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exam questions

Lesson Plan, class 10b, Calgary High, November 24, 2135, Thursday morning, 10:05am.
Ms Inuit O’Casey-Yellow Foot, English Language Unit Controller.
End of class period test:
Answer the following questions from your reading of last nite’s homework poem,
Passage and Time, by Michael O’Neill (1942- 2021).

1. Which poet and which of his/her poems is O’Neill referencing in Passage and Time? Provide internal evidence to support your opinion. Marks will be allotted for discerning the entire complement of evidences, and apportioned pro rata when not all are identified.
(You may answer in verse, as long as it’s terse; on zphone voice transcriber, but only in lower thought reduction mode; or online, being careful to overdub graphics.)

2. How many separate visits to Dante’s and Maria’s does O’Neill tell us about in Time and Passage? Is there significance to the number of visits? If yes, elaborate on the possible success or otherwise of this device and define its purpose from a purely allusive perspective. Link this issue to the answer you gave in Question 1.

3. Do we learn for sure the name of the boy referred to in line two?

4. O’Neill says only two, himself and the boy, presumably his son, ate at the cafe, then in line five uses the word But. Why?

5. Like some avant-garde poets in 19thC England, O’Neill published this poem (on a device called the internet, aka, world wide web) integrated with drawings. It is traditionally reproduced in the format he published it. Is/was this a conscious copying of the earlier poet(s)? Defend your view.

6. Comment on the inclusion of the words tillage, absorption, and salt in the poem.

7. Why does O’Neill describe the drops as “trapped”? Are we entitled – justified by the text – to read more into this choice of descriptor than its surface meaning?

8. Discuss one of the following passages:
a) He was silent, but a kid may stare.
b) cheeks run cold
c) alone to hold

9. The clause and so I knew / Today when I am old… appears awkward and grammatically doubtful. In your view, can it be justified? (Give grounds for your opinion.)

10. Is O’Neill referring to the rubbing in of salt merely because a cafe table is the setting for the poetic confrontation? What two (or more) entities are confronting each other in this poem?

11. Is O’Neill addressing anyone in this poem? If so, whom?

exam questions

Michael O'Neill

Brisbane, Australia

  • Artist

Artist's Description

This is an exam paper set for students who are studying the poem Passage and time in the year 2135 in Ms Inuit O’Casey-Yellow Foot’s English Language unit. You’ll make more sense of it once you’ve sighted the poem, like Ms O’Casey-Yellow Foot tells the kids.
Read it at

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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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