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CN English-American literature test paper (April, 2003) Ⅱ

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Ⅱ.Reading Comprehension (16 points in all, 4 for each)
Read the quoted parts carefully and answer the questions in English. Write your answers in the corresponding space on the answer sheet.

41. “The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave.
Awaits the inevitable hour.
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.”

Questions:
A. Identify the author and the title of the poem from which this passage is taken.
Thomas Gray; Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.

B. What does the phrase “inevitable hour” mean?
The time of death.

C. Write out the main idea of the passage in plain English.
The passage is about man' s inevitable death. No matter what family you are from, what  power you have got, what beauty and wealth you have possessed, you should not feel conceited or self-important. For sooner or later you will have to leave those material things behind; you cannot bring them all into the other world when you die. Since death awaits   everyone and your glorious life leads you only to the grave, what is the use of fighting for  all those material interests?

42. “A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye!
-Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.”

Questions:
A. Identify the author and the title of the poem from which this stanza is taken.
William Wordsworth; She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways.

B. Pick out the metaphor used in this stanza.
The flower (violet) is used as a metaphor.

C. What quality does the author intend to show by using the metaphor?
By comparing a country girl (Lucy) to a violet, the poet intends to show her quality of  beauty and her virtue which are often neglected by the common people just like a wild flower blooming by an untrodden road

43. “We passed The School, where Children strove
At Recess-in the Ring-
We passed The Fields of Gazing Grain
We passed The Setting Sun-”

Questions:
A. Who is the author of this stanza taken from the poem “Because I could not stop for Death-?
Emily Dickinson.

B. What do the underlined parts symbolize?
The School, the Fields of Gazing Grain, the Setting Sun symbolize three stages of one' s  life: youth, manhood and old age.

C. Where were “we” heading toward?
"We" were riding in a hearse (or a carriage), heading toward Eternity.

44. “It was you that broke the new wood.
Now is a time for carving.
We have one sap and one root-
Let there be commerce between us.”

Questions:
A. Whom does the “us” refer to?
"Us" refers to Ezra Pound and Walt Whitman.

B. What does the phrase “broke the new wood” mean here?
The phrase "broke the new wood" means "made experiments with the conventions of the  traditional poetry. " It is a time for creating new ways of writing poetry.

C. What is the intention of the poet in writing the poem “A Pact” from which these lines are taken?
Ezra Pound intends to find some agreement between Walt Whitman' s free verse and the  Imagists' "verse libre". It also could be interpreted as Pound's apology for his early attack on Whitman or his recognition of Whitman' s contribution to poetry.

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