Poetry Essay Prompt

Satisfactory Essays
AP Literature Poetry Essay Prompts (1970–2011)

1970 Poem: “Elegy for Jane” (Theodore Roethke)
Prompt: Write an essay in which you describe the speaker's attitude toward his former student, Jane.

1971 Poem: “The Unknown Citizen” (W.H. Auden)
Prompt: In a brief essay, identify at least two of the implications implicit in the society reflected in the poem. Support your statements by specific references to the poem.

1972 NO POEM 1973 (exam not available)

1974 Poem: “I wonder whether one expects...” (No poet given)
Prompt: Write a unified essay in which you relate the imagery of the last stanza to the speaker’s view of himself earlier in the poem and to his view of how others see poets.

1975 NO POEM

1976 Poem: “Poetry of Departures”
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1988 Poems: “Bright Star” (John Keats) and “Choose Something Like a Star” (Robert Frost)
Prompt: Read the following two poems very carefully, noting that the second includes an allusion to the first. Then write a well-organized essay in which you discuss their similarities and differences. In your essay, be sure to consider both theme and style.

1989 Poem: “The Great Scarf of Birds” (John Updike)
Prompt: Write a well-organized essay in which you analyze how the poem's organization, diction, and figurative language prepare the reader for the speaker's concluding response.

1990 Poem: Soliloquy from Henry IV, Part II (William Shakespeare)
Prompt: In the soliloquy, King Henry laments his inability to sleep. In a well-organized essay, briefly summarize the King's thoughts and analyze how the diction, imagery, and syntax help to convey his state of mind.

1991 Poem: “The Last Night that She lived...” (Emily Dickinson)
Prompt: Write an essay in which you describe the speaker's attitude toward the woman's death. Using specific references from the text, show how the use of language reveals the speaker's attitude.

1992 Poem: “The Prelude” (William Wordsworth)
Prompt: In the passage below, which comes from William Wordsworth's autobiographical poem “The Prelude,” the speaker encounters unfamiliar aspects of the natural world. Write an essay in which you trace the speaker's changing responses to his experiences and
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