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. Who is claimed as "our sentimental friend" in "Conversation Galante"?

2. At the end of their journey, at what time did the speakers of the "Journey of the Magi" prefer to travel?

3. Who shall be the speaker's bride in A Cooking Egg?

4. In Part I of "The Waste Land", "The Burial of the Dead," which month is said to be the cruelest?

5. What does the speaker of the poem in the "Boston Evening Transcript" do after mounting the steps?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the "Boston Evening Transcript" seem to symbolize in the poem of the same name?

2. What is the relationship between the speaker and his interlocutor in "Portrait of a Lady"?

3. What is the significance of the lion made tame in the final stanza of "Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar"?

4. What happened to Phlebas the Phoenician, as described in Part IV of "The Waste Land"?

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

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

7. What sort of life did the speaker of "Gerontion" live?

8. What sort of people are the "nightingales" among whom Sweeney cavorts in "Sweeney Among the Nightingales"?

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 the apparent distinction between the two speakers in "Conversation Galante"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The central theme of the last of Eliot's "Four Quartets", "Little Gidding," is fallen man's redemption. Analyze this theme as it is presented in "little Gidding." Why does man need redemption? From what is man redeemed? How does redemption come to man? What is the poetic imagery that Eliot uses to describe this need for redemption, that from which man is redeemed, and that by which he is redeemed? What does this need for redemption reveal about human nature? What does the manner of redemption reveal both about human nature and about the Divine, according to Eliot's portrayal?

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

Few poems, if any, have had as profound an impact on the world of poetry and literature as "The Waste Land", and yet its interpretation remains a subject of great dispute. In your own critical analysis, provide an interpretation of this complex and multi-layered poem. What is the significance of the major images and characters in the poem? What is meant by the often obscure and cryptic language? What is the relationship of the five parts to one another? What is the significance of the frequent inclusion of water as a symbolic figure in the poem? What is the overall, coherent signification of the poem?

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