CLEP Humanities : Analyzing the Content of Twentieth-Century Poetry

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for CLEP Humanities

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

Example Question #51 : Literature

Call the roller of big cigars,

The muscular one, and bid him whip

In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.

Let the wenches dawdle in such dress

As they are used to wear, and let the boys

Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.

Let be be finale of seem.

The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

 

Take from the dresser of deal,

Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet

On which she embroidered fantails once

And spread it so as to cover her face.

If her horny feet protrude, they come

To show how cold she is, and dumb.

Let the lamp affix its beam.

The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

 

(1922)

The narrator of this poem is best described as __________.

Possible Answers:

satirical

detached

hateful

being an interested party

having an omniscient perspective

Correct answer:

being an interested party

Explanation:

The poem features a narrator who is attempting to gather everyone for the event. So even though the narrator has a slightly detached view of the event ("Let be be the finale of seem"), the narrator is also deeply involved. There is also a sense of wonder throughout the poem, largely thanks to the narrator's own involvement in the strange circumstances.

(Passage adapted from "The Emperor of Ice-Cream" by Wallace Stevens)

Example Question #52 : Literature

Which of the following poems was written by Allen Ginsberg?

Possible Answers:

"Funeral Blues"

Hugh Selwyn Mauberley

"Howl"

"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

The Waste Land

Correct answer:

"Howl"

Explanation:

Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" is considered the preeminent Beat-era poem, with its stark descriptions of drugs and sexual acts, as well as its use of a blank verse form inspired by jazz. Ginsberg gained instant notoriety when "Howl" was published in 1957, and was brought forward in an obscenity trial in Ginsberg's native California in 1959.

Example Question #53 : Literature

Adapted from "The Emperor of Ice-Cream" by Wallace Stevens (1922)

 

Call the roller of big cigars,

The muscular one, and bid him whip

In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.

Let the wenches dawdle in such dress

As they are used to wear, and let the boys

Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.

Let be be finale of seem.

The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

 

Take from the dresser of deal,

Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet

On which she embroidered fantails once

And spread it so as to cover her face.

If her horny feet protrude, they come

To show how cold she is, and dumb.

Let the lamp affix its beam.

The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

What kind of event does the poem describe?

Possible Answers:

A christening

A funeral or wake

A patriotic celebration

An outdoor barbecue

A birthday party

Correct answer:

A funeral or wake

Explanation:

The poem describes a woman's body as "cold" and "dumb," and that it needs to be covered by a sheet, indicating that she is dead. The rest of the poem described gathering people for some kind of event where she is central. Thus, the poem is about a funeral or wake.

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors

Incompatible Browser

Please upgrade or download one of the following browsers to use Instant Tutoring: