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. Who does the narrator feel most sorry for in 'The Lost Children'?

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

3. What do the birds decide not to do in the winter in 'A Poem for the Blue Heron'?

4. According to 'John Chapman', what decision must people make when they are in pain?

5. What do the moles find delicious in 'Moles'?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What is 'Ghosts' really about?

4. How does the narrator feel as she drives to the White Forest in 'The Bobcat'?

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

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

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

8. Where does personification fit in 'Lightning'?

9. What does the narrator see before leaving the hospital in 'University Hospital, Boston'?

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

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

Who was John Chapman, and how did he change the history and landscape of America?

(see the answer keys)

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