Howl, and Other Poems 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. Non-conformists often conformed and opened what kinds of stores?

2. Which mode of transportation is nearby?

3. Which is the name of the mythical river mentioned in the poem?

4. On which item do the friends sit?

5. Many institutions believe that ___ was/were the answer.

Short Essay Questions

1. What is one of the things that Ginsberg might discuss or dream about with Whitman on the way home?

2. Who is William Carlos Williams?

3. Discuss Ginsberg's view of creative people who had to go to work in order to survive.

4. What was Ginsberg's relationship to Carl Solomon?

5. What were some of the issues of Ginsberg's generation?

6. What was involved in regard to some of the social and political action taken by Ginsberg's peers?

7. How does Ginsberg's lack of money affect his attitude in this poem?

8. What question does Ginsberg ask? To what can the sunflower be compared?

9. What were some of the things the people of Ginsberg's generation did to try and ease the pain of youth?

10. What does Ginsberg say about the quality of the soul? Where does it fit into the theme?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There was a lot of yearning mentioned in the work. Relate to this yearning to the poetry of Walt Whitman. Write a Whitman-esque poem regarding yearning. Analyze and list at least three other poets or poems in the same vein. Compare and contrast to Ginsberg's work at that time to Whitman's.

Essay Topic 2

In AN ASPHODEL Ginsberg talks about lust and quenching desire. Were writers discussing this topic 100 years before? Write about the similarities and differences in the poetry of the 1850s versus Ginsberg worked in the 1950s. Do you think that there is a great difference between need and emotional connection between people given the fact that Ginsberg is gay? What are your own experiences with identifying and quelling at various desires - mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical?

Essay Topic 3

One of the poems included in the work is titled SUNFLOWER SUTRA. What is a Sutra? Study all forms used by Ginsberg. It which is the most popular? Why? How many poems included in this work could be considered Sutras? What are common themes? How does Ginsberg incorporate imagery and juxtaposition in his work as he did in SUNFLOWER SUTRA? What is the purpose? Does it make the work better? Explain. What other poet is similar?

(see the answer keys)

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