SAT Literature Practice Test 7

Directions: This test consists of selections from literary works and questions on their content, form, and style. After each passage or poem, choose the best answer to each question.

Let’s try a more recent poem.

Madman’s Song” by William Rose

Madman’s Song” by William Rose line 5

Madman’s Song” by William Rose line 10

By the way, “Madman’s Song” was written by William Rose Benet in 1921.

1. What is the effect of using “silver” to describe the “horn” (line 4)?

A. To imply that the horn is not as valuable as a golden horn
B. To foreshadow any item that may be used in the “hunt” (line 8)
C. To be alliterative with the word “sound”
D. To indicate that the image would be bright
E. To symbolize the beauty of wealth

2. Given in context, the word “hallo” (line 11) is probably meant to convey which of the following?

A. A form of greeting
B. Another form of the word “hollow” (line 1)
C. An echo
D. A sound that hounds might make such as baying at the moon
E. A variation on the word “halo”

3. The attitude of the author toward the reader is best described as

A. openly hostile
B. gently insistent
C. didactic
D. ambivalent
E. disgusted

4. The author is most likely addressing the poem to someone

A. who has lost touch with what is important
B. who is ashamed of her background
C. who has become very wealthy
D. who is about to die
E. who is vain

5. In this poem, the images are meant to convey which of the following?

I. Someone who has been committed to an insane asylum

II. Someone who has lost passion for life

III. Someone who has been filled with passion

A. I only
B. II only
C. II and III only
D. III only
E. I, II, and III

6. The repetition in the poem most likely

A. helps the rhyme scheme
B. emphasizes the main theme
C. chastises the reader
D. reveals the speaker’s anger
E. contrasts the laziness of the person addressed

QuestionCorrect AnswerYour AnswerResultExplanation
1C00“Silver” and “sound” are alliterative (C). There is no comparison between silver and gold (A). “Silver” does not foreshadow the hunt (B). Silver is not necessarily bright (D). The horn is not about wealth, nor are we told it’s beautiful (E).
2D00Like the hounds howling at the moon, the sounds are onomatopoetic (D). No one is greeting anyone in the poem (A). There is no suggestion that the author means to use the word “hollow” (B). There is no evidence that there is a physical spot to echo back (no cave or canyon) (C). The word “halo” does not make sense in this context (E).
3B00The author is persuading the reader gently but firmly (B). The author is not “hostile” (A). The author is not trying to teach a lesson (C). The author has written three stanzas; clearly she is not ambivalent (D). There is no evidence of disgust in the poem (E).
4A00The poem is about someone who has gotten so caught up in his or her empty life that he or she has forgotten what is really important (A). There is no evidence of shame in the poem (B). The wealth is simply a metaphor. Plus, we don’t know if perhaps the person was wealthy all of his or her life (C). There is no suggestion in the poem that the addressee is about to die (D). Vanity is not mentioned in the poem (E).
5B00In the poem, the speaker addresses someone who has lost touch with what is important in life, so Statement II is true. The madman’s song does not mean that he or she was committed to an asylum, so Statement I is not true. The person to whom the poem is addressed is someone who has lost passion, not someone who is filled with it, so Statement III is not true.
6B00The repetition in the poem is of the passionate actions—following, hallo-ing, etc.—so it mimics the poem’s theme of finding passion. It does not necessarily help the rhyme scheme (A). The reader is not punished (C). There is no anger in the poem (D). The person addressed is not lazy, but rather passionless (E).

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