CLEP Humanities : Identifying Titles, Authors, or Schools of Nineteenth-Century Poetry

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for CLEP Humanities

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Identifying Titles, Authors, Or Schools Of Nineteenth Century Poetry

What poet composed the long narrative poems Don Juan and Childe Harolde's Pilgrimmage?

Possible Answers:

Lord Byron

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Edgar Allen Poe

Robert Burns

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Correct answer:

Lord Byron

Explanation:

Lord Byron, an honorific noble title, was one of the great romantic poets and figures of the early nineteenth century. Byron was most well known for his lengthy and satiric epic poems, with both Don Juan and Childe Harolde's Pilgrimmage spanning over 10,000 lines of verse. Byron himself was a romantic hero, living a wild life and dying at the age of thirty-six in 1824.

Example Question #2 : Identifying Titles, Authors, Or Schools Of Nineteenth Century Poetry

The American poet who wrote the poetry collection Leaves of Grass is __________.

Possible Answers:

William Carlos Williams

Herman Melville

William Faulkner

Walt Whitman

Wallace Stevens

Correct answer:

Walt Whitman

Explanation:

The collection Leaves of Grass, first published in 1855 and revised numerous times in new printings, gained its author Walt Whitman literary fame. Whitman's style was notable for featuring a direct style, rather than the typical reliance on metaphor, symbolism, and figures of speech that dominated nineteenth-century poetry. Included in Leaves of Grass were some of Whitman's most famous poems, including "Song of Myself," "I Sing the Body Electric," and "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking."

Example Question #3 : Identifying Titles, Authors, Or Schools Of Nineteenth Century Poetry

The lengthy poem about a Native American chief The Song of Hiawatha was written by which American author?

Possible Answers:

Emily Dickinson

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Francis Scott Key

Edgar Allen Poe

Correct answer:

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Explanation:

The Song of Hiawatha, a lengthy epic in trochaic tetrameter about a Native American hero, was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1855. The poem is a distinctively Romantic piece of literature, with a dashing tale about its hero and a sentimentalized story. Longfellow's poem was an instant success and became a national epic for America by the end of the nineteenth century.

Example Question #4 : Identifying Titles, Authors, Or Schools Of Nineteenth Century Poetry

Who was the author of the poem that involves a visitor that only utters the word "nevermore"?

Possible Answers:

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Edgar Allen Poe

Emily Dickinson

William Butler Yeats

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Correct answer:

Edgar Allen Poe

Explanation:

The poet Edgar Allen Poe composed and published "The Raven" in 1845, and it was an instant but controversial success. Immediately well-known by the masses, the poem, which deals with a raven visiting a lovelorn student, was scorned by many fellow poets and literary critics. The work, easily memorable for its refrain, remains well known to this day.

Example Question #5 : Identifying Titles, Authors, Or Schools Of Nineteenth Century Poetry

Which poet wrote the poem "O Captain! My Captain!" about the death of Abraham Lincoln?

Possible Answers:

Walt Whitman

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Henry David Thoreau

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Edgar Allen Poe

Correct answer:

Walt Whitman

Explanation:

"O Captain! My Captain!" was a strange poem for Walt Whitman, as it both followed a fairly traditional structure and was anthologized in a book with different poets. Whitman does rhyme in his eulogy to Lincoln, but also adopts a non-orthodox scheme. The poem has become one of Whitman's most famous, as it was also included in his Leaves of Grass by that book's final edition.

Example Question #6 : Identifying Titles, Authors, Or Schools Of Nineteenth Century Poetry

What poem begins with a sailor killing an albatross, which curses him throughout the poem?

Possible Answers:

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

"Kubla Kahn"

"Ozymandias"

Don Juan

"The Prelude"

Correct answer:

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Explanation:

Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner tells the near-mythical story of a sailor on a cursed ship in the arctic that encounters Death and misfortune after the sailor kills an albatross. The crew blame their luck on the mariner's killing of the albatross, and force him to wear it throughout the voyage.

Example Question #7 : Identifying Titles, Authors, Or Schools Of Nineteenth Century Poetry

"Centre of equal daughters, equal sons,
All, all alike endear'd, grown, ungrown, young or old,
Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,
Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love,
A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother,
Chair'd in the adamant of Time."
 
(1855)

Which American poet wrote this poem?

Possible Answers:

Walt Whitman

Robert Frost

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emily Dickinson

Henry David Thoreau

Correct answer:

Walt Whitman

Explanation:

The passage contains the entirety of Walt Whitman's "America," a short poem published in his collection Leaves of Grass in 1855.

(Passage adapted from "America" by Walt Whitman in Leaves of Grass (1855).)

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