Test: STAAR EOC Test: Reading

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.


In context of the passage overall, the use of the underlined and bolded phrase “have called” in the last stanza serves what purpose?

The use of “have called” in reference to “this life” suggests that the speaker is, in fact, dead, and that the poem is addressed from beyond the grave

In reference to “this life,” the “have called my own” construction suggests that the speaker is not ready to die, and actively resents death’s power to override his or her will

The use of “have called” in reference to “this life” reveals that the speaker is actually speaking on behalf of Death, not to it. This revelation functions as the climax of the poem

The use of “have called” suggests that the speaker has been deceptive in the past, and alerts the reader, for the first time, that the speaker may be unreliable in his or her statements

In reference to “this life,” the “have called my own” construction suggests that the speaker’s sense of a rigid, personally defined self is illusory in the face a fluid and “liquid universe”

1/2 questions


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