GRE Subject Test: Literature in English : Contexts of American Poetry

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All GRE Subject Test: Literature in English Resources

1 Diagnostic Test 158 Practice Tests Question of the Day Flashcards Learn by Concept

Example Questions

Example Question #11 : Contexts Of American Poetry Before 1925

My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree

    Toward heaven still,

    And there's a barrel that I didn't fill

    Beside it, and there may be two or three

    Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.

    But I am done with apple-picking now.

    Essence of winter sleep is on the night,

    The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.

The author of this poem also wrote all but which of the following poems?

Possible Answers:

“A Soldier”

"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”

“Little Gidding”

“The Road Not Taken”

“Mending Wall”

Correct answer:

“Little Gidding”

Explanation:

“Little Gidding” is a poem by T.S. Eliot. (It’s the final work in Eliot’s masterpiece collection Four Quartets (1942).) The rest are all works by Robert Frost. "The Road Not Taken" is from Mountain Interval (1916), "A Soldier" is from West-Running Brook (1928), "Mending Wall" is from North of Boston (1915), "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” is from New Hampshire (1923).

Passage adapted from Robert Frost’s poem "After Apple-picking" published in his collection North of Boston (1915).

Example Question #11 : Contexts Of American Poetry

Thou hast a house on high erect

Framed by that mighty Architect,

With glory richly furnished,

Stands permanent though this be fled.

It‘s purchased and paid for too

By Him who hath enough to do.

A price so vast as is unknown,

Yet by His gift is made thine own;

There‘s wealth enough, I need no more,

Farewell, my pelf, farewell, my store.

The world no longer let me love,

My hope and treasure lies above.

Who wrote this poem?

Possible Answers:

Phillis Wheatley

Mary Wollstonecraft

Anne Bradstreet

Aphra Behn

Rebecca Hammond Lard

Correct answer:

Anne Bradstreet

Explanation:

This is a famous early American poem, “Verses Upon the Burning of Our House July 10th, 1666,” written by the Puritan poet Anne Bradstreet. Bradstreet is known for being the first published female writer in the British North American colonies.

Passage adapted from Anne Bradstreet’s “Verses upon the Burning of our House, July 10th, 1666” (1666)

Example Question #12 : Contexts Of American Poetry Before 1925

Thou hast a house on high erect

Framed by that mighty Architect,

With glory richly furnished,

Stands permanent though this be fled.

It‘s purchased and paid for too

By Him who hath enough to do.

A price so vast as is unknown,

Yet by His gift is made thine own;

There‘s wealth enough, I need no more,

Farewell, my pelf, farewell, my store.

The world no longer let me love,

My hope and treasure lies above.

Which of the following is the title of a book by this poet?

Possible Answers:

Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral

Preparatory Meditations

New English Canaan

Twice-told Tales

The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America

Correct answer:

The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America

Explanation:

The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America (1650) is Bradstreet’s first volume of poetry. It was a success in both the American colonies and in England, and many of its themes are religious.

Phillis Wheatley's Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773), Edward Taylor's Preparatory Meditations (1723), Thomas Morton's New English Canaan (1883), and Nathaniel Hawthorne's Twice-told Tales (1842) were all used as alternative options.

Passage adapted from Anne Bradstreet’s “Verses upon the Burning of our House, July 10th, 1666” (1666)

Example Question #102 : Cultural And Historical Contexts

Thou hast a house on high erect

Framed by that mighty Architect,

With glory richly furnished,

Stands permanent though this be fled.

It‘s purchased and paid for too

By Him who hath enough to do.

A price so vast as is unknown,

Yet by His gift is made thine own;

There‘s wealth enough, I need no more,

Farewell, my pelf, farewell, my store.

The world no longer let me love,

My hope and treasure lies above.

Which of the following poets would not have had a similar religious worldview to this author’s?

Possible Answers:

Michael Wigglesworth

Cotton Mather            

Edward Taylor

Joel Barlow

Anne Hutchinson

Correct answer:

Joel Barlow

Explanation:

All of the above authors except for Joel Barlow were Puritan writers. While these authors may have been subverting or interpreting loosely certain religious values in their work, they nonetheless would share a more coherent worldview than Barlow, who espoused atheist leanings in his poetry collection The Columbiad (1807).

Passage adapted from Anne Bradstreet’s “Verses upon the Burning of our House, July 10th, 1666” (1666)

Example Question #12 : Contexts Of American Poetry Before 1925

Thou hast a house on high erect

Framed by that mighty Architect,

With glory richly furnished,

Stands permanent though this be fled.

It‘s purchased and paid for too

By Him who hath enough to do.

A price so vast as is unknown,

Yet by His gift is made thine own;

There‘s wealth enough, I need no more,

Farewell, my pelf, farewell, my store.

The world no longer let me love,

My hope and treasure lies above.

Which of the following Fireside Poets is a descendant of this poet?

Possible Answers:

William Cullen Bryant

James Russell Lowell

John Greenleaf Whittier

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Correct answer:

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Explanation:

Oliver Wendell Holmes, a member of the New England group of writers known as the Fireside Poets and the author of “Old Ironsides” (1830), is a direct descendant of Anne Bradstreet.

Passage adapted from Anne Bradstreet’s “Verses upon the Burning of our House, July 10th, 1666” (1666)

Example Question #11 : Contexts Of American Poetry

My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree

    Toward heaven still,

    And there's a barrel that I didn't fill

    Beside it, and there may be two or three

    Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.

    But I am done with apple-picking now.

    Essence of winter sleep is on the night,

    The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.

Who is the author of this poem?

Possible Answers:

Wallace Stevens

Ezra Pound

Robert Frost

Marianne Moore

Emily Dickinson

Correct answer:

Robert Frost

Explanation:

These are the opening lines of Robert Frost’s poem “After Apple-picking” from North of Boston (1915).

Example Question #12 : Contexts Of American Poetry

Which of the following poets was a leading figure in the American countercultural movement of the 1950s?

Possible Answers:

Allen Ginsberg

Sylvia Plath

Langston Hughes

Charles Bukowski

ee cummings

Correct answer:

Allen Ginsberg

Explanation:

The poet in question is Allen Ginsberg, a leader of the Beats. His most famous work, “Howl,” is an epic poem about minority identities, war, consumerism, sex, and repressive society.

Example Question #13 : Contexts Of American Poetry

Which of the following poets was the first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize?

Possible Answers:

Amiri Baraka

Richard Wright

Gwendolyn Brooks

Langston Hughes

Maya Angelou

Correct answer:

Gwendolyn Brooks

Explanation:

This is Gwendolyn Brooks, author of works such as We Real Cool, Street in Bronzeville, Primer for Blacks, and “Speech to the Young.” Her writing portrays life in inner-city Chicago and encompasses various styles and sensibilities, including jazz influences as well as more formalist verses. She won the Pulitzer in 1950 for her collection titled Annie Allen and was inaugurated as the Poet Laureate of Illinois in 1968.

Example Question #14 : Contexts Of American Poetry

Which of the following poets was a leader of the Harlem Renaissance?

Possible Answers:

Richard Wright

Maya Angelou

Rita Dove

Amiri Baraka

Langston Hughes

Correct answer:

Langston Hughes

Explanation:

This is Langston Hughes, author of “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” and “Montage of a Dream Deferred.” Hughes gained acclaim as a poet as well as a social justice advocate, and he was known for writing novels and plays as well as poetry. He helped inaugurate the Harlem Renaissance movement of the 1920s, which brought black and urban perspectives to the forefront of music, art, theater, and writing.

Example Question #15 : Contexts Of American Poetry

Which of the following poets was not an Imagist?

Possible Answers:

Conrad Aiken

Amy Lowell

William Carlos Williams

Carl Sandburg

Ezra Pound

Correct answer:

Conrad Aiken

Explanation:

The Imagists were known for their emphasis on precision and clarity of diction and images. This movement is linked with the rise of Modernism and includes such founders as Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Amy Lowell, and Carl Sandburg. The British poet Conrad Aiken, on the other hand, was vocally opposed to various aspects of Imagism.

All GRE Subject Test: Literature in English Resources

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