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  1. Banned
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    #1

    undertaken at the bidding

    Cowper’s major work is The Task (1785), undertaken at the bidding-hence the title-of the lively and charming Lady Austen, who, when he complained that he had no subject, directed him to write about the sofa in his parlor. It began with a mock-heroic account of the development of the sofa from a simple stool, but it grew into a long meditative poem of more than five thousand lines in delicately modulated blank verse.

    Source: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, William Collins (1721-1759)

    Hello teachers,

    What does the blue part mean? I feel the blue part is not written grammatically good. It makes me not to translate or understand it.
    Would you please rewrite it in a simple way?


    Many thanks in advance.
    Last edited by sb70012; 01-Aug-2013 at 01:05.

  2. FreeToyInside's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: undertaken at the bidding

    Quote Originally Posted by sb70012 View Post
    Cowper’s major work is The Task (1785), undertaken at the bidding-hence the title-of the lively and charming Lady Austen, who, when he complained that he had no subject, directed him to write about the sofa in his parlor. It began with a mock-heroic account of the development of the sofa from a simple stool, but it grew into a long meditative poem of more than five thousand lines in delicately modulated blank verse.

    Source: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, William Collins (1721-1759)

    Hello teachers,

    What does the blue part mean? I feel the blue part is not written grammatically goodcorrect. It makes me notI'm not able to translate or understand it.
    Would you please rewrite it in a simple way?


    Many thanks in advance.
    Lady Austen gave Cowper the task of writing a poem, which is why the name of the poem is The Task. When Cowper complained that he had nothing to write about, Lady Austen told him to write about his sofa.

    It is grammatically correct. It's just a complex sentence, like most of the examples from this anthology that you've posted here.

    (not a teacher, just a language lover)
    Last edited by FreeToyInside; 01-Aug-2013 at 02:30.

  3. probus's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: undertaken at the bidding

    "undertaken at the bidding of" He took on the task because she told or asked him to. -hence the title- That is why he entitled the work so. of the lively and charming Lady Austen, who, when he complained that he had no subject, directed him to write about the sofa in his parlor.

    Is that sufficient? If not, ask again and I will try to do better.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: undertaken at the bidding

    Quote Originally Posted by sb70012 View Post
    Cowper’s major work is The Task (1785), undertaken at the bidding-hence the title-of the lively and charming Lady Austen,
    If you're going to use a hyphen for a dash (which is fine), either put spaces around it, or use two hyphens: "bidding - hence" or "bedding--hence". What you've written in two hyphenated words, "bidding-hence" and "title-of". A single hyphen between words without a space is a hyphen.

  5. Banned
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    #5

    Re: undertaken at the bidding

    I want to tell you something but please don't laugh at me. I understood none of your explanations. (sure it's my problem not yours)
    I am not native English, that's why it's sometimes difficult for us to understand it even if there is a clue.
    I will be thankful if you explain it word by word or step by step. I will neverforget your favors.

    Undertaken at the bidding = means what?
    hence the title = means what? why before and after it there is a hyphen?

    Thank you su much. Sorry I have some understanding problem.
    Many thanks in advance.

  6. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: undertaken at the bidding

    Quote Originally Posted by sb70012 View Post
    I want to tell you something but please don't laugh at me. I understood none of your explanations. (sure it's my problem not yours)
    I am not native English, that's why it's sometimes difficult for us to understand it even if there is a clue.
    I will be thankful if you explain it word by word or step by step. I will neverforget your favors.

    Undertaken at the bidding = means what? He started (=undertook) the poem because Lady Austen asked him to (=at the (her) bidding).
    hence the title = means what?That's why (=hence) he chose that title. why before and after it there is a hyphen? It is between hyphens because it is meant as a brief explanatory note on the information immediately preceding.

    Thank you su much. Sorry I have some understanding problem.
    Many thanks in advance.
    By the way, is it Volume I or Volume II that you are using at the moment?
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  7. Banned
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    #7

    Re: undertaken at the bidding

    Thanks a lot. It's an abridged edition of all poets not the complete one.

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