National University honours 4th year English Literature Department suggestion. honours 4th year 20th century poetry suggestion and question answers. Subject : 20th Century Poetry, Code : 241103.
20th century poetry suggestion
Part-A : Brief Question with Answer
W. B. Yeats
1. Why was W. B. Yeats called the National poet of Ireland?
Ans. By his birth and temperament, by the accident of his upbringing, and also by deliberate choice, W. B. Yeats was the poet of the Irish tradition. That is why he was called the national poet of Ireland.
2. What is I. R. B.?
Ans. The I. R. B. refers to the secret extremist revolutionary party, Irish Republican Brotherhood. Yeats joined this party in 1896.
3. When did W. B. Yeats receive the Nobel Prize?
Ans. W. B. Yeats was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in December, 1923.
4. What is Innisfree?
Ans. Innisfree is a little island in the Lake Lough Gill near the poet’s home in Sligo.
5. How was W. B. Yeats inspired to write The Lake Isle of Innisfree?
Ans. W. B. Yeats was inspired to write The Lake Isle of Innisfree by the sight of a jet of water in a chemist’s shop, while he was standing on an actual London pavement.
T. S. Eliot
1. Where from is the name ‘Prufrock’ derived?
Ans. The name ‘Prufrock’ in the title is derived from a firm of furniture dealer in St. Louis.
2. In what way is the title of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock ironical?
Ans. The title of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock suggests that the poem should be a love song addressed by the lover (Prufrock) to his beloved but in reality there is no expression of love in the poem. Ironically the lover does not even have the courage to meet the lady face to face and express his love to her.
3. What kind of poem is The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock?
Ans. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is in the nature of an interior monologue.
4. What is epigraph?
Ans. An epigraph is a quotation or motto at the beginning of a book or its part or a poem. It relates to the content of the work in which it is quoted.
5. Where from is the epigraph to The Love Song of J. Alfre Prufrock taken?
Ans. The epigraph to The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock has been taken from Dante’s Inferno, Canto XXVII, 61-66.
1. Who was Dylan Thomas?
Ans. Dylan Thomas was the greatest of the poets of Wales and one of the most fascinating literary figures of modern England.
2. What was the full name of Dylan Thomas?
Ans. Dylan Thomas’s full name was ‘Dylan Marlais Thomas. The second name, ‘Marlais’ means ‘Voice of the sea’.
3. What made the poet wake up early in the morning on his and birthday?
Ans. The calls of the birds and other noises and sounds of nature woke the poet up early in the morning on his birthday.
4. What is the meaning of ‘The mussel pooled’?
Ans. ‘The mussel pooled’ means pools full of mussels, a kind of small fish. The idea is that there are lots of fish in the sea.
5. What is the significance of ‘The heron priested shore’?
Ans. The heron is a long legged water-bird that sits priest-like on the seashore or on any watery ground for hunting fish. The heron as all other objects and creatures of nature appears holy to the poet.
1. How does the mother-speaker address her child at the beginning of the poem, ‘Morning Song’?
Ans. ‘Love’ is the initial word in the poem, ‘Morning Song’ and simultaneously the mother speaker directly addresses her recently-born baby: ‘Love set you going………’
2. What does the phrase ‘a fat gold watch’ refer to?
Ans. The phrase ‘a fat gold watch’ refers to the new-born baby. To compare a baby to ‘a fat gold watch’ is surreal. The child is animate while a watch is inanimate. The simile suggests that there is a great distance between the act of love and the fact of the baby.
3. Why did the midwife slap the new-born’s footsoles?
Ans. The midwife slapped the new-born’s foot-soles in order to provide it with a gateway into life.
4. How can a new-born baby cast a shadow upon the security of the adults?
Ans. The new-born baby’s metaphorical nakedness or vulnerability puts into shade or casts gloom over the grown up’s false sense of security.
5. What comic picture of the mother do you find in the poem, ‘Morning Song’?
Ans. The comic picture of the mother may be seen when she, on hearing her baby’s cry, stumbles from her bed in the dark of the night to attend it, wearing her ridiculous Victorian nightgown with floral motifs.
Part-B: Short Questions
W. B. Yeats
1. Discuss Yeats’ concept of history.
2. How does Yeats’ express a glowing tribute to the freedom fighters?
3. Discuss the symbolic significance of the poem ‘The Second Coming’?
4. Write a note on ‘Spiritus Mundi’.
5. How does Yeats desire for immortality in ‘Sailing to Byzantium’? / What prayer does the poet make to the sages in ‘Byzantium’?
T. S. Eliot
1. Why did Prufrock fail to propose the lady?
2. Bring out the ironical implications of the title ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’.
3. Comment on the inner conflict of Prufrock.
4. How is the myth of the holy Grail treated by Eliot in The Waste Land? / short note on the Holy Grail / What do you know of the Fisher King?
5. Why is ‘April’ cruel to the Wastelanders?
1. Trace different imageries used in ‘Poem in October’.
2. How is nature depicted in ‘Poem in October’?
3. What picture of childhood do you find in ‘Poem in October’?
4. Comment on the fantasy used in ‘Poem in October’ / treatment of childhood.
5. Trace the poet’s shades of feelings on his birthday in ‘Poem in October’.
1. How would you characterise the speaker’s relationship to her child in ‘Morning Song’?
Or, What is the attitude of the mother towards her child in the poem ‘Morning Song’?
2. Write, in short, on the use of natural imagery to show mother child relationship development in ‘Morning Song’.
3. To what extent does Sylvia Plath make use of classical myth in ‘Crossing the Water’?
4. How does Sylvia Plath reveal the emotional journey of her life through the poem ‘Words’?
5. I’m no more your mother than,
The cloud that distils a mirror.
1. ‘All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born’.
2. ‘Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart’.
3. Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.
4. ‘I have measured out my life with coffee spoons’.
5. ‘Unreal city
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.’
6. ‘I think we are in rats’ alley
Where the dead men lost their bones.’
7. ‘And I rose
In rainy autumn
And walked abroad in a shower of all my days.’
8. ‘I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey.
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.’
9. ‘And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?’
10. ‘An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress.’
11. ‘O sages standing in God’s holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul’.
12. In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.
13. ‘I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.’
14. ‘April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the deadland, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.’
15. ‘When lovely woman stoops to folly and
Paces about her room again, alone,
She smoothes her hair with automatic hand
And puts a record on the gramophone.’
3. Thomas: A womb-tomb Poet
Part-C: Broad Questions
W. B. Yeats
1. Write a critical appreciation of ‘Sailing to Byzantium’.
2. Write a critical appreciation of the poem ‘The Second Coming’.
3. What personal elements do you find in W.B. Yeats poems?
4. Trace the romantic elements in W.B. Yeats poetry.
5. Evaluate W.B. Yeats as an Irish nationalist poet.
1. How does T.S. Eliot build up an atmosphere of futility and barrenness in ‘The Love Song of John Alfred Prufrock’. / How does T.S. Eliot express the conflict of modern man in the poem ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’?
2. Evaluate the significance of the title of the poem ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’. / elements of irony.
3. What are the symbols used by the poet in ‘The Waste Land’?
4. Comment on the use of myths in ‘The Waste Land’. / How does T.S. Eliot make a link between the past and present in ‘The Waste Land’?
5. Write a note on the theme of salvation in the poem ‘The Waste Land’.
1. Critically appreciate the poem ‘Poem in October.’
2. Mention and discuss the religious elements in Dylan Thomas’ poems.
3. Discuss the theme of ‘Poem in October’.
4. How does Dylan Thomas feel on his thirtieth birthday?
5. Discuss Dylan ‘Thomas’ use of imagery in ‘Poem in October’.
1. Write a critical appreciation of the poem ‘Morning Song’.
2. Comment on the male-female relationship in Sylvia Plath’s poetry.
3. Discuss the use of myths and imagery in the poems of Sylvia Plath.
4. Comment on the poetic technique of Sylvia Plath.
5. How does Sylvia Plath present motherhood in her poem ‘Morning Song’?
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