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

2. What works by the writer who Rilke revers most does Rilke always have accessible to him?
(a) An Endless Summer and Tomorrow.
(b) Six Stories and Niels Lyhne.
(c) Jude the Obscure and Tess of the D'Urbervilles.
(d) Winter's Best and On the Way.

3. In the first letter, what does Rilke advise the poet to do to improve his writing?
(a) Begin studying music.
(b) Take a poetry class with Rilke.
(c) Emulate the best classical poets.
(d) Examine his inner self to determine what writing means to him.

4. What is the name of the young poet who is the recipient of the letters contained in this volume?
(a) Franz Horacek.
(b) Xaver Rilke.
(c) Franz Rilke.
(d) Franz Xaver Kappus.

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 inner examination will result in the young poet determining a different course that may be better for the young poet.
(b) The young poet may be able to have a well-paying career.
(c) The young poet might then discover his talents for music.
(d) The young poet may discover that he has a spiritual calling.

Short Answer Questions

1. Where is Rilke when he writes the second letter?

2. In the third letter, Rilke requests that the young poet avoid something. What is it that he asks the poet to avoid?

3. Rilke indicates that in the future, men and women will approach each other differently than they do at the time of his writing. How will they approach each other?

4. In the first letter, Rilke says he cannot offer critical commentary on the young poet's work. Why?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Rilke mean when, in letter four, he says that physical pleasure is not bad, but that physical pleasure is often "misuse[d] and squander[ed]"?

3. What can be inferred about Rilke's health from letters two and three?

4. Rilke places considerable emphasis on the necessary nature of art. What does he mean when he says that a poet is only a poet if he would die if he didn't write?

5. 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..."?

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

7. What does Rilke mean when he tells the young poet in the first letter that the poet's work has "no individual style"?

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

9. What does Rilke mean when, in letter four, he says that the intellect "lags marveling behind" the consciousness?

10. What does Rilke mean when, in the first letter, he suggests that critical commentary on art results in "happy misunderstandings"?

(see the answer keys)

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