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 Bishop remember in "Santarem"?

2. What experience does the reader gain from the poems in Translations?

3. What does the devil remind the living in "Patience of an Angel"?

4. What is the subject of "Objects & Apparitions"?

5. What does "A Word With You" describe?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does the poet begins the section called Geography III with a geography lesson that throws a series of unanswered questions at the reader?

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

3. What is the meaning of the simple, repeated incident in Drummond de Andrade's "In the Middle of the Road"?

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

5. What does "12 O'Clock News" reveal about the way Bishop views familiar objects?

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

7. What does the porch symbolize in "Sunday at Key West"?

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

9. What do the various animals symbolize in "A Word with You"?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Much of Bishop's poetry relates to geography. Citing specific poems, including "The Map," "Over 2,000 Illustrations and a Complete Concordance," "Brazil January 1, 1502," and the introduction to Geography III, discuss the importance of geography in Bishop's work. How does she see it? Why is it so important to her? How does it frame who she is, her subject matter, and her approach?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss Bishop's use of personification in the three poems in Rainy Season; Sub Tropics. What does each animal tell us about the speaker's view of humanity? Why do you think Bishop chose the specific animals she did? How would the poem have been different if she had used exaggerated human characters?

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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