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.).
这篇文章改编自玛丽·乔·索尔特的《一个人的诗》，她在书中讨论了女权主义文学评论家对女性写作的重新评价。这篇文章摘自“观众与意图：参考书”(©1994 Macmillan College Publishing Company，Inc.)。
A POEM OF OWN'S(一首自己的诗)
「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.
伊丽莎白主教所选择的解决问题的解决方案最为解放。正如詹姆斯•梅里尔(James Merrill)所写的那样，“洛厄尔把她称为“四位最优秀的女诗人之一”， 这并不能让让主教满意，因为她一直把自己的作品从“女性”的作品中保留出来选集。从她的角度来看，最好是四万或四万的最好的诗人，并且已经做到了。” 他补充说，“如果我提出这个问题，那就是把她从这些陈腐的行当中分离出来。”对于工作的诗人来说，无性征日落或性别不确定的甲虫而言，这种两极分化确实是陈腐的，但也许作为读者，我们可能会更进一步地追求这个问题。对于这两个不平等的清单，我们可以做的一件事是读过去从未读过多少书的女诗人，去发现他们是否值得去读。
「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.
毕竟，艾米莉·迪金森(Emily Dickinson)永远不会成为世界上最受尊敬的诗人之一，她的姐姐拉维尼娅(Lavinia)并没有从一个梳妆台的抽屉里把她的诗拯救出来;而她的编辑梅布尔·鲁姆斯(Mabel Loomis)则不费力地用一台奇怪的打字机把几乎难以辨认的碎片抄写下来。海伦·亨特·杰克逊(Helen Hunt Jackson)，这个曾经被人称颂的诗人，现在被遗忘了，他的作品是迪金森自己所钦佩的，在这个故事中，她是另一个“姐妹”，因为她自己完全了解迪金森的天赋。杰克逊写信给迪金森，敦促她出版，信中这样写道：“你是一个伟大的诗人，但你却不会大声歌唱，你的生活方式是不正确的。当你被人称为死人的时候，你会后悔自己这么小气。”这件事情成为了美国文学史上最感人的时刻之一。然而，然而。我们很多人都喜欢迪金森的另一个原因是，我们喜欢她的故事。迪金森一定是有史以来最幸运的伟大作家之一。她选择了独立生活，这意味着她从文学人群的腐败中得到了拯救;没有一个丈夫不屑地拍拍她的头，没有一个孩子打扰她，当她的生活结束时，一个学科团队确保了她的不朽。如果我们做必要的工作来重新评估文学“佳能”，如果我们把一些新女性的名字加入到阅读名单中，然而我们将不得不接受会有比拉维尼娅·迪金森更不引人注目的发现，而且我们不能期望他们出现的频率。
「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：这道题的正确答案是H。从“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，“如果我们承认女性所写的诗歌质量不够，我们就可以更容易地发现为什么这是如此，并帮助我们改变现状。”
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：这道题的正确答案是A。10-17行即是文中标黄的地方，从“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” 了解到答案选A。詹姆斯·梅里尔尊重伊丽莎白·的诗歌，希望对她的诗歌的反应不会因性别问题而复杂化。
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：这道题的正确答案是F。从“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.”我们知道杰克逊、写信迪金森鼓励她出版洛米斯·陶德“用一台奇怪的打字机，煞费苦心地转录了几乎难以辨认的碎片、拉维妮娅·迪金森从一个梳妆台抽屉的朦胧中拯救了诗歌。
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：这道题的正确答案是E。从“If we set up one writer against another, aren't we giving in to . . . the adversarial mentality of patriarchal culture”了解到作者认为级、计数和分类是一种竞争性的方式，而非生产性的。”
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：这道题的正确答案是C。lines 65–76为文中标红的地方。从“Who's to say what is best, who's to say what is relevant”了解到作者想知道谁决定了“什么是好的”。
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：这道题的正确答案是H。从“wrote to Dickinson urging her to publish”了解到杰克逊希望迪金森能与广大观众分享她的伟大诗歌。
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:
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