Self-Reliance Ralph Waldo Emerson "Man is his own star; and the soul that can Render an honest and a perfect man, Commands all light, all influence, all fate; Nothing to
him falls early or too late. Our acts our angels are, or good or ill, Our fatal shadows that walk by us still." Epilogue to Beaumont and Fletcher's Honest Man's Fortune
There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried. Not for nothing one face, one character, one fact, makes much impression on him, and another none. This sculpture in the memory is not without preestablished harmony. The eye was placed where one ray should fall, that it might testify of that particular ray. We but half express ourselves, and are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents. It may be safely trusted as
proportionate and of good issues, so it be faithfully imparted, but God will not have his work made manifest by cowards. A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best; but what he has said or done otherwise, shall give him no peace. It is a deliverance which does not deliver. In the attempt his genius deserts him; no muse befriends; no invention, no hope. Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events. Great men have always done so, and confided themselves childlike to the genius of their age, betraying their perception that the absolutely trustworthy was seated at their heart, working through their hands, predominating in all their being. And we are now men, and must accept in the highest mind the same transcendent destiny; and not minors and invalids in a protected corner, not cowards fleeing before a revolution, but guides, redeemers, and benefactors, obeying the Almighty effort, and advancing on Chaos and the Dark.
2. A Psalm of Life
Herry Wadsworth Longfellow
Tell me not in mournful numbers, 请别用哀伤的诗句对我讲； Life is but an empty dream! 人生呵，无非是虚梦一场！ For the soul is dead that slumbers 因为沉睡的灵魂如死一般， And things are not what they seem. 事物的表里并不一样。 Life is real! Life is earnest! 人生是实在的！人生是热烈的！ And the grave is not its goal; 人生的目标决不是坟墓； Dust thou art , to dust returnest, 你是尘土，应归于尘土。 Was not spoken of the soul. 此话指的并不是我们的精神。 Not enjoyment , and not sorrow, 我们的归宿并不是快乐， Is our destined and our way; 也不是悲伤， But to act, 实干 That much to-morrow. 才是我们的道路， Find us farther than to-day. 每天不断前进，蒸蒸蒸日上。 Art is long , and time is fleeting. 光阴易逝，而艺海无涯， And our hearts , though stout and brave. 我们的心哪——虽然勇敢坚强， Still , like muffled drums , are beating 却像被布蒙住的铜鼓， Funeral marches to the grave。 常把殡葬的哀乐擂响。 In the world’s broad field of battle, 在这人生的宿营地， In the bivouac of Life, 在这辽阔的世界战场， Be not like dumb,driven cattle! 别做无言的牲畜任人驱赶， Be a hero in the strife! 做一名英雄汉立马横枪！
Trust no future.howe’er pleasant! 别相信未来，哪怕未来多么欢乐！ Let the dead Past bury its dead! 让死去的往昔将死亡一切埋葬！ Act,act in the living Present! 上帝在上，我们胸怀勇气， Let us,then,be up and doing, 让我们起来干吧， With a heart for any fate; 下定决心，不管遭遇怎样； Still achieving,still pursuing 不断胜利，不断追求， Learn to labour and to wait. 要学会苦干和耐心等待。 3. Robert Frost Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake To ask if there is some mistake. The only other sound's the sweep Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep. As a traveler, the author stands between the woods and people facing the great attraction from these two worlds. On one hand, he is tempted strongly by the mystery of the woods, on the other hand, he also hope that he can reject this kind of seductive temptation and go back to the reality so that he could be able to carry out hi promise. Here the theme may be the necessity to face the responsibilities and duties inherent in adult instead of escaping the pressure and sadness of the circumstance and the weight of responsibilities.
4. Emily Dickinson I Never Saw a Moor I never saw a Moor--I never saw the Sea____ Yet know I how the Heather looks And what a Billow be.
I never spoke with God Nor visited in Heavens___ Yet certain am I of the spot As if the Checks were given____
Checks: the word refers to the colored chart which the train attendant gives to passengers after collecting their tickets. 5. Ezra Pound
Ezra Pound (1885 - 1972)
Ezra Pound is generally considered the poet most responsible for defining and
promoting a modernist aesthetic in poetry. In the early teens of the twentieth century, he opened a seminal exchange of work and ideas between British and American writers, and was famous for the generosity with which he advanced the work of such major contemporaries as W. B. Yeats, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore, H. D., James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway and especially T. S. Eliot. His own significant contributions to poetry begin with his promulgation of Imagism, a movement in poetry which derived its technique from classical Chinese and Japanese poetry - stressing clarity, precision, and economy of language, and foregoing traditional rhyme and meter in order to, in Pound's words, "compose in the sequence of the musical phrase, not in the sequence of the metronome." His later work, for nearly fifty years, focused on the encyclopedic epic poem he entitled The Cantos. ?In a Station of the Metro”
The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough.
The tree has entered my hands, The sap has ascended my arms, The tree has grown in my breast Downward, The branches grow out of me, like arms.
Tree you are, Moss you are, You are violets with wind above them.
A child - so high - you are, And all this is folly to the world.
This poem is based on the mith of Apollo and Daphne. Pound is telling in this poem the part in which Daphne is turning into a laurel tree to scape from Apollo. The first part is told by Daphne in first person, telling her process of transformation. The second part is told by Apollo who is seeing the process. If you want to understand better this poem, you should read the myth of Daphne and Apollo.
Daphne was Apollo?s first love. It was not brought about by accident, but by the malice of Cupid. Apollo saw the boy playing with his bow and arrows; and being himself elated with his recent victory over Python, he said to him, “What have you to do with warlike weapons, saucy boy? Leave them for hands worthy of them. Behold the conquest I have won by means of them over the vast serpent who stretched his poisonous body over acres of the plain! Be content with your torch, child, and kindle up your flames, as you call them, where you will, but presume not to meddle with my weapons.” Venus?s boy heard these words, and rejoined, “:Your arrows may strike all things else, Apollo, but mine shall strike you.:” So saying, he took his stand on a rock of Parnassus, and drew from his quiver two arrows of different workmanship, one to excite love, the other to repel it. The former was of gold and sharppointed, the latter blunt and tipped with lead. With the leaden shaft he struck the nymph Daphne, the daughter of the river god Peneus, and with the golden one Apollo, through the heart. Forthwith the god was seized with love for the maiden, and she abhorred the thought of loving. Her delight was in woodland sports and in the spoils of the chase. Many lovers sought her, but she spurned them all, ranging the woods, and taking thought neither of Cupid nor of Hymen. Her father often said to her, ”Daughter, you owe me a son-in-law; you owe me grandchildren.” She, hating the thought of marriage as a crime, with her beautiful face tinged all over with blushes, threw her arms around her father?s neck, and said, “Dearest father, grant me this favor, that I may always remain unmarried, like Diana.” He consented, but at the same time said, “Your own face will forbid it.”
Apollo loved her, and longed to obtain her; and he who gives oracles to all in the world was not wise enough to look into his own fortunes. He saw her hair flung loose over her shoulders, and said, “If so charming in disorder, what would it be if arranged?” He saw her eyes bright as stars; he saw her lips, and was not satisfied with only seeing them. He admired her hands and arms bared to the shoulder, and whatever was hidden from view he imagined more beautiful still. He followed her; she fled, swifter than the wind, and delayed not a moment at his entreaties. “Stay,” said he, “daughter of Peneus; I am not a foe. Do not fly me as a lamb flies the wolf, or a dove the hawk. It is for love I pursue you. You make me miserable, for fear you should fall and hurt yourself on these stones, and I should be the cause. Pray run slower, and I will follow slower. I am no clown, no rude peasant. Jupiter is my father, and I am lord of Delphos and Tenedos, and know all things, present and future. I am the god of song and the lyre. My arrows fly true to the mark; but alas! An arrow more fatal than mine has pierced my heart! I am the god of medicine, and know the virtues of all healing plants. Alas! I suffer a malady that no balm can cure!” The nymph continued her flight, and left his plea half uttered. And even as she fled she charmed him. The wind blew her garments, and her unbound hair streamed loose behind her. The god grew impatient to find his wooings thrown away, and, sped by Cupid, gained upon her in the race. It was like a hound pursuing a hare, with open jaws ready to seize, while the feebler animal darts forward, slipping from the very grasp. So flew the god and the virgin he on the wings of love, and she on those of fear. The pursuer is the more rapid, however, and gains upon her, and his panting breath blows upon her hair. Now her strength begins to fail, and, ready to sink, she calls upon her father, the river god: “Help me, Peneus! Open the earth to enclose me, or change my form, which has brought me into this danger!” Scarcely had she spoken, when a stiffness seized all her limbs; her bosom began to be enclosed in a tender bark; her hair became leaves; her arms became branches; her feet stuck fast in the ground, as roots; her face became a tree-top, retaining nothing of its former self but its beauty. Apollo stood amazed. He touched the stem, and felt the flesh tremble under the new bark. He embraced the branches, and lavished kisses on the wood. The branches shrank from his lips. “Since you cannot be my wife,”
said he, “you shall assuredly be my tree. I will wear you for my crown. With you I will decorate my harp and my quiver; and when the great Roman conquerors lead up the triumphal pomp to the Capitol, you shall be woven into wreaths for their brows. And, as eternal youth is mine, you also shall be always green, and your leaf know no decay.” The nymph, now changed into a laurel tree, bowed its head in grateful acknowledgment. Apollo was god of music and of poetry and also of medicine. For, as the poet Armstrong says, himself a physician:-”Music exalts each joy, allays each grief, Expels disease, softens every pain; And hence the wise of ancient days adored One power of physic, melody, and song.” The story of Apollo and Daphne is often alluded to by the poets. Waller applies it to the case of one whose amatory verses, though they did not soften the heart of his mistress, yet won for the poet wide-spread fame.