The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke Test | Final 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. According to Rilke's poem, how did the prodigal son grow up?

2. Which of the following is a line from the poem "To Holderlin"?

3. What is the subject of sonnet II-8?

4. How does Rilke make up for writing in generalized poetic form?

5. How many parts is "Uncollected Poems" divided into?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Orpheus as Rilke describes him in his sonnets.

2. What is "The Prodigal Son" about?

3. Describe the "diaphaonous girl."

4. How does Rilke create a dramatic tone in his sonnets?

5. Which elegy is the most emotional and why?

6. How does Rilke give in to tradition while writing, as exemplified in his elegies?

7. What is the message behind "For the Sake of a Single Poem"?

8. Why do you think that only some poems have titles?

9. What is "Faces" about?

10. Who does the invisible 'you' reference in the first poem in "Sonnets to Orpheus"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What are the consequences of translating Rilke's poems from German to English? What is lost in translation? Is anything gained? Why or why not? Give one specific example.

Essay Topic 2

What is the message of "For the Sake of a Single Poem"? What literary devices are used in the poem, and what effect do they have?

Essay Topic 3

What is the difference between poem and prose? How does Rilke use both? Which is a better technique for Rilke, in your opinion, and why?

(see the answer keys)

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