Answer your question completely, specifically, and cite any references according to MLA documentation standards, i.e., “quoted line/quoted line” (Frost 2-4). Or, after you’ve established the author’s name, you need only cite line numbers: As Frost wrote in his famous piece, “And I/I took the one less travelled by” (14-15).

Your essay should be the equivalent of about 2-3 typed pages.

Using at least two outside sources to help consider its meaning or its author’s intentions, explicate completely a poem of your choice from among those on our reading list and compare it to another. Be sure to state the name and author of your chosen poem and its companion in your response, and write in unified paragraphs rather than in line-by-line examination.

I have attached a “Connections” document below. You need choose only one from the list for this exam question.

Furthermore, be sure to credit all of your sources (both primary and secondary texts) according to correct MLA guidelines and provide a Works Cited page.

I’m a riddle in nine syllables,
An elephant, a ponderous house,
A melon strolling on two tendrils.
O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!
This loaf’s big with its yeasty rising.
Money’s new-minted in this fat purse.
I’m a means, a stage, a cow in calf.
I’ve eaten a bag of green apples,
Boarded the train there’s no getting off.

Connections Exam Questions (Choose only one).  For this exam, you will be working with a poem from our reading list and comparing it to another poem in the text that we did not cover.  Be sure to include some explication of both (or more) poems as well as the content you choose to focus on suggested by the prompt.


  1. How are the horrors of war depicted in Rich’s “The School Among the Ruins” (269) paralleled in Forche’s “the Colonel” work? How are they different?
  2. How are Frost’s ideas of journey, nostalgia, and decision reflected in other works in this volume, such as Tennyson’s “Crossing the Bar” (333)?
  3. Compare this interaction in Hayden’s “those Winder Sundays” with father-daughter interactions in Tracy K. Smith’s “My God, It’s Full of Stars” (304). What similarities between the two fathers are seen? Between the children?
  4. How does the subject of untimely death in Housman’s poems compare to the same topic in Robinson’s “Richard Cory” (273) or Wordsworth’s “Lucy Gray” (360)
  5. How does the Hughes selection compare to those of Komunyakaa’s (195)? Does the time period in which each wrote account for the discrepancies?
  6. How does Cage’s awareness in Jackson’s poem function in a similar manner to Orpheus in Carbó’s “I found Orpheus Levitating” (49)?
  7. Compare the insect imagery in Ludvigson’s poem and in Dickinson’s 465 (“I Heard a Fly buzz—when I died—”) (82).
  8. How are Millay’s poems and the works of Clifton (55) and Walker (350) each examples of strong and independent women?
  9. What archetypes regarding animals are invoked or played with in Oliver’s poem? How does this compare with Blake’s animal imagery in poems such as “The Lamb” (31) or “The Tyger” (32)?
  10. How is the portrayal of death in Poe’s “Annabel Lee” different from that in Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for Death—” (82)
  11. How does Shakespeare use the sonnet form in comparison to others in this text? Which sonnet writer do you find most effective, and why?
  12. How might the speaker in Tupac Shakir’s poem respond to Danez Smith’s “not an elegy for Mike Brown” (300) or “Tonight, in Oakland” (302)?
  13. How does this Shapiro’s poem’s exploration of religious practice compare to that of Larkin’s “Church Going” (202)?
  14. Compare these Springsteen’s protest songs in “The River” with Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’” (95). How does each work explore the social issues of its day?
  15. How are body parts in Walker’s poem “Women” used? How does this strategy compare to Clifton’s use of body parts in both “homage to my hips” (55) and “Lorena” (56)?
  16. How does the self-reflection of Whitman’s speaker differ from Hughes’s in “Theme for English B” (170)? How are they similar?
  17. Compare Williams’ image poem to Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro” (263). How successful are they at crystallizing an emotion into a single concrete image?




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