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. How does Rilke say one can know if a poem is good?
(a) If it reflects human nature.
(b) If it moves its readers.
(c) If it helps readers understand life.
(d) If it is inspired by necessity.

2. From where does Rilke instruct the young poet to derive inspiration?
(a) Music.
(b) The political climate of the times.
(c) The words of other poets.
(d) Nature, common human experiences, and memories.

3. Whose ideas about sex does Rilke advise the young poet to avoid subscribing to?
(a) Rilke's own.
(b) Professor Horacek's.
(c) Richard Dehmel's.
(d) Jens Peter Jacobsen's.

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

5. In the fourth letter, where does Rilke instruct the young poet to look for answers to his deepest questions?
(a) Creativity.
(b) Poetry.
(c) Nature.
(d) Sexuality.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Rilke advise the young poet to seek in regard to his sexuality?

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 says that there is only one thing that "can grasp and hold and be just toward" art. What is that thing?

4. What does Rilke tell the young poet to rejoice in?

5. In the first letter, what does Rilke cite as the most disruptive hindrance to the young poet's progress?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What are Rilke's views on aesthetic criticism?

3. Rilke places emphasis on the importance of solitude. Why is solitude so important?

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

5. 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?

6. Rilke says that artists remains unaware of their best qualities. Why is this?

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

8. What does Rilke mean when, in the fourth letter, he tells the young poet to "live" his unanswered questions?

9. 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]"?

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

(see the answer keys)

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