Collected Poems, 1909-1962 Test | Final 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 prayer does the sea bell say perpetually in Part IV of "Four Quartets: The Dry Salvages"?

2. Whom does the poet shall "try" man's well-preserved complacency in the third of the "Five Finger Exercises"?

3. To whom is the praise directed in the tenth chorus of 'The Rock'?

4. Which of the following have not "become unsubstantial" in "Marina"?

5. In Part III of "Four Quartets: Burnt Norton", it is said that "time-ridden faces" are distracted from their distractions by what?

Short Essay Questions

1. How was the speaker awoken in "The wind sprang up at four o'clock"?

2. How is the "Mr. Eliot" of the "Five-Finger Exercises" satirized?

3. In the sixth chorus of 'The Rock,' why is it said that men must build with "the sword in one hand and the trowel in the other"?

4. What characterizes the metaphors used as description of the old man bearing the "tooth of wit" in "Lines for an Old Man"?

5. What does it mean to be "redeemed from fire by fire" as stated in the fourth part of "Little Gidding"?

6. Why should the innocent approach of the child to Christmas not be lost, according to "The Cultivation of Christmas Trees"?

7. What characterizes the tone of the poem in "Difficulties of a Statesman"?

8. For what is the ship in "Marina" a symbolic signifier?

9. What is meant in "Burnt Norton" by the phrase, "Only a flicker / Over the strained time-ridden faces / Distracted from distraction by distraction"?

10. What is the overall condition of true lovers described in "A Dedication to My Wife"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Literature and philosophy have often been considered close and sometimes overlapping disciplines of academic study and Western culture. That T.S. Eliot was well versed in both is demonstrated in his last major poems, the "Four Quartets". Select one of the "Four Quartets" and in a carefully planned critical essay, examine the relationship between its literary structure and its philosophical considerations. What are the philosophical topics approached in the poem? In what way does the poem consider things in abstraction? In what way is the poem a literary structure (operate on the definition of literature as the imaginative creation of character and/or action, according to the laws of possibility and necessity)? How does the literary structure corroborate the philosophical consideration? Wherein does one find the literary significance of the poem? Wherein is the philosophical consideration found?

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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