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

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What type of locale is Rilke in as he is writing the fourth letter to the young poet?
(a) A southern seaside.
(b) A city.
(c) A farm.
(d) A rural plain.

2. From where is the first letter from Rilke to the young poet postmarked?
(a) Munich.
(b) Paris.
(c) Berlin.
(d) Prague.

3. 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 based on creativity.
(c) A sexuality that is moderate.
(d) A sexuality that is passionate and fierce.

4. 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 may discover that he has a spiritual calling.
(b) The young poet may be able to have a well-paying career.
(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 might then discover his talents for music.

5. What does Rilke tell the young poet to rejoice in?
(a) The young poet's work.
(b) The young poet's parents.
(c) The young poet's growth.
(d) The young poet's writing.

Short Answer Questions

1. Where does Rilke say humans should look for lessons on how to approach sex and pleasure?

2. What does Rilke enclose with his third letter to the young poet?

3. What does Rilke call himself in relation to the young poet at the end of the first letter?

4. What does Rilke suggest that all humans share in, both women and men?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What can the reader infer about the content of the first letter the young poet wrote to Rilke from reading Rilke's response?

2. What type of writing does Rilke advocate for?

3. What reason does Rilke give for advising the young poet against writing love poems?

4. What does Rilke claim is more permanent than human life?

5. What does Rilke imply about the nature of good art when he tells the young poet that if poetry is inspired by the young poet's soul-searching, he does not need to ask anyone else if the poetry is good?

6. Rilke tells the young poet in the first letter that the only way for the poet to improve his writing is to "go into yourself". What does this mean?

7. What does Rilke mean when, in letter four, he says that man "might be more reverent toward his fruitfulness, which is but one, whether it seems mental or physical..."?

8. What does Rilke mean when he says in letter three that sex "is not sufficiently human, [but] is only male"?

9. What does Rilke say about the reading and re-reading of works by Jens Peter Jacobsen?

10. What can we infer from the fact that in the first letter, Rilke's closing salutation is with "with sympathy?"

(see the answer keys)

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