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. What do "these cogitations" sometimes "still amaze" in "La Figlia che Piange"?

2. To where do the speakers of the "Journey of the Magi" come in the second stanza?

3. Which of the following phrases is repeated throughout Part II of "The Waste Land", "A Game of Chess"?

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

5. Which two "guardians of the faith" kept watch upon the shelves?

Short Essay Questions

1. What evidently characterizes the woman in "Hysteria"?

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

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

4. What is the significance of the intimacy between the footman and the second housemaid in "Aunt Helen"?

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

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

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

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

9. How has Simeon passed his life, as described in "A Song for Simeon"?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A persistent theme throughout Eliot's later poetry, from "Ash-Wednesday" onwards, is the power of faith in the decaying world, which is the theme of Eliot's earlier poetry. Provide your own critical analysis of this theme, drawing upon texts from several of Eliot's poems. What is the essential nature of the world around man as described in Eliot's poems? How does modernity contribute to this nature? What is there for man to find in the modern world? In contradistinction, what is found in faith? How does faith contradict the nature of the modern world? What is described as lacking in Eliot's early poems but found in a different way in his later poems?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Frequently appearing in T.S. Eliot's poetry, explicitly in the later poems such as "Animula", "Choruses from 'The Rock'", and the "Four Quartets", and implicitly by its total lack in the earlier poems, such as "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and "The Hollow Men", is the theme of hope. Analyze the two ways in which this is a prominent topic for Eliot, drawing upon several poems as sources. What is the nature of hope? In what ways is hope lost or absent? What contributes to the loss of hope? Contrariwise, in what is hope to be found? How is hope to be had? What contributes to the possession of hope? What does hope do for human persons?

(see the answer keys)

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