This passage is adapted from “A Poem of One’s Own,“ an essay by Mary Jo Salter in which she discusses feminist literary critics’ recent reappraisal of women’s writing. The essay was taken from Audiences and Intentions: A Book of Arguments (©1994 by Macmillan College Publishing Company, Inc.).
這篇文章改編自瑪麗·喬·索爾特的《壹個人的詩》，她在書中討論了女權主義文學評論家對女性寫作的重新評價。這篇文章摘自“觀眾與意圖：參考書”(©1994 Macmillan College Publishing Company，Inc.)。
A POEM OF OWN’S(壹首自己的詩)
「1」The time is overdue to admit that there is something of a vacuum in women’s poetry, and that we abhor it. For a woman to concede this is not disloyal to her sex; it’s the first step in the creation of an environment in which women artists will flourish. But what can be done about the fact that the list of beloved women poets is not as long as the list of beloved poets who were born male?
「2」The most liberating response to the problem was the one Elizabeth Bishop chose. As James Merrill writes, “Lowell called her one of the four best women poets ever—which can hardly have pleased Miss Bishop, who kept her work from appearing in ‘women’s anthologies.’ Better, from her point of view, to be one of the forty, or forty thousand, best poets, and have done with it.” And he adds, “If I raise the issue at all,it’s to dissociate her from these shopworn polarities.” For the working poet, moved by the sexless sunset or the sex-indeterminate beetle, the polarities are indeed shopworn, but perhaps as readers we may pursue the issue an inch further. For one thing that we can do about these two unequal lists is to read women poets of the past who have never been much read and to discover whether or not they deserve to be.
伊麗莎白主教所選擇的解決問題的解決方案最為解放。正如詹姆斯•梅裏爾(James Merrill)所寫的那樣，“洛厄爾把她稱為“四位最優秀的女詩人之壹”， 這並不能讓讓主教滿意，因為她壹直把自己的作品從“女性”的作品中保留出來選集。從她的角度來看，最好是四萬或四萬的最好的詩人，並且已經做到了。” 他補充說，“如果我提出這個問題，那就是把她從這些陳腐的行當中分離出來。”對於工作的詩人來說，無性征日落或性別不確定的甲蟲而言，這種兩極分化確實是陳腐的，但也許作為讀者，我們可能會更進壹步地追求這個問題。對於這兩個不平等的清單，我們可以做的壹件事是讀過去從未讀過多少書的女詩人，去發現他們是否值得去讀。
「3」Emily Dickinson, after all, would never have become one of the most revered poets in the world had her sister Lavinia not rescued her poems from the obscurity of a dresser drawer; and had her editor Mabel Loomis Todd not painstakingly transcribed nearly illegible scraps using a bizarre typewriter. Helen Hunt Jackson, that once celebrated, now forgotten poet whose work Dickinson herself admired, was another “sister” in this story, for she alone fully understood Dickinson’s gifts. Jackson wrote to Dickinson urging her to publish: “You are a great poet—and it is wrong to the day you live in, that you will not sing aloud,” her letter went. “When you are what men call dead, you will be sorry you were so stingy.” That has to be one of the most moving moments in American literary history. And yet, and yet. Another reason many of us are devoted to Dickinson is that we love the romance of her story. Dickinson has to be one of the luckiest great writers who ever lived. She chose to live in isolation, which meant she was saved from the corruption of the literary crowd; no husband ever patted her head dismissively, no child ever interrupted her, and when her life was finished a team of disciples ensured her immortality. If we do the necessary work of reappraising the literary “canon,” and if we add some new women’s names to the reading list, we will nonetheless have to settle for discoveries less dramatic than Lavinia Dickinson’s, and we can’t expect them to appear with frequency.
畢竟，艾米莉·迪金森(Emily Dickinson)永遠不會成為世界上最受尊敬的詩人之壹，她的姐姐拉維尼婭(Lavinia)並沒有從壹個梳妝臺的抽屜裏把她的詩拯救出來;而她的編輯梅布爾·魯姆斯(Mabel Loomis)則不費力地用壹臺奇怪的打字機把幾乎難以辨認的碎片抄寫下來。海倫·亨特·傑克遜(Helen Hunt Jackson)，這個曾經被人稱頌的詩人，現在被遺忘了，他的作品是迪金森自己所欽佩的，在這個故事中，她是另壹個“姐妹”，因為她自己完全了解迪金森的天賦。傑克遜寫信給迪金森，敦促她出版，信中這樣寫道：“妳是壹個偉大的詩人，但妳卻不會大聲歌唱，妳的生活方式是不正確的。當妳被人稱為死人的時候，妳會後悔自己這麽小氣。”這件事情成為了美國文學史上最感人的時刻之壹。然而，然而。我們很多人都喜歡迪金森的另壹個原因是，我們喜歡她的故事。迪金森壹定是有史以來最幸運的偉大作家之壹。她選擇了獨立生活，這意味著她從文學人群的腐敗中得到了拯救;沒有壹個丈夫不屑地拍拍她的頭，沒有壹個孩子打擾她，當她的生活結束時，壹個學科團隊確保了她的不朽。如果我們做必要的工作來重新評估文學“佳能”，如果我們把壹些新女性的名字加入到閱讀名單中，然而我們將不得不接受會有比拉維尼婭·迪金森更不引人註目的發現，而且我們不能期望他們出現的頻率。
「4」For the fact is that we can’t have it both ways. We can’t simultaneously espouse the line that women haven’t until recently been allowed the depth of education and experience to become Shakespeare, while also claiming that we really have an abundance of Shakespeares, if anybody would just take the time to read us.
「5」But what is all this rating and counting and classifying of authors about anyway? If we set up one writer against another, aren’t we giving in to what some feminists tell us is the adversarial mentality of patriarchal culture? We may think of Matthew Arnold’s view of the function of criticism—“to learn and propagate the best that is known and thought”—and squirm in our chairs: Who’s to say what is best, who’s to say what is relevant?
「6」Theoretically, these questions are of some interest. Practically speaking, most of us who are habitual readers of poetry already have an answer. While acknowledging our profound differences of taste, we never doubt that there are good poems and terrible poems, and that the good ones are the only ones we have time for.
「7」What else can be done about the fact that the list of the best women poets is not as long as the men’s list? In addition to looking closely for unjustly neglected women, one might question whether some men poets have been overrated. I think, for some reason, of poets whose names contain double Ws—William Wordsworth, Walt Whitman, William Carlos Williams—and while I would be sorry to throw out the entire oeuvre of them, I confess that each of these poets has at times bored me to tears.
「8」The problem with taking men poets down a peg, however, is that it’s hard to do so with discernment. The zeal to undo, immediately, the centuries of neglect and abuse endured by women poets has resulted in the devaluation of great poets who were born male and (far worse) in the devaluation of poetry itself.
1)Which of the following most fully lists solutions considered by the author to the problem that the list of beloved women poets is not nearly as long as the list of beloved men poets?
A.Reading women poets who have never been read, rejecting the writing of those whose names contain double Ws, and redefining what’s good about the literary canon.
B.Reappraising the literary canon, adding new women’s names to the list, weighing the importance of some male poets, and reading work by women as yet not widely read.
C.Questioning the importance of some male poets, encouraging readers to study women’s journals, and creating a world in which women will flourish.
D.Promoting the best work of current women writers, rediscovering older writers, reappraising Matthew Arnold’s view of criticism, and acknowledging differences in literary taste.
2) Which of the following sentences best summarizes the first paragraph?
E.It is disloyal to encourage women to write, and to ask: Why do male poets flourish more readily than female poets?
F.We must ask why there are so few women writers; perhaps asking this question will help create a women-centered culture.
G.It can be liberating to ask questions such as: What can be done about the fact that there are fewer beloved male poets than female poets?
H.If we admit that there is not enough quality poetry written by women, it can make it easier to discover why this is so, and help us change the situation.
解析：這道題的正確答案是H。從“The time is overdue to admit that there is something of a vacuum in women’s poetry”和“But what can be done”知道答案是H，“如果我們承認女性所寫的詩歌質量不夠，我們就可以更容易地發現為什麽這是如此，並幫助我們改變現狀。”
3) It may reasonably be inferred from lines 10–17 that James Merrill respected Elizabeth Bishop’s poetry:
A.and wished that reaction to her poems had not been complicated by gender issues.
B.but was disturbed by her refusal to be included in women’s anthologies.
C.but felt she should be more concerned with women’s issues.
D.and was glad she was one of the four best women poets ever.
解析：這道題的正確答案是A。10-17行即是文中標黃的地方，從“which refers back to his discussion of Bishop having wanted to be “one of the forty, or forty thousand, best poets”和 “not be polarized by gender as “one of the four best women poets” 了解到答案選A。詹姆斯·梅裏爾尊重伊麗莎白·的詩歌，希望對她的詩歌的反應不會因性別問題而復雜化。
4)According to the third paragraph (lines 25–39), Emily Dickinson’s career was helped by Helen Hunt Jackson, who:
E.published her; Mabel Loomis Todd, who transcribed her writing; and Lavinia Dickinson, who discovered her poems in a cabinet.
F.encouraged her; Mabel Loomis Todd, who transcribed her work using a bizarre machine; and Lavinia Dickinson, who rescued her work from oblivion.
G.encouraged her sister to keep writing; Mabel Loomis Todd, who convinced her to use a typewriter; and Lavinia Dickinson, who rescued her poems from a dresser drawer.
H.taught her; Mabel Loomis Todd, who translated her writing into English; and Lavinia Dickinson, who introduced her poems to the public.
解析：這道題的正確答案是F。從“Emily Dickinson, after all, would never have become one of the most revered poets in the world had her sister Lavinia not rescued her poems from the obscurity of a dresser drawer; and had her editor Mabel Loomis Todd not painstakingly transcribed nearly illegible scraps using a bizarre typewriter.”我們知道傑克遜、寫信迪金森鼓勵她出版洛米斯·陶德“用壹臺奇怪的打字機，煞費苦心地轉錄了幾乎難以辨認的碎片、拉維妮婭·迪金森從壹個梳妝臺抽屜的朦朧中拯救了詩歌。
5)Which of the following most clearly distinguishes between the “two ways” suggested by the author’s assertion that “we can’t have it both ways” (line 54)?
A.Women haven’t until recently been allowed to see the depths in Shakespeare, but nobody bothers to read Shakespeare anyway.
B.Women haven’t written as well as men because they’ve been too busy being spouses, but nobody takes time to read women writers anyway.
C.Women haven’t written as well as men because they have not had the same educational opportunities, yet there are many great women writers no one reads.
D.Women have always had an abundance of Shakespeares, yet have not experienced the kind of education it takes to appreciate Shakespeare.
6)The author feels that “all this rating and counting and classifying of authors”is:
E.an example of giving in to a competitive approach to literature, which the author feels is counterproductive.
F.an example of an approach to literature that feminists have supported and should continue to support.
G.at odds with Matthew Arnold’s view of the function of criticism, a view that the author endorses.
H.important, especially if it helps eliminate the entire oeuvre of writers whose names contain double Ws.
解析：這道題的正確答案是E。從“If we set up one writer against another, aren’t we giving in to . . . the adversarial mentality of patriarchal culture”了解到作者認為級、計數和分類是壹種競爭性的方式，而非生產性的。”
7)Which of the following best states the author’s response to Matthew Arnold’s view of the function of criticism (lines 65–76)?
A.It makes her reflect on why criticism is always so negative, yet she knows that most people don’t read criticism.
B.It makes her uncomfortable because so many respect Matthew Arnold, yet she realizes his ideas about poetry are now irrelevant.
C.It makes her wonder who decides what is good, yet she knows most readers think they know what good poetry is an don’t have time to read bad poetry.
D.It makes her question why more women don’t read Matthew Arnold, yet she realizes that few women today would find Arnold’s views engaging.
解析：這道題的正確答案是C。lines 65–76為文中標紅的地方。從“Who’s to say what is best, who’s to say what is relevant”了解到作者想知道誰決定了“什麽是好的”。
8)Which of the following most nearly paraphrases Helen Hunt Jackson’s statement to Emily Dickinson that “it is wrong to the day you live in, that you will not sing aloud” (lines 35–36)?
E.It is morally reprehensible of you not to let other poets read your work.
F.It is unacceptable for you to continue writing; you should become a singer.
G.It is stingy and wrong of you not to read out loud to those who like your work.
H.It is unfair to this age that you do not share your poetry with the world.
解析：這道題的正確答案是H。從“wrote to Dickinson urging her to publish”了解到傑克遜希望迪金森能與廣大觀眾分享她的偉大詩歌。
9)It may reasonably be inferred that the author considers Emily Dickinson “one of the luckiest great writers who ever lived” (lines 42–43) in part because:
A.her writing was discovered in such a dramatic way by her editor.
B.she lived such a romantic life, dressing in white and enjoying many suitors.
C.she was never interrupted by her disciples.
D.she lived in isolation, which allowed her much time to writ
10)The last paragraph suggests that those who would reevaluate, and perhaps want to devalue, the work of famous male poets should above all be:
科學題材的文章邏輯性都比較強，闡述的過程都非常之嚴謹。所以在瀏覽的過程中，也要註意文章中語義的起合轉成。特別是像but, yet, however…這樣表示轉折的詞。