SAT II Literature : Literary Terminology Describing Poetry

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT II Literature

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Sat Subject Test In Literature

1          Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy;
2          My sin was too much hope of thee, loved boy.
3          Seven years thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay,
4          Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.
5          Oh, could I lose all father now! For why
6          Will man lament the state he should envy?
7          To have so soon 'scaped world's and flesh's rage,
8          And if no other misery, yet age!
9          Rest in soft peace, and, asked, say, "Here doth lie
10        Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry,
11        For whose sake, henceforth, all his vows be such
12        As what he loves may never like too much."

"flesh's rage," (Line 7) is an example of __________.

Possible Answers:

alliteration

simile

metaphor

personification

Onomatopoeia

Correct answer:

personification

Explanation:

"flesh's rage," (Line 7) is an example of personification, giving an inanimate object or abstract idea a living quality.

Example Question #2 : Sat Subject Test In Literature

1          Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy;
2          My sin was too much hope of thee, loved boy.
3          Seven years thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay,
4          Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.
5          Oh, could I lose all father now! For why
6          Will man lament the state he should envy?
7          To have so soon 'scaped world's and flesh's rage,
8          And if no other misery, yet age!
9          Rest in soft peace, and, asked, say, "Here doth lie
10        Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry,
11        For whose sake, henceforth, all his vows be such
12        As what he loves may never like too much."

In lines 9–10, "Rest in soft peace, and, asked, say, 'Here doth lie/Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry,'" the speaker refers to his dead son as a "piece of poetry."  This is an example of __________.

Possible Answers:

spondee

metaphor

personification

simile

caesura

Correct answer:

metaphor

Explanation:

When the speaker refers to his dead son as a "piece of poetry," (Line 10), this is an example of metaphor, a comparison made between two essentially unlike things.

Example Question #3 : Sat Subject Test In Literature

1          Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
2          Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
3          Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
4          And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
5          Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
6          And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
7          And every fair from fair sometime declines,
8          By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
9          But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
10        Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
11        Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
12        When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st;
13        So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
14        So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

"Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade," (line 9) is an example of __________

Possible Answers:

satire

consonance

personification

alliteration

assonance

Correct answer:

personification

Explanation:

"Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade," (line 9) is an example of personification, as personification is a figure of speech wherein an inanimate object or idea is endowed with human qualities or abilities. In this case, death is said to brag.

Example Question #1 : Literary Terminology Describing Poetry

1          Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
2          Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
3          Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
4          And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
5          Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
6          And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
7          And every fair from fair sometime declines,
8          By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
9          But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
10        Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
11        Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
12        When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st;
13        So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
14        So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

The speaker's claim that "this gives life to thee" in line 14 is arguably an example of __________.

Possible Answers:

alliteration

metaphor

asyndeton

personification

hyperbole

Correct answer:

hyperbole

Explanation:

The speaker's claim that "this gives life to thee" (line 14) is an example of hyperbole, as the speaker is making an exaggerated claim that his or her poetry will give the beloved immortality.

Example Question #5 : Sat Subject Test In Literature

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

1          How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
2          I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
3          My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
4          For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
5          I love thee to the level of everyday's
6          Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
7          I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
8          I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
9          I love thee with the passion put to use
10        In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
11        I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
12        With my lost saints – I love thee with the breath,
13        Smiles, tears, of all my life! – and, if God choose,
14        I shall but love thee better after death.

This fourteen-line rhyming lyric poem is a typical                          .

Possible Answers:

haiku

sonnet

pastoral

elegy

limerick

Correct answer:

sonnet

Explanation:

This fourteen-line rhyming lyric poem is a typical sonnet written in iambic pentameter.

Example Question #6 : Sat Subject Test In Literature

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

1          How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
2          I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
3          My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
4          For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
5          I love thee to the level of everyday's
6          Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
7          I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
8          I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
9          I love thee with the passion put to use
10        In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
11        I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
12        With my lost saints – I love thee with the breath,
13        Smiles, tears, of all my life! – and, if God choose,
14        I shall but love thee better after death.

"I shall but love thee better after death," (line 14) can be described as                     .

Possible Answers:

hyperbole

a simile

alliteration

metonymy

asyndeton

Correct answer:

hyperbole

Explanation:

"I shall but love thee better after death," (line 14) can be described as hyperbole, as it is an exaggerated figure of speech.

Example Question #7 : Sat Subject Test In Literature

Batter my heart (Holy Sonnet 14)

1          Batter my heart, three-person'd God; for you
2          As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
3          That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
4          Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
5          I, like an usurp'd town, to another due,
6          Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.
7          Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
8          But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
9          Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
10        But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
11        Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
12        Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
13        Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
14        Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

The only example of alliteration throughout this sonnet is                      .

Possible Answers:

"Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me." (line 14)

"break, blow, burn," (line 4)

"Batter my heart, three-person'd God;" (line 1)

"Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again," (line 11)

"like an usurp'd town" (line 5)

Correct answer:

"break, blow, burn," (line 4)

Explanation:

"break, blow, burn," (line 4) is the only example of alliteration throughout this sonnet, as each word has the same sound at its beginning.

Example Question #8 : Sat Subject Test In Literature

1    Whoever comes to shroud me, do not harm
2             Nor question much
3    That subtle wreath of hair, which crowns my arm;
4    The mystery, the sign, you must not touch,
5             For 'tis my outward soul,
6    Viceroy to that, which then to heaven being gone,
7             Will leave this to control
8    And keep these limbs, her provinces, from dissolution.
 
9    For if the sinewy thread my brain lets fall
10           Through every part
11  Can tie those parts, and make me one of all,
12  Those hairs which upward grew, and strength and art
13           Have from a better brain,
14  Can better do'it; except she meant that I
15           By this should know my pain,
16  As prisoners then are manacled, when they'are condemn'd to die.
 
17  Whate'er she meant by'it, bury it with me,
18           For since I am
19  Love's martyr, it might breed idolatry,
20  If into other hands these relics came;
21           As 'twas humility
22  To afford to it all that a soul can do,
23           So, 'tis some bravery,
24  That since you would have none of me, I bury some of you.
 
(1633)

Which of the following are exhibit rhyme that is both slant rhyme and an end rhyme?

Possible Answers:

"part" (line 10) and "art" (line 12)

"harm" (line 1) and "arm" (line 3)

All of the answers 

"gone" (line 6) and "dissolution" (line 8)

"fall" (line 9) and "all" (line 11)

Correct answer:

"gone" (line 6) and "dissolution" (line 8)

Explanation:

"Gone" (line 6) and "dissolution" (line 8) are examples of a slant rhyme and an end rhyme. "Slant rhymes" are rhymes with similar but not exactly the same sounds, and "end rhymes" are rhymes of the final syllables in two lines of poetry.

(Passage adapted from "The Funeral" by John Donne)

Example Question #9 : Sat Subject Test In Literature

1   If but some vengeful god would call to me

2   From up the sky, and laugh: "Thou suffering thing,

3    Know that thy sorrow is my ecstasy,

4    That thy love's loss is my hate's profiting!"

 

5    Then would I bear it, clench myself, and die,

6    Steeled by the sense of ire unmerited;

7    Half-eased in that a Powerfuller than I

8    Had willed and meted me the tears I shed.

 

9    But not so.   How arrives it joy lies slain,

10  And why unblooms the best hope ever sown?

11  —Crass Casualty obstructs the sun and rain,

12  And dicing Time for gladness casts a moan. . . .

13  These purblind Doomsters had as readily strown

14  Blisses about my pilgrimage as pain.

 

(1898)

"—Crass Casualty obstructs the sun and rain" (line 11) is an example of ___________.

Possible Answers:

personification

simile 

metonym 

apostrophe 

metaphor 

Correct answer:

personification

Explanation:

"—Crass Casualty obstructs the sun and rain" (line 11) is an example of personification, as "personification" is a figure of speech where an inanimate object or idea possesses human attributes or abilities. Here, "Casualty" (an idea) is obstructing the sun and rain. An idea cannot obstruct the sun or rain. Humans have the ability to obstruct objects, though they cannot obstruct the sun or rain. 

(Passage adapted from "Hap" by Thomas Hardy)

Example Question #10 : Sat Subject Test In Literature

Cupid, because thou shin'st in Stella's eyes 

from Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophil and Stella 

1   Cupid, because thou shin’st in Stella’s eyes,

2   That from her locks, thy day-nets, none ‘scapes free,

3   That those lips swell, so full of thee they be,

4   That her sweet breath makes oft thy flames to rise,

5   That in her breast thy pap well sugared lies,

6   That her Grace gracious makes thy wrongs, that she

7   What words so ere she speak persuades for thee,

8   That her clear voice lifts thy fame to the skies:

9   Thou countest Stella thine, like those whose powers

10 Having got up a breach by fighting well,

11 Cry, “Victory, this fair day all is ours.”

12 Oh no, her heart is such a citadel,

13 So fortified with wit, stored with disdain,

14 That to win it, is all the skill and pain.

 

(1591)

"Oh no, her heart is such a citadel" (line 12) is an example of a(n) __________.

Possible Answers:

metaphor 

personification 

satire 

simile 

hyperbole 

Correct answer:

metaphor 

Explanation:

"Oh no, her heart is such a citadel" is an example of a metaphor, as a "metaphor" is a figure of speech that is used to compare two objects without the use of words like "like" or "as."  Stella's heart is being compared to a citadel.

 

(Passage adapted from "Astrophil and Stella" by Sir Philip Sydney, XII.1-14)

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