I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important

beyond all this fiddle.

  Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it,

One discovers in

  it after all, a place for the genuine.

Hands that can grasp, eyes

That can dilate, hair that can rise                                                5

If it must, these things are important not be-cause a


High-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but

because they are

useful. When they become so derivative as to become


the same thing may be said for all of us, that we

           do not admire what                                                               10

             we cannot understand: the bat

                     holding on upside down or in quest of some-

                                                                                                thing to

eat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a

                                                        tireless wolf under

a tree, the immovable critic twitching his skin like a

                                  horse that feels a flea, the base-

ball fan, the statistician-                                                            15

  nor is it valid

to discriminate againstbusiness documents and

school-books; all these phenomena are important. One

                                    must make a distinction

however: when dragged into prominence by half

                                    poets, the result is not poetry,

               nor till the poets among us can be                                20

literalists of

the imagination”-above

  insolence and triviality and can present

for inspection,imaginary gardens with real toads in

them,shall we have

             it. In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand,     25

the raw material of poetry in

all its rawness and

that which is on the other hand

  genuine, you are interested in poetry.




 it:指poetry. Moore說她本人也不喜歡詩。


there are things……fiddle:除這些無足輕重的事以外,還有更重要的事可做。fiddle:小提琴;無意義的瑣事。指詩。


Reading……genuine:即使對詩心存渺視(contempt),讀詩時總能發現一些真正的價值。“it”仍是指poetry.the genuine”:real value; true to life.


Hands that can grasp:指在有利可圖時會伸手攫取,或在危急時會抓緊救的任何物體。


eyes that can dilate:緊張時瞳孔會擴張。




 these……useful:上述各種本能反應的重要性,並非由於解釋這些現象的誇張牽強(high sounding)的說法,而是由於它們本身的功用。這些現象是人在緊急情況時的反射動作(reflexes),有自衛的功能,因此說useful. 況且又是詩作的原始題材。見26行的“raw material.


when……unintelligible:等這些現象被穿鑿附會(derivative),弄得無理解(unintelligible)時。指上行的high-sounding interpretation. 讀者可參照“In the Days of Prismatic Colour10-12行註解。


the same……us:我們大家的心理可說是相同的。以下that引導的形容詞子句“that we do not admire what we cannot understand”說明the same thing. 即我們都不喜歡無法了解的事物。


the bat……eat:蝙蝠倒掛(睡眠)或覓食時。


elephants pushing:馬戲團常用象做粗重工作,如立柱、拔營等。此處可能指馬戲團裡見到的象,用鼻子推動重物。


a wild horse  taking a roll:在地上翻滾的野馬。


a tireless……tree:在樹下株守獵物,總不死心的狼。


the immovable critic……flea:不為情感所動(immovable)的批評家,卻吹毛求疵,像馬抖動皮膚(twitching his skin)趕蒼蠅一樣。Moore蓄意用相反的兩個字“immovable”和“twitching”造成irony. 此行與Alexander Pope1688-1744,英國文學家) 的“Essay on CriticismPart II233-266行有異曲同工之效:

A perfect judge will……/Survey the whole, nor seek slight faults to find……/Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see,/Thinks what ne’er was, nor is, nor e’er shall be……/And if the means be just, the conduct true,/Applause, in spite of trivial faults, is due……”


baseball fan:棒球迷。棒球是一種精確度很高的一種技術。


the statistician:統計學家。




 不健全的。Moore註解說,Diary of TolstoyDutton)中84頁提到:“Where the boundary between prose and poetry lies, I shall never be able to understand. The question is raised in manuals of style, yet the answer to it lies beyond me. Poetry is verse. Or else poetry is everything with the exception of business documents and school books.Moore批評這種態度是不健全的。






When……poetry:半調子詩人(half poets)強謅出來,勉強出頭的(dragged into prominence),不能算是詩。



nor……it:這句話這樣看比較清楚:nor till the poets among us can be……and present……,shall we have it. 直到我們當中有詩人能做到下列兩點,我們才算有了真正的好詩。


literalists of the imaginationMoore的註解指出,英國詩人Yeats1865-1939)在作品Ideas of Good and Evil A. H. Bullen)中182頁說道:“The limitation of his [Blake’s] view was form the very intensity of his vision; he was a too literal realist of imagination, as others are of nature; and because he believed that the figures seen by the mind’s eye, when exalted by inspiration, were ‘eternal existence,’ symbols of divine essences, he hated every grace of style that might obscure their lineaments.

Yeats這段話是批評英國詩人Blake1757-1827)在“A Vision of the Last Judgment”中的見解:

“……the Last Judgment begins & its vision is seen by the Imaginative Eye of Every one……The Last Judgment is not Fable or Allegory but Vision……Fable or Allegory are a totally distinct & inferior Kind of Poetry. Vision or Imagination is a Representation of what Eternally Exists, Really & Unchangeably. Fable or Allegory is Formed by the daughters of Memory. Imagination is surrounded by the daughters of Inspiration who in the aggregate are called Jerusalem……This world of Imagination is the World of Eternity;……”Blake認為人的心靈(the Imaginative Eye of Every one)所能看見的境界(Vision)是永恆(what Eternally Exists, Really and Unchangeably)的代表。他認為imagination不能憑空想像,是看到自然界的事物(external reality)後,經由divine inspiration的作用,而達到eternal vision. 就像他在詩作“Auguries of Innocence”所說:

To see a world in a grain of sand

And a Heaven in a wild flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour.

但對Yeats而言,想像力的飛馳不一定侷限於the external reality, Blakeimagination的看法過份強調the external reality,否定了想像力的其他本質(如memory),因此說他是“a too literal realist of imagination.Moore則同意Blake的看法,認為詩人是“literalists of the imagination”才能寫出好詩來。


above insolence and triviality:擺脫低級趣味和瑣屑。insolenceoffending the good sense;有辱高尚格調。triviality:無意義的瑣事。比較第1行的註解。


can presentimaginary gardens with real toads in them:(詩人)要能展示「想像的花園,花園裡要有活生生的癩哈蟆」以供人詳覽(for inspection),引號這句話可說是21-22行“literalists of the imagination”的補充。“gardens”代表想像力多彩多姿的豐富境界(vision),而這種境界要以reality做基礎。“toad”是reality的代表。牠卑微、醜陋,只有經由詩人的想像力,把牠與整個realityanalogy,才能變成美麗的花園。如Moorepangolin與整自然界作比較,pangolin變成了她想像中的動物,其境界遠超越一個普通的穿山甲。


In the meantime:同時。上述是針對詩人說的,同時讀者也要做到下列兩點。


if……poetry:如果要真正欣賞詩(interested in poetry),必須在詩中要求(demand)兩點:一是看清詩的原始題材(raw material, 比較上述的toadexternal reality),一是看清詩的境界(比較上述的garden, vision)。

genuine:參考第3行註解(real value, true to life),可引申為real vision.