Collected Poems, 1909-1962 Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. From whose hand does the simple soul issue in "Animula"?

2. In "Mr. Eliot's Sunday Morning Service", the masters of what sort of schools are considered controversial and polymath?

3. What two things are described as drifting above in the second stanza of "Sweeney Among the Nightingales"?

4. To what animal's path will the speaker of "A Song for Simeon" children's children take?

5. Of whose "damp souls" is the speaker of "Morning at the Window" aware?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the significance of the two stanzas concerned with Donne in "Whispers of Immortality"?

2. Why is Sweeney uncomfortable in "Mr. Eliot's Sunday Morning Service"?

3. What is a possible interpretation of the line, "Teach us to care and not to care" in "Ash-Wednesday"?

4. How does the simple soul begin its life, according to the first 13 lines of "Animula"?

5. For what is the speaker yearning in "La Figlia che Piange", and what indicates this?

6. What is meant at the end of the "Journey of the Magi" by the magi saying that they found death when they encountered the Christ child?

7. What characterizes the speech of the stuffed men in "The Hollow Men"?

8. What is meant in The Hippopotamus by stating that the "True Church remains below / Wrapt in the old miasmal mist"?

9. What is the tone of the speaker towards his life in "Rhapsody on a Windy Night", and how is this indicated in the poem?

10. What is a possible interpretation of the last two lines of "Whispers of Immortality", "But our lot crawls between dry ribs / To keep our metaphysics warm"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In most of T.S. Eliot's poems, most notably "The Waste Land", there is a frequency of allusion and alteration of allusions. These are often used to great effect. Analyze the usage and purpose of these allusions in one or more of Eliot's poems, demonstrating how they contribute to the poem's meaning and style. From where are the allusions taken? How are they altered if at all? What is significant about the source of the allusions? What is significant about their alteration if they are altered? What is significant about their placement in the text? How do they contribute to the poem's meaning?

Essay Topic 2

As one of Eliot's more controversial poems, "The Hippopotamus" is a commentary on religious belief and religious practice. Analyze and provide your own interpretation of this poem. What is the overall meaning of the poem? What are the individual parts which indicate this meaning? For what does the Hippopotamus within the poem stand? What is significant about the Hippopotamus' analogous portrayal? What is significant about the Church being referred to as the "True Church"? What is meant by the "old miasmal mist"?

Essay Topic 3

As T.S. Eliot's character of the "everyman," Sweeney appears in a number of poems and in one of the fragments of the unfinished poem, the "Sweeney Agonistes". Analyze the character of Sweeney as he appears in at least one of Eliot's works, giving an overall portrayal of the character through specific instances. What are his principal traits? What does he lack as a person? In what sort of actions does he engage? How is he representative of modern man? Who and what are used as contrasts to Sweeney as a person and Sweeney's patterns of behavior?

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