American Primitive: Poems Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What was in the attic in 'Web'?

2. Which of these is used to describe the moles in 'Moles'?

3. What does the narrator of 'A Poem for the Blue Heron' build lots of when it grows cold?

4. What causes the beast in 'Tasting the Wild Grapes' to explode at times?

5. Where is the dead kitten buried in 'The Kitten'?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the person in 'Skunk Cabbage' looking for, and what do they find?

2. What does the narrator in 'University Hospital, Boston' think about when she hears how old the hospital is?

3. In 'The Kitten', what does the narrator feel as she buries the kitten, and why?

4. How does the narrator of 'Fall Song' describe the present time?

5. What kind of annoyances does the narrator of 'Egrets' face while going to see the egrets?

6. How do most people feel about vultures according to the narrator of 'Vultures'?

7. What does the person in 'Skunk Cabbage' love about the woods?

8. What does the alligator in 'Postcard From Flamingo' do?

9. What is the central theme in the first four poems?

10. What does the narrator of 'Egrets' say allows them to step without fear?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What are some of the key examples of gratitude in this book, and how do these instances affect the tone of the poems that had this as a central theme?

Essay Topic 2

In 'Crossing the Swamp' Oliver talks about how trials and hardships have shaped her life. What are some of the ways her life was shaped by these things, and how did she present these ideas in this poem.

Essay Topic 3

What role does symbolism play in these poems and where does it appear? How is the tone and meaning of the poems altered by the presence of these symbols?

(see the answer keys)

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