All STAAR EOC Test: Reading Resources
Example Question #5 : Poetry
Adapted from “Solitary Death, make me thine own” in Underneath the Bough: A Book of Verses by Michael Field (pseudonym of Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper) (1893)
Solitary Death, make me thine own,
And let us wander the bare fields together;
Yea, thou and I alone
Roving in unembittered unison forever.
I will not harry thy treasure-graves,
I do not ask thy still hands a lover;
My heart within me craves
To travel till we twain Time’s wilderness discover.
To sojourn with thee my soul was bred,
And I, the courtly sights of life refusing,
To the wide shadows fled,
And mused upon thee often as I fell a-musing.
Escaped from chaos, thy mother Night,
In her maiden breast a burthen that awed her,
By cavern waters white
Drew thee her first-born, her unfathered off-spring toward her.
On dewey plats, near twilight dingle,
She oft, to still thee from men’s sobs and curses
In thine ears a-tingle,
Pours her cool charms, her weird, reviving chaunt rehearses.
Though mortals menace thee or elude,
And from thy confines break in swift transgression.
Thou for thyself art sued
Of me, I claim thy cloudy purlieus my possession.
To a long freshwater, where the sea
Stirs the silver flux of the reeds and willows,
Come thou, and beckon me
To lie in the lull of the sand-sequestered billows:
Then take the life I have called my own
And to the liquid universe deliver;
Loosening my spirit’s zone,
Wrap round me as thy limbs the wind, the light, the river.
The MOST conventional aspect of this poem is ________________.
its characterization of night
its treatment of mortality as a concept
its rhyme structure
its use of personification
its use of imagery in relation to death
its rhyme structure
This poem features a very basic alternating ABAB rhyme structure throughout. Meanwhile, the treatment of Death as a welcome companion in the poem is certainly non-traditional, as is its extensive and idiosyncratic personification and characterization and its use of imagery in relation to death (Death’s embrace as the welcoming, encompassing hug of a friend, rather than, for example, a bony hand grasping someone’s ankle).