By a "closed system" of poetry (lines 34–35), the author most probably means poetry that

Rachel on August 3 at 03:47PM

Explain why D is correct and C is incorrect

Can someone please explain why C is incorrect and D is correct? I narrowed it down to those 2 but could not figure out why one would be better than the other, I assumed D might be too specific so I went with C.

1 Reply

Shunhe on August 4 at 01:47AM

Hi @RayJ,

Thanks for the question! So in this question, we’re being asked for what the author meant by a “closed system” of poetry in lines 34-35. Since we’re given lines, we should go to them and read some lines above and below. This allows us to understand the full context around the lines. It also helps to think about what a “closed system” is in general. Even if you don’t know that it’s a system where nothing goes in or out, you can kind of infer that from the words.

So in lines 34-35, we talk about how 18th-century English poetry used language that reflected little of the American language and made Wheatley think of poetry as a closed system. And so she didn’t really write the “rough-and-ready Americanized English” from the streets in poetry. And that’s exactly what (D) gets at, that the poetry doesn’t admit street language and casual talk into it, and that’s why (D) is the right answer.

(C), however, is wrong because does the poetry substitute (or basically replace) its own conventions for the aesthetic principles of the past? That’s not what we’re told in the passage; we’re told that the poetry shares aesthetic principles with the past. And so since (C) doesn’t describe the passage accurately, it can’t be the right answer.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.