RICHARD L. W. CLARKE


 

 

 

LITS2002 (E20B) POETRY II

PAST EXAM PAPERS

2012-2013

Answer TWO questions in all.

All questions refer to the poets studied in Module II.

In each answer, you should refer closely to at least TWO relevant texts.

1.

"And what if all of animated nature

Be but organic harps diversely framed,

That tremble into thought, as o’er them sweeps

Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,

At once the soul of each, and God of all?"

(Coleridge, "The Aeolian Harp")

Discuss the work of TWO poets in the light of this quotation. (30 marks)

2. Would you agree that the Romantics "found in stones the sermons they had already hidden there" (Oscar Wilde)? Answer with reference to the work of TWO poets. (30 marks)

3. Is there a discernible difference between the work of the earlier and that of the later Romantics? Answer with reference to TWO poets. (30 marks)

4. What light does Coleridge’s distinction between ‘allegory’ and ‘symbol’ shed on his poetry? (30 marks)

5.

"I could lie down like a tired child,

And weep away the life of care

Which I have borne and yet must bear. . . ."

(Shelley, "Stanzas Written in Dejection, Near Naples")

Would you agree that a "tone of despondency and despair" permeates Shelley’s poetry? (30 marks)

6. Outline some of the formal and thematic characteristics of the ode with reference to at least TWO relevant poems by Keats. (30 marks)


2009-2010

Answer TWO questions, each from a different section.

In Section A, you may refer to any poets studied in this course but Section B is limited to those studied in Module Two.

In each answer, you should refer closely to at least TWO relevant works studied.

Do not repeat substantially the same material in both answers.

Section A: General

    1. "A deeply philosophical form of poetry."  Do you agree with this description of Romanticism?  Answer with reference to the work of TWO poets studied.

    2. "The Romantics were not content simply to write poetry -- they were compelled to write about it."  Respond by comparing the poetry and literary theory of ONE poet studied.

    3. With reference to the work of TWO poets studied, discuss the view that Romantic poetry is "deeply infused with an almost utopian zeal."

Section B: Individual Poets

    4. "The wilderness has a mysterious tongue / Which teaches awful doubt, or faith so mild . . . that man may be, / But for such faith, with nature reconciled" (Shelley, "Mont Blanc").  What light does this quote shed on Shelley’s poetry?

    5. "When I have fears that I may cease to be . . . then on the shore / Of the wide world I stand alone, and think / Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink" (Keats, "When I Have Fears").  Do Keats’ odes demonstrate this strategy?

6. "A harbinger of Modernism? More likely the last hurrah of Romanticism."  Do you agree with this assessment of Hopkins’ poetry?


2008-2009

Answer TWO questions.

In each answer, you should refer to the work of TWO poets. You should show knowledge of FOUR poets in all.

1. Would you agree that “British Romanticism is best divided into two phases, an earlier and a later”? Answer with reference to the work of ONE poet studied in Module 1 and ONE poet studied in Module 2.

2. “The poetry of Shelley and Keats is riddled with Existentialist doubts.” Discuss.

3. “The preferred Romantic genre.” With reference to ONE poem by Shelley and ONE by Keats, discuss the formal and thematic characteristics of the Ode.

4. “A form of escapism that ignores pressing social and political issues.” Is this a fair indictment of all nineteenth century poetry? Answer with reference to the work of TWO poets studied in Module 2.

5. Would you agree that “satire enjoys a resurgence in Victorian poetry”? Answer with reference to the work of TWO of the following poets: Tennyson, Robert Browning, Arnold, Hardy, and Hopkins.

6. Comparing Hopkins’ poetry with that of ONE Romantic poet studied in this course, say whether or not you agree with the claim that Hopkins is “at heart a Romantic.”


2007-2008

Answer TWO questions.  In each answer, you should refer to the work of TWO poets.

1. Is there a single ‘Romanticism’?  Answer with reference to the work of ONE poet studied in Module 1 and ONE studied in Module 2.

2. "The Sea of Faith / Was once, too, at the full . . . But now I only hear / Its melancholy, long withdrawing roar" (Arnold).  Discuss with reference to the work of TWO poets studied in Module 2.

3. "The point is not merely to interpret the world, but to change it" (Marx).  Discuss with reference to the work of TWO poets studied in Module 2.

4. "The ode, in its apparent formlessness, anticipates in many ways Modernist free verse."  Discuss with reference to the work of TWO poets studied in Module 2.

5. Does the adjective ‘Victorian’ denote a distinctive kind of poetry?  Answer with reference to the work of ONE Romantic poet and ONE of the following poets: Tennyson, Browning, Arnold, Hardy, Hopkins.

6. By comparing Dunbar’s poetry with that of ONE other poet studied, say whether or not you would classify him as a ‘Romantic’ poet.


2006-2007
(Dr. Nicola Hunte)

Answer TWO (2) questions.  Your answer must be in essay format.  You must demonstrate knowledge of the works of FOUR poets overall: TWO poets for each question.

1.    “An understanding of the nature of God infuses Romantic expression.”  Discuss.

2.    Keats observes that his poetical character is “that sort distinguished from the Wordsworthian egotistical sublime.” Do you agree that this distinction is characteristic of the relationship between the First and Second Wave Romantics?

3.    Explain the difference between the use of the first person speaker in Victorian dramatic monologue and Romantic lyric verse.

4.    “Victorian poetry demonstrates a clear break with the optimistic pantheism of the Romantics.”  Do you agree?

5.    With close reference to the work of TWO Victorian poets, critically assess the representation of the black and/or female voice in poetry.

6.    “Romantic poetry, unlike that of the Victorian era, is remarkably out of touch with the human condition.”  Discuss.


2005-2006

Answer TWO (2) questions.

1.    A "spilt religion" (T. E. Hulme). Referring closely to the work of TWO poets, say whether you agree with this characterisation of Romantic poetry.

2.    "I seem as in trance sublime and strange / To muse on my own separate fantasy" (Shelley "Mont Blanc"). Discuss the ways in which the poetry of Shelley and Keats challenges many of the assumptions of the ‘first wave’ of Romantic poetry.

3.    Is Victorian poetry, in your view, "essentially neo-Romantic" poetry? Answer with reference to the work of TWO such poets.

4.    "Most often a polemic directed against the oppression of women." Discuss with reference to the work of TWO female poets.

5.    How is the "I" altered (Curran) in poetry written by TWO African Americans during this period?


2004-2005

Answer TWO (2) questions.

1.    Referring to the work of any TWO (2) poets, examine Lovejoy’s view that there is more than one kind of Romanticism.

2.    "Every reflecting mind must allow that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity" (Shelley The Necessity of Atheism). What light does this claim shed on his poetry?

3.    What does Shelley mean when he writes in "A Defence of Poetry" that poetry is the "expression of the imagination"?

4.    "Here lies one whose name was writ in water." Of what relevance is Keats’ epitaph to an understanding of his odes?

5.    "Philosophically, Hardy was a nihilist." Discuss with reference to his poetry.

6.    What aspects of Hopkins’ poetry might be described as innovative?


2003-2004

Course not offered.


2002-2003

Course not offered.


2001-2002

Answer TWO (2) questions in all, one from section A and the other from section B.

Section A: Module 2: Political Perspectives on / Alternative Voices of the Nineteenth Century:

1.Edward Said argues that European imperialism and its concomitant ills (slavery, racism, etc.) constitute a most often overlooked, but nevertheless major, determinant of nineteenth century literature. Discuss this claim with reference to the work of two (2) poets studied in this module.

2."She had lived / A sort of cage-bird life, born in a cage, / Accounting that to leap from perch to perch / Was act and joy enough for any bird." Discuss the narrative techniques by which Elizabeth Barrett Browning critiques the condition of nineteenth century women in Aurora Leigh.

Section B: Module 3: the Victorians:

3.Laurence Lerner claims that so-called Victorian poetry is merely a "continuation of the Romantic tradition." Discuss these claims with reference to two (2) poets studied in this module.

4.Where the lyric poem invites us to identify persona and poet, in dramatic poetry we are encouraged to recognise them as different. Discuss the role of irony in Robert Browning’s poetry in the light of this statement.

5.Examine the "tensions between science and Christian belief" in the work of two (2) poets studied in this module.


2000-2001

Course not offered.


1999-2000

Answer TWO (2) of the following questions.

1."Imagination for the view of poetry, nature for the view of the world, and symbol and myth for poetic style." (René Wellek)  In the light of this definition of Romantic poetry, consider whether the poetry of Shelley and Keats is characteristically ‘Romantic.’

2.Examine how the "I" is "altered" (Stuart Curran) in the work of two (2) of the following poets:

  • Charlotte Smith,
  • Felicia Hemans,
  • Letitia Landon.

3.Compare the responses of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Christina Rossetti in Aurora Leigh and Goblin Market respectively to Victorian stereotypes of femininity.

4.Through close reference to the work of two (2) poets, discuss the view that Victorian poetry is an "important vehicle for social critique."

5.Consider the dialectic of tradition and innovation in Victorian poetry with reference to the work of two (2) of the following poets:

  • Tennyson,
  • Robert Browning,
  • Hopkins.

1998-1999

Answer TWO (2) questions. You should NOT choose both questions from the same section. In your answers, you should play close attention to matters of literary technique.

The Romantics:

1.Through close reference to specific poems which you have read, compare the use made by Shelley and Keats of the ode.

2."It is probably true to say that Charlotte Smith, Felicia Hemans and Letitia Landon were in many ways themselves often influential upon, far from being entirely influenced by, the male Romantic poets." Do you agree with this assessment?

3."Does the ‘Queen’ try to sound like the ‘King,’ imitating his tone, his inflections, his phrasing, his point of view? Or does she ‘talk back’ to him in her own vocabulary, her own timbre, insisting on her own viewpoint? (Gilbert and Gubar)  Discuss Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Aurora Leigh in the light of this query.

The Victorians:

4."Are God and Nature then at strife?" Tennyson asks. To what degree does In Memoriam constitute a profound questioning of Wordsworth’s optimistic pantheism?

5.Compare Robert Browning’s use of the dramatic monologue with Coleridge’s achievement in his so-called ‘conversation poems.’

6."His poetry oscillates in an almost Blakean way between the optimism that accompanies innocence and a pessimism that is the product of experience." Discuss this assessment of Hopkins’s poetry.


1997-1998

Answer TWO of the following questions. Students should not repeat substantially the same material in more than one question. Students are also reminded to pay close attention to matters of literary technique in answering any question.

1. Through close reference to the poetry of at least one poet which you have studied this semester, outline some of the formal and thematic characteristics of what M.H. Abrams has termed the ‘greater Romantic lyric.’

2. "Shelley’s poetry is a compelling mixture of hope and despair, idealism and uncertainty." Discuss with close reference to one or more of Shelley’s poems.

3. "As his short life drew to a close, he increasingly sought refuge in the stasis and beauty of art from the flux and miseries of time." What light does this comment shed on Keats’s odes?

4. Literary historians often draw a clear line between the Romantic and Victorian periods. Referring closely to the work of one Victorian poet which you have studied, show how such a clear-cut distinction may be questioned.

5. "A moving personal record of Tennyson’s psychological recovery from grief and the regeneration of his religious faith." Do you agree with this assessment of In Memoriam?

6. Examine Browning’s use of the dramatic monologue.
 

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