The exam: hints

The exam is bipartite.

Part A is worth 40 marks. You will write a clear, coherent, complex analysis of 5 extracts (from about 8-10 poems in first and second term, seminar and lecture-discussion) and contextualize your analysis in your clear, coherent, complex interpretation of the entire poem. Poems that we haven't discussed in class have a "*" beside them on the online syllabus, and will not appear in Part A.

As a rule, the extracts/poems have not been taken from poems that have appeared on tests (1 and 2) -- be prepared for a bit of barrel scraping. Most of the extracts have not been taken from seminar poems. (To be honest, I chose a few of them because I thought they might be useful for Part B.)

Part B is worth 60 marks. You will choose 2 essay questions (from about 8-10). Each question requires you to write about 3 poems that have appeared on the syllabus of this year's ENG201Y class. You choose the poems; I've suggested some, but you shouldn't feel limited by these suggestions. You may write about a poem that we didn't discuss -- e.g. Dickinson's "A clock stopped" and Poe's "The city in the sea", which a number of you have written essays on. In part B you may not write on the same poem twice. But you may write on a poem that you've written about in part A.

How to study for part B? Make sure that you know some of the poems really, really well; it helps if they're poems that you like. Then second-guess the professor. Why so many poems about birds? body parts? cats? journeys? Then prepare some subjects that you are pretty sure will have to appear on the exam in some form or another. Read, think, enjoy. Take a risk or two.


Thank you all for a good year. I'd especially like to thank those of you who were engaged in the class discussions: silently and attentively engaged, or (especially) contributing to the discussion -- it's your knowledge and generous insights that made many of our evenings so fruitful and satisfying.