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Reading Poetry Practice Exercises: GED Language Arts, Reading

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Updated on Mar 9, 2011

The study guide for these practice questions can be found at:

GED Test Preparation: Reading Poetry Study Guide

Read the following passages and answer the related questions.

Passage 1

The following poem is by Emily Dickinson.

      The Chariot
      Because I could not stop for Death,
      He kindly stopped for me;
      The carriage held but just ourselves
      And Immortality.
      We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
      And I had put away
      My labor, and my leisure too,
      For his civility.
      We passed the school where children played,
      Their lessons scarcely done;
      We passed the fields of gazing grain,
      We passed the setting sun.
      We paused before a house that seemed
      A swelling of the ground;
      The roof was scarcely visible,
      The cornice but a mound.
      Since then 'tis centuries; but each
      Feels shorter than the day
      I first surmised the horses' heads
      Were toward eternity.
  1. The image of death presented in stanza 1 is that of
    1. an indifferent driver.
    2. a kindly gentleman.
    3. an immortal god disguised as a human.
    4. a demon.
    5. none of the above
  2. The main idea of the poem is that
    1. death kidnaps its victims and drives away emotionlessly.
    2. death is dull; its chief torment is boredom.
    3. death is a gentle timeless journey, simply leaving life's cares behind.
    4. death is an eternity.
    5. death is a horrific journey.
  3. In stanza 2, the word haste can be defined as
    1. sorrow.
    2. hurry.
    3. guilt.
    4. happiness.
    5. hate.
  4. The image described in stanza 4 most closely represents
    1. a blurring of life and death.
    2. an inability of the dead to focus on the world of the living.
    3. a description of the grave.
    4. a last image of security one sees before one dies.
    5. a description of a child's playground.
  5. One can infer from the tone of the poem that the speaker
    1. views Death as a pleasant companion.
    2. views Death as an intruder.
    3. views Death as a figure of authority.
    4. views Death as an intimate friend.
    5. views Death as a bitter enemy.
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