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Poetry Questions for the Oral Bagrut

The Road Not Taken

by Robert Frost

Fire and Ice

by Robert Frost

Stopping by Woods

by Robert Frost

"Mending Wall"

by Robert Frost

Richard Cory

by Edwin Alington Robinson

Musee des Beaux Arts

by W .H. Auden


Click on the author and go to the poem on the Internet.


 
 

The Road Not Taken - by Robert Frost

  • Which road did the traveler not take, the first or the second one?
  • What finally determined his choice between the roads?
  • What kinds of differences might the poet be referring to in the:
      • last line?
      • the second?
      • the less traveled one?

    Life offers everyone various roads (or opportunities) to follow, and the choice of one over the other might lead to fame, fortune, and happiness - or it might lead to frustration, misfortune, pain and death. These are the kinds of differences the poet has in his mind. (The choice of poetry writing as a career made "all the difference" in Robert Frost's life: it brought him fame and happiness.)

    (questions submitted by Tzilla Kratter)


     

  1. Symbolism of the poem. *the yellow wood *the time of the day * the lonely traveler * the crossroads * two roads of one choice * the narrator's personality * "...I shall be telling this with a sigh ..." * the title

  2. What kind of dilemma is the poet faced with?

  3. What evidence is there in the poem that the poet took a long time to reach a decision on which road to follow?

  4. Why do you think the title of the poem is "The Road not Taken" rather than "The Road Taken "?

  5. What can you tell about the character of the poet from the choice he made.

  6. In what way does the poem reflect the lives of so many people ?

  7. How do you think Robert Frost's auto/poetic biography is reflected in the poem? Did he really write about himself and his choices in life ?

    (questions submitted by: Bronia Kabakovitch

    -Lod Science Comphrehensive High School )


    Fire and Ice - by Robert Frost

  • What two prophecies about the end of the world does the poem mention?
  • What two forces of evil in the world do fire and ice stand for?
  • Which prophecy does the poet say he holds with?
  • What is the thought which the poem expresses indirectly?
  • Which lines are examples of understatement?
    •  It will be consumed in fire; it will be covered with ice.
    •  Fire = desire - or greed or selfishness; ice = hate.
    •  The poet says he holds with "those who favour fire", although the next five lines suggest that on reflection he has another thought.
    •  That nothing is more dangerous and destructive than hate. (Romeo and Juliet; prejudice/racism etc.).
    •  The last four, especially the last two are examples .

     

    (questions submitted by Tzilla Kratter)


    Stopping by Woods - by Robert Frost

  •  Why does the poet stop by the woods? Why doesn't he hurry home?
  •  Besides the beauty of the woods on a snowy evening, what else holds the poet spellbound?
  •  What rouses him and breaks the spell?
  •  What reasons does he give himself for driving on?
  •  Can you think of any reason why the poet repeats his last line? What might "miles to go" stand for? What does "before I sleep" seem to refer to?
  • Content questions:
  • Describe the facts.
  • Where does the owner of the woods live?
  • Does the owner of the woods appreciate their beauty? Why not?
  • What time of the year is it? What time of the day?
  • Inference questions
  • Why does the poet stop by the woods? Why doesn't he hurry home?
  • Besides the beauty of the woods on a snowy evening, what else holds the poet spellbound?
  • What rouses him and breaks the spell?
  • What reasons does he give himself for driving on? (Why does he go on in the end? / What are [might] the promises [be]?)
  • Can you think of any reason why the poet repeats his last line?    What might "miles to go" stand for? What does "before I sleep" seem  to refer to? (What do the last three lines of the poem mean? / What does sleep symbolize here?)
  • Why does the horse "think" they should be moving on?
  • What could the woods be a symbol for in this poem?
  • Literary questions:
  • What's the structural form "whose woods these are I think I  know"?
  • Discuss the rhyme pattern.  What does it remind you of?
  • Do you think there is a special meaning (more than one meaning) for choosing a "horse"?
  •  Do the words and rhythm in stanza #1 create a mood? What kind of mood?
    • the "woods fill with snow". The scene is peaceful and he is caught in the spell of its quiet restfulness. It invites him to rest.
    • Perhaps the thought of eternal rest occurs to him.
    • The jingling of the harness bells brings him back to earth.
    • "Promises to keep" = responsibilities to fulfill before he can give in to the spirit of rest. It is not time yet for the eternal rest that for the moment on this quiet, peaceful night seems so inviting.
    • The repetition suggests the pull of life itself, back into the stream of events. After yielding for a moment to the thought of eternal rest, he finds himself pulled vigorously back into activity. "Miles to go" suggests the many things he wants to accomplish before his life is over ("before I sleep").

     

    (questions submitted by Tzilla Kratter)


     

  1. Symbolism of the poem * the lonely traveler * the owner of the woods *the horse * *woods , winter nature and its sounds * the darkest evening * the narrator's decision

  2. What are the choices in the poem ?

  3. What are the literal and metaphorical meanings of the last verse ?

  4. Argue for or against the interpretation that the poet is contemplating suicide.

  5. What is the message of the poem ? Provide quotes to support your answer.

  6. What do you know about Frost and how his auto- / poetic biography is reflected in the poem?

    (questions submitted by: Bronia Kabakovitch

    -Lod Science Comphrehensive High School )

 


"Mending Wall" - by Robert Frost

    Content questions:
  • Where is the wall ?
  • What season/time of the year is it? / When does the speaker mend the wall ? Who helps him?
  • Why does the wall need mending ?
  • What do the hunters do? / What is "the work of hunters"?
  • Why is the wall actually not needed?
  • What causes the boulders to fall every year?
  • What do the two farmers grow?
  • When can walls be useful, according to the poem?
  • Describe the neighbour.
    Inference questions:
  • What is it "that does not love a wall"? 
  • What does the wall represent? the gaps ? the pine/apple trees?
  • What is the poet's attitude to walls ?
  • In repairing the wall, what are the neighbours acting against ?
  • What is spring responsible for ?
  • Why is the spell needed?
  • What are "elves"? What are they possibly connected with?
  • In which line (approximately) does the poet begin to be serious ?
  • What is the wall a symbol of ?
  • How is it suggested that the neighbours are opponents ?
  • What is the difference of opinion between the two neighbours ?
  • How does the poet make us feel that his neighbour is not a very sensitive person?
  • What is the "darkness" the neighbour seems to move in ?
  • Contrast the two characters, the poet and his neighbour.
  • Why is the speaker unhappy about rebuilding the wall between his neighbour and himself ?
  • Literary questions:
  • Why does the poet begin with an inversion "Something there is that doesn't love a wall" instead of the more usual "There is something that doesn't love a wall" ?
  • What would you say are the basic character-traits of Frost's neighbour? Why is he described in this way ?
  • Contrast the two characters.
  • Would you say Frost's language is special? How?
  • What kind of images does Frost use?
  • Do you know what the sound pattern of the poem is called?
  • Do you know anything that links Frost to Israel, so to speak?

(questions submitted by Tzilla Kratter)


 

  1. The symbolism of the wall in the poem. What does the wall represent ?

  2. How do each of the two neighbors in the poem feel about the wall? Take the side of each and explain.

  3. How would you describe the relationship between the two neighbors . Do they really need the wall ? Your opinion. (Quote from the poem )

  4. Why is it necessary to mend the wall?

  5. Is the speaker convinced that "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors "?Which arguments is he trying to use to convince the speaker?

  6. Describe the speaker in the poem.Could this poem only be spoken by a rural New Englander? Who else might use a similar argument and a similar symbol ?

(questions submitted by: Bronia Kabakovitch

Lod Science Comphrehensive High School )

 


Richard Cory by Robert Frost

    Content questions
  • Describe Richard Cory.
  • How did Richard Cory dress? behave?
  • How did people react to Richard Cory?
  • What are the facts told in this poem?
  • Inference questions
  • Why is the last line such a surprise?
  • Why did the poem shock you? Did it?
  • Why did the towns people envy Richard Cory?
  • Literary questions
  • How is a poem different from a news item in a paper?
  • What is the tone of this poem?
  • How is irony (of situations) created?
  • From whose point of view are the facts told?
  • Do you know what an allegory 

(questions submitted by Tzilla Kratter)

 


  1. How is Richard Cory presented in the poem? *his name * looks,education,manners (quote) *his attitude towards the commoners .

  2. How are townspeople presented in the poem? What is their attitude towards Richard Cory?Why ? How do you think they felt " ...one calm summer night..." ?

  3. Is there any significance in the poet's choice of the characters and their feelings? *the name * the bitterness of the people on the pavement * the ideal image of R.C. * the time of the day/night

  4. Why do you think he committed suicide ?

  5. What is the message of the poem? Quote from the poem to support your opinion.

  6. How is the narrator presented in the poem ? Why do you think the poet wrote about Richard Cory ?

(questions submitted by: Bronia Kabakovitch

Lod Science Comphrehensive High School )

 


 

Musee des Beaux Arts by W. H. Auden

  1. How can Auden's autobiography be related to the ideas presented in the poem ? Why was the poem written ? What inspired Auden to create this masterpiece?Explain the title.

  2. What is the poem suggesting about the nature of cruelty?

  3. Who in the poem cares about human suffering ?

  4. How is the religious motif ( a sign, an image, a melody representing smth./sb.) revealed in the first three stanzas.

  5. Take one of the images of the poem and comment on its appropriacy to the theme of the poem.

  6. Comment on how the choice of words reflects the meaning of the poem.

  7. Why do you think the poet chose Peter Bruegel's "Icarus" to illustrate his theme of the world's indifference to human suffering ?

    (questions submitted by: Bronia Kabakovitch

    Lod Science Comphrehensive High School )

     


 

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