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 is the beast in 'Tasting the Wild Grapes'?

2. What is the blue heron looking for in 'A Poem for the Blue Heron'?

3. Who killed a crow the week before in 'Crows and Owls'?

4. What does the narrator of 'Cold Poem' say men become when it grows colder?

5. What was Isaac doing when he went missing in 'The Lost Children'?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What do the Sioux say about ghosts in the poem 'Ghosts'?

4. What is the main metaphor used in 'Lightning'?

5. What does the narrator say about the trees at the Boston Hospital in 'University Hospital, Boston'?

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

7. What question does the narrator want to ask the stranger on the plane in 'Flying'?

8. What chafes the narrator in 'Fall Song'?

9. What question is asked at the beginning of 'Ghosts'?

10. What does the narrator of 'August' accept during the poem?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What were some of the questions asked in 'The Gardens' and how did their unanswered status affect the tone of the poem?

Essay Topic 2

Despair was a theme that was placed in a number of sensitive places in these poems. What are some of these places, and what role did despair play in this book?

Essay Topic 3

Diversity was a major theme in this book as many different lifestyles and ranks in society were described. How was this theme shown in this book, and why do you think the author felt it was so important?

(see the answer keys)

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