The Complete Poems, 1927-1979 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 does the poet explore in "For C.W.B."?

2. How is the poet's perspective in Uncollected Poems different from that in her other poems?

3. What is the visitor's mood in "House Guest"?

4. How does Bishop look at life in the poems in Uncollected Work and Geography III?

5. What does it mean that some of Bishop's poems are "Uncollected"?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do the hats come to symbolize in "Exchanging Hats"?

2. How is the character in "The Giant Toad" an exaggerated human figure?

3. What is the effect on the reader of the surprise ending in Vinicius de Moraes' "Sonnet of Intimacy"?

4. What was the political situation that inspired "The Hanging of the Mouse"?

5. Why is Bandeira so concerned about the specifics of his last poem in "My Last Poem"?

6. How does Octavio Paz view the beginning of a new year in "January First"?

7. Do you think "Lullaby for the Cat" is simply an innocent rhyme, or do you think it has a deeper meaning?

8. How does the location in "Santarem" parallel the Garden of Eden?

9. From what perspective is the story of "The Hanging of the Mouse" told?

10. Why did Bishop write "The Mountain" in the first person?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Why do you think Bishop chose to translate the poems of other writers from a variety of places? How does this relate to what you've learned about Bishop as a writer and as a person from reading her own work? Were you surprised by any of the choices she made in terms of poets, poems, languages, or the specific choices she made in translating each poem? Do you think it is appropriate to include translations in a collection of Bishop's poems? In what ways are these poems her work, and in what ways are they the work of the original poet? How would your experience of the book have been different if the translations had been omitted?

Essay Topic 2

Bishop employs a variety of different formats, including prose poetry, sonnets, and sestinas. Choose one example of each of these and discuss to what extent the format is a fitting approach for that particular poem. How would the poem's effect be different if it were presented differently? Discuss how it would be different in terms of its look on the page and the way it would sound. Would it be more or less effective, and why?

Essay Topic 3

In several poems, Bishop reveals herself to be a storyteller. In some cases she is part of the story, and in other cases she tells it from an outsider's perspective. Choose three poems that tell stories. How are these narrative poems different from Bishop's other work? What literary devices does she employ? Compare and contrast the three poems, commenting on whether each is effective, and why or why not.

(see the answer keys)

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