Letters to a Young Poet Test | Mid-Book Test - Easy

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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Rilke writes that "most events are inexpressible," and says that one category of things is more inexpressible than all the rest. What is this category?
(a) Works of art.
(b) Human communication.
(c) Human suffering.
(d) Human frailty.

2. What does the young poet write about in his third letter to Rilke that Rilke mentions in his letter back to the young poet?
(a) The works of Jens Peter Jacobsen.
(b) The works of William Shakespeare.
(c) His first publication.
(d) His decision to become a sculptor.

3. How does Rilke suggest one knows if one should not be a poet?
(a) If one can live without writing.
(b) If one cannot get published after 100 tries.
(c) If one is bored by one's own writing.
(d) If one does not like to read others' poetry.

4. What does Rilke say about Professor Horacek in his first letter?
(a) That the professor is a great poet.
(b) That the professor helps to nurse Rilke back to health as a boy.
(c) That the professor is a great scholar.
(d) That he holds admiration and gratitude for the professor.

5. If the young poet discovers he should not be a poet, Rilke suggests that his inner examination will not be worthless. Why not?
(a) The young poet might then discover his talents for music.
(b) The young poet may discover that he has a spiritual calling.
(c) The inner examination will result in the young poet determining a different course that may be better for the young poet.
(d) The young poet may be able to have a well-paying career.

6. Besides works by that writer, what other book does Rilke always have accessible to him?
(a) A volume of Shakespearian sonnets.
(b) The Bible.
(c) The Origin of Species.
(d) The Torah.

7. In the fourth letter, what does Rilke say he wishes human beings are more reverent toward?
(a) Solitude.
(b) Art.
(c) Independence.
(d) Their sexuality.

8. What type of poetry does Rilke advise the poet not to write?
(a) Love poems and other common forms.
(b) Narrative poems.
(c) Lyric poems.
(d) Epics.

9. In the first letter, what does Rilke cite as the most disruptive hindrance to the young poet's progress?
(a) Romantic entanglements.
(b) Non-artistic work.
(c) Looking for others to answer the poet's own personal questions.
(d) Drinking.

10. What does Rilke advise the young poet to seek in regard to his sexuality?
(a) A sexuality that is the young poet's own, individualized sexuality.
(b) A sexuality that is passionate and fierce.
(c) A sexuality that is based on creativity.
(d) A sexuality that is moderate.

11. How does Rilke say that humans should approach physical pleasure?
(a) As something to rejoice in.
(b) As something to save for special occasions.
(c) As something to use for distraction from worry.
(d) As something to guard carefully.

12. What does Rilke send to the young poet in reply to the poet's first letter?
(a) Money.
(b) A list of potential publishers.
(c) A volume of Rilke's poetry.
(d) A letter and the poet's poems.

13. What novel does Rilke discuss in letter three?
(a) Pifer.
(b) Jude the Obscure.
(c) Across the World.
(d) Niels Lyhne.

14. In the first letter the young poet sent to Rilke along with his poems, what does he ask of Rilke?
(a) If Rilke can send the poet a poem Rilke has written.
(b) If Rilke can come visit him.
(c) If his poems are good.
(d) If Rilke can help the poet get published.

15. Where is Rilke when he writes the third letter?
(a) Rome, Italy.
(b) Berlin, Germany.
(c) Florence, Italy.
(d) Viareggio, near Pisa, Italy.

Short Answer Questions

1. In the fourth letter, where does Rilke instruct the young poet to look for answers to his deepest questions?

2. What does Rilke ask the young poet to do for him at the end of the first letter?

3. How does the young poet describe the writer and personal acquaintance Rilke mentions?

4. In the fourth letter, who does Rilke say is more similar than people think?

5. Whose ideas about sex does Rilke advise the young poet to avoid subscribing to?

(see the answer keys)

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