Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson “I Hear America Singing” pg. 365 1. What groups of people is Whitman writing about? 2. What poetic device does Whitman use to emphasize that? 3. What poetic device is implemented in the last line? _______________ What is the meaning behind the words being used here? 4. What is the overall tone? _________________ What words prove this? “Song of Myself: 10” pg. 368 5. What is a persona? _____________________________ What information is this persona describing to readers? 1 sentence summary 6. What examples tell readers that the poem takes place in the 1800s? 7. What was Whitman’s opinion about Native Americans (interracial marriage) and African American slaves in the West? Prove it. “A Sight in Camp in the Daybreak Gray and Dim” pg. 376 8. What kind of camp is the speaker in? _______________ What’s with the three soldiers? 9. How does Whitman show the dichotomy (opposites) of the first two soldiers? 10. Who is the 3rd man a symbol for? _______________ Why does Whitman compare this soldier to the other? Explain. “Song of Myself: 6” pg. 415 11. According to Whitman what is the grass? List all. 12. What poetic device does he use for these answers? ______________________ 13. In line 14, “transpire” means “come from”, where might the grass come from (2 choices)? \ What does Whitman think has become of these two choices from question 12? 14. What is the theme of this poem? Hint: think about the grass, the 2 choices, and the 2nd to last and last stanza. “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer” pg. 417 15. Where is the speaker in lines 1-4? What’s he doing there? 16. Where is he in lines 5-8? What’s he doing? 17. What tone words can you identify in lines 5-8? Which does he prefer: lines 1-4 or 5-8? ______________ What would the theme be? “A Noiseless Patient Spider” pg. 418 18. What natural element is Whitman describing in stanza 1? 19. What is being described in stanza 2? 20. What word is being repeated in stanza 1? __________________ 21. In stanza 2, the soul is sending forth thread out into the world hoping to catch on to something. Literally, how is Whitman sending thread from his soul out into the world? “The Soul Selects Her own Society” pg. 391 22. Who is the character in stanza 1? __________ What gender is it? ____________ What is the character’s action in line 1? _____________________ What does it do to everyone else? 23. What is the parallelism in stanza 2? ___________________ How will the character treat the Chariots and the Emperor? What is the simile in the last stanza? 24. What does the parallelism and the simile tell readers about this character? “Tell All the Truth But Tell It Slant” pg. 396 25. What does line 1 mean? 26. How does Dickinson describe “our Delight”? ___________ What does that mean? 27. Explain the power of Truth as explained in the poem lines 5 and 8. 28. Would you agree with her about line 1? Explain. “Apparently With No Surprise” pg. 398 29. What is happening to the flower in the poem? 30. How is the Frost’s action? ___________ the Sun’s description? _____________ God? _____________ 31. What tone words can you identify in the poem? 32. How does Dickinson feel about the changing of the seasons, especially into fall and winter? “I Heard a Fly Buzz—When I Died” pg. 403 33. What event does the poem describe? 34. How did the speaker plan for the event to proceed? Stanza 2-3. 35. What interrupts this event for the speaker? ___________ 36. What’s the theme of this poem? What would she tell you about your grand ideas for events in your life? “Much Madness is Divinest Sense” pg. 404 37. What does the first line mean? 38. What does “discerning” mean? ______________________ Explain what it means to lines 1-2. 39. In lines 3-4, who are really the “mad” or crazy ones? 40. If you “assent”, how do they (answer to #43) treat you? If you “demur”, how do they (answer to #43) treat you? 41. Explain how this echoes the meaning of Emerson and Thoreau’s ideas of individuality. “My Life Closed Twice Before Its Close” 42. Read the italicized paragraph above the poem. What does line 1 mean? 43. In stanza 1, what does she think will probably happen before she dies? 44. In stanza 2, what example of parallelism does Dickinson use to describe how she felt when the first two parted? 45. Explain the last two lines. “This is My Letter to the World” pg. 421 46. Literally, what is her “letter to the world?”___________What are some of the subjects of her letters? 47. What is the meaning of line 2? 48. Who is “Her” from line 5? __________ What point of view is Dickinson using here? ____ person p.o.v. 49. What advice does she give those her “Judge” her? 50. What do you think the author would say about you putting your art out there for all the world to see?
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