|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. In the first letter, Rilke says he cannot offer critical commentary on the young poet's work. Why?
2. Besides works by that writer, what other book does Rilke always have accessible to him?
3. How old is the young poet when he begins corresponding with Rilke?
4. In the first letter, what does Rilke cite as the most disruptive hindrance to the young poet's progress?
5. Where does Rilke say humans should look for lessons on how to approach sex and pleasure?
Short Essay Questions
1. What does Rilke claim is more permanent than human life?
2. 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?
3. What reason does Rilke give for advising the young poet against writing love poems?
4. What does Rilke mean when he tells the young poet in the first letter that the poet's work has "no individual style"?
5. What does Rilke mean when, in letter four, he says that the intellect "lags marveling behind" the consciousness?
6. In letter four, Rilke says that "even the best err in words when they are meant to mean most delicate and almost inexpressible things." What does this mean?
7. 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]"?
8. What does Rilke mean when, in the first letter, he suggests that critical commentary on art results in "happy misunderstandings"?
9. What does Rilke imply about irony?
10. What does Rilke mean when he says in letter three that sex "is not sufficiently human, [but] is only male"?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
In the first letter, Rilke tells the young poet that "a work of art is good if it has sprung from necessity." From this statement, discuss what Rilke's philosophy of art is, and comment on that philosophy.
Essay Topic 2
Explain to what extent the young poet seems to have followed Rilke's advice and how it seems he develops over the course of his correspondence with Rilke.
Essay Topic 3
How is Rilke's advice to the young poet applicable for 21st century writers? How is his advice not applicable for 21st century writers?
This section contains 846 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)