus so that the chains of inhumanity imprison him forever; it matters not that it is Cory who pulls the trigger since the people have pointed a weapon at his temple. Furthermore, it is probative to examine the speaker’s voice to establish the results of enforced alienation. The tone of the last two lines is pure matter-of-factness; nowhere does the narrator betray any emotion over Cory’s death, and we might go so far as to say there is a certain satisfaction in the narrator’s voice. Whereas the narrator had once looked up at Richard Cory’s "crown," he now looks down at simply "his head." Appropriately the poem closes in darkness. I death; its melancholy, upon our recognising that Cory - for all his privileges - is as acutely isolated and spiritually starved as anyone else. 'There is more in every person's soul than we think', Robinson observed once, 'Even the happy mortals we term ordinary . . . act their own mental tragedies and live a far deeper and wider life than we are inclined to believe possible in the light of our prejudices'. This is precisely the lesson that the 'we' of the poem, Cory's neighbours in Tilbury Town, never learn: the night on which Cory shoots himself remains 'calm' in their view, and the use of that word only underlines the distance between him and them. Richard Cory, the wealthiest man in town, whose wealth, instead of making him happy, only makes him envied by the townspeople and isolated from them. He is a success in their eyes but a failure in his own, as we judge from the fact that, despite his high position in the town, he commits suicide. The motive for his suicide remains a mystery, for Robinson portrays him only from the outside, from the view of those who admired him and "thought that he was everything / To make us wish that we were in his place." Since the reason for his death can never be fathomed, Richard Cory is one of Robinson’s best-known but most enigmatic characters. No matter how many times they are read, the final lines of the poem "Richard Cory" never lose the shock of his sudden and unexpected end: And Richard Cory, one calm summer night, Went home and put a bullet through his head. Was it his conspicuous wealth, his lonely existence without family or kin, or perhaps some secret crime he committed that led him to take his own life? We never know; what we are left with is the darkness inside his soul, which only grows more impenetrable as one reflects on it. Robinson keeps himself out of the poem, letting it be told by the people of the town, the "we" who are left to puzzle it out at the end. Despite having a name symbolic of a noble family—Richard Cory rhymes with glory and evokes the name of Richard Coeur de Lion—Cory’s death leaves behind no other "king" in Tilbury Town. Anecdote(奇闻,轶事) of the Jar I placed a jar in Tennessee, And round it was, upon a hill. It made the slovenly wilderness Surround that hill The wilderness rose up to it, And sprawled around, no longer wild. The jar round upon the ground And tall and of a port in air It took dominion everywhere. The jar was gray and bare. It did not give of bird or bush Like nothing else in Tennessee. Interpretation: the setting is the wild, chaotic and Tennessee, a symbol of the world of nature. Then “I” of the poem places in it a tall, round jar, a man-made object, a symbol of the world of art, and by extension, it controls the whole disorderly landscape, so that “The wilderness rose up to it, / And sprawled around , no longer wild.” The poem seems to talk about the relationship between art and nature. The world of nature, shapeless and slovenly, takes shape and order from the presence of the jar. The world of art and imagination gives form and meaning to that of nature and reality, this suggesting that any society without art is one without order and that man makes the order he perceives, and the world he inhabits is one he half creates On the other hand the world of reality exists to determine the limits of art, and imagination can construct only on the basis of the world of nature. Stevens manages to keep a balance between art and life in his creative work. It is true that the jar imposes order and form on the sprawling wilderness around, but the two concluding lines, “It did not give of bird or bush,/Like nothing else in Tennessee”, render the jar something dependent on the physical world as its “central reference.” The Red Wheelbarrow So much depends Upon A red wheel Barrow Glazed with rain water beside the white chickens. Interpretations: the poem appeals to the imagination because it forces it to visualize and derive an aesthetic pleasure from the contemplation which is the reading of the poem. Separately placed in their lines, words as simple as “upon”, “barrow” “water, and chickens assume immediate significance of a kind which they would otherwise not have possessed by any other means. With the animate juxtaposed with the inanimate, and the white color in contrast with the red; here we have in our minds’ eye meaningful textures and clear, delightful colors. We become aware that it is important to perceive them to make life fuller, and that so much depends on how we perceive them both in our life and in our writing of poetry. 2003.3.12