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

2. How does Rilke say that humans should approach physical pleasure?

3. What does Rilke say about everything that is serious?

4. Who does Rilke tell the young poet to be considerate of because of their fear of solitude?

5. To what does Rilke compare artistic experience?

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. In letter four, Rilke says that "everything that may some day be possible to many the solitary man can now prepare and build with his hands, that err less." What does this mean?

3. 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?

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

5. What does Rilke imply about irony?

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

7. At the end of letter four, Rilke mentions the young poet's new profession. What is this profession?

8. What do letters two and three suggest about the young poet's interest in Rilke's advice?

9. How does Rilke advise the young poet to approach works of art?

10. What type of writing does Rilke advocate for?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the first letter, Rilke suggests that the critical assessment of literary works is not a valuable practice. Do you agree with Rilke's statement? Why or why not? Do you think literary works should not be critically assessed?

Essay Topic 2

Explain Rilke's ideas about the interrelationship of sex and art. How are sex and art similar? What should the role of sexuality be in the life of the artist?

Essay Topic 3

Throughout the letters, and especially in letter eight, Rilke suggests that people are not truly living their lives--that their experiences are dulled from familiarity and security. What type of living is Rilke advocating? What is this type of living like?

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