Reading Poetry Practice Exercises: GED Language Arts, Reading (page 3)

Updated on Mar 9, 2011

Passage 6

The following poem is by Robert Frost.

      Closed for Good
      Much as I own I owe
      The passers of the past
      Because their to and fro
      Has cut this road to last,
      I owe them more today
      Because they've gone away
      And come not back with steed
      And chariot to chide
      My slowness with their speed
      And scare me to one side.
      They have found other scenes
      For haste and other means.
      They leave the road to me
      To walk in saying naught
      Perhaps but to a tree
      Inaudibly in thought,
      "From you the road receives
      A priming coat of leaves.
      "And soon for lack of sun,
      The prospects are in white
      It will be further done,
      But with a coat so light
      The shape of leaves will show
      Beneath the brush of snow."
      And so on into winter
      Till even I have ceased
      To come as a foot printer,
      And only some slight beast
      So mousy or so foxy
      Shall print there as my proxy.
  1. Why does the speaker in this poem say, I owe them more today / Because they've gone away?
    1. The people who made the road have left it to him to walk on.
    2. The people of the past were unpleasant company.
    3. He is in debt and can't pay it back.
    4. The people of the past don't owe him anything.
    5. He paid people to leave him alone.
  2. What is the rhyme scheme of the second stanza?
    1. a, a, b, b, a, b
    2. a, b, c, a, b, c
    3. a, b, a, b, c, c
    4. a, b, b, b, b, c
    5. There is no rhyme scheme.
  3. What does the word proxy mean in the last line?
    1. walking in the poet's footsteps
    2. doing something on behalf of the speaker
    3. gluing something to the tree
    4. standing next to the tree
    5. a will
  4. What meter is this line written in: They leave the road to me?
    1. dactylic pentameter
    2. anapestic trimeter
    3. iambic trimeter
    4. iambic pentameter
    5. anapestic pentameter
  5. This poem is an example of
    1. imagistic poetry.
    2. argumentative poetry.
    3. sonnet.
    4. elegy.
    5. acrostic poetry.


Passage 1

  1. b.   Line 2 of stanza 1 states that Death kindly stopped for the speaker. Choice a is incorrect because indifferent would suggest that Death did not acknowledge the speaker. Choices c and d are incorrect because the poem does not relate that the character, Death, is either an immortal god or a demon.
  2. c.   This choice fits the kindness of Death, as stated by the speaker, as well as the fact that Death knew no haste. Also it includes the idea that the speaker put away… labour and leisure, too, for his civility. This supports the image of Death as gentle, timeless, and leaving of life's cares behind.
  3. b.   The meaning of the word can be deduced from the context of the line. Because he is driving slowly, Death knows no haste. This is a matter of opposites. None of the other choices are the opposite of slowly.
  4. c.   The swelling of the ground… the roof scarcely visible… [the cornice] but a mound. All of these are descriptive of a grave with its gravestone.
  5. a.   Death is a pleasant companion; the speaker only describes him in positive, gentle terms.

Passage 2

  1. b.   The eagle watches from his mountain walls and falls like a thunderbolt. Saying that the eagle watches and then falls like a thunderbolt implies alertness and then striking, respectively. The most logical choice is that the eagle is hunting.
  2. b.   The word azure means blue and is often used to describe the sky. Neither a forest nor cliffs are azure (choices a and c), and the poem does not specifically mention either a grassy field or nature (choices d and e).
  3. a.   It is the wrinkled sea that crawls.
  4. c.   The first line repeats the letter c: He clasps the crag with crooked hands. Alliteration is a repetition of a consonant sound in one or more lines of a poem.
  5. e.   The last line tells us that the eagle falls like a thunderbolt. A simile compares two or more things by using like or as.

Passage 3

  1. c.   The word pelf means wealth or riches. You can determine this meaning from the context because Scott has been listing various forms of riches and honor; and in the same line of the poem, he mentions titles and power.
  2. e.   Those who do not love their homeland will die twice in the sense that first they will die physically, and then their memory will die with them—they will be forgotten. Scott does not mention any specific form of death; his focus is merely on the fact that such people do not contribute anything to society and will, therefore, be forgotten by future generations.
  3. b.   Scott probably loved his homeland, since his poem is condemning people who dont. He was, in fact, from Great Britain, but this is not mentioned in the poem.
  4. c.   The word concentred is a poetic form of centered or focused, and Scott is suggesting that such people are self-centered and selfish. This can be determined by the context, which drives home the idea that unpatriotic individuals are selfish, focused entirely upon riches and power and honor—rather than on the nation, which makes those things possible.
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