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 does the changing water remind the blue heron of in 'A Poem For the Blue Heron'?

2. What kind of home does the blue heron leave to find in 'A Poem For the Blue Heron'?

3. Why did the narrator in 'The Lost Children' say Tarhe refused to return Isaac?

4. What is the beast in 'Tasting the Wild Grapes'?

5. What does the dust try to hide in the whorehouse?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the narrator think about while watching nature in Flamingo?

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

3. What does the first snow do to familiar things in the poem 'First Snow'?

4. What sound does the narrator describe at the beginning of 'Postcard from Flamingo'?

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

6. What is the ironic idea included in 'Mushrooms'?

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

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

9. In 'The Bobcat', what does the bobcat do that astounds the narrator?

10. What is 'Ghosts' really about?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What did Oliver state about happiness in 'The Plum Trees', and how were these ideas substantiated?

Essay Topic 2

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

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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