The Complete 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. What is the title of the author's first book of poetry?

2. What is the purpose of "Somewhere in Africa"?

3. What is the second poem in Part 5 of All My Pretty Ones?

4. How many sections are in "The Operation"?

5. How are the poems arranged in Live or Die?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are the two major themes dealt with in Live or Die, and how are they dealt with?

2. What does the quote in the preface of All My Pretty Ones suggest about the purpose of art? How does this apply to Sexton's poetry?

3. Give at least one example of Sexton's use of humor in Love Poems.

4. How was Live or Die received after its publication?

5. One theme in All the Pretty Ones is the idea that poetry is catharsis. Why might poetry be catharsis for Sexton?

6. What makes To Bedlam and Part Way Back autobiographical?

7. Compare and contrast "The Interrogation of the Man of Many Hearts" with "For My Lover, Returning to His Wife."

8. Explain how Sexton expresses love in All the Pretty Ones.

9. Explain the use of animals in the poem "Loving the Killer."

10. What is the crossroads Sexton finds herself at in "The Fortress"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain Sexton's experience with love, particularly as it relates to her poetry.

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contrast Sexton's experience of motherhood from her mother with her experience of motherhood as a mother herself, especially as it relates to her poetry.

Essay Topic 3

Explain Sexton's obsession with death, particularly as it relates to her poetry.

(see the answer keys)

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