Reading Comprehension Passage 1

0
2020
English Passage

Directions (1-10): Read the passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:

Oprah Winsley once said that her writing could be called poetry only because there was no other name for it. Indeed her poems appear to be extremely compressed essays that happen to be printed in jagged lines on the page. Her subjects are varied: animals, laborers, artists and the craft of poetry. From her general reading came quotations that she found striking or insightful. She included these in her poems, scrupulously enclosed in quotation marks, and sometimes identified in footnotes. Of this practice, she wrote, “Why the many quotation marks? I am asked…… When a thing has been said so well that it could not be said better, why paraphrase it? Hence my writing is, if not a cabinet of fossils, a kind of collection of flies in amber.” Close observation and concentration on detail are the methods of her poetry.

She grew up in Kirkwood, Missouri, near St. Louis. After graduation from the Bryn Mawr College, she taught commercial subjects at the Indian School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Later she became a librarian in New York City. During the 1920s she was the editor of the Dial, an important literary magazine of the period. She lived quietly all her life, mostly in Brooklyn, New York. She spent a lot of time at the Bronx Zoo, fascinated by animals. Her admiration of the Brooklyn Dodgers- before the team moved to Los Angeles- was widely known.

Her first book of poems was published in London in 1921 by a group of friends associated with the Imagist movement. From that time on her poetry has been read with interest by succeeding generations of poets and readers. In 1952 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her ‘Collected poems.’ She wrote that she did not write poetry “for money or fame. To earn a living is needful, but it can be done in routine ways. One writes because one has the burning desire to objectify what it is indispensable to one’s happiness to one’s happiness to express…….”

1. What is the passage mainly about?

1. The influence of the imagists on Oprah Winsley

2. Essayists and poets of the 1920s

3. The use of quotations in poetry

4. Oprah’s life and work

2. Which of the following can be inferred about Winsley’s poems?

1. They are better known in Europe than in United States

2. They do not use traditional verse forms

3. They were all published in The Dial

4. They tend to be abstract

3. According to the passage Winsley wrote about all of the following except?

1. Artists

2. Animals

3. Fossils

4. Workers

4. What does Oprah refer to as “flies in amber” towards the end of the first paragraph?

1. A common image in her poetry

2. Poetry in the twentieth century

3. Concentration on detail

4. Quotations within her poetry

5. The author mentions all of the following as jobs held by Winsley except?

1. Commercial artist

2. Teacher

3. Magazine editor

4. Librarian

6. The word period in the second paragraph is closest in meaning to?

1. Movement

2. School

3. Region

4. Time

7. Where did Winsley spend most of her adult life?

1. In Kirkwood

2. In Brooklyn

3. In Los Angeles

4. In Carlisle

8. The word succeeding in the third paragraph is closest in meaning to?

1. Inheriting

2. Prospering

3. Diverse

4. Later

9. The word it in the seventh line of the third paragraph refers to?

1. Writing poetry

2. Becoming famous

3. Earning a living

4. Attracting readers

10. It can be inferred from the passage that Winsley wrote because she?

1. Wanted to win awards

2. Was dissatisfied with what others wrote

3. Felt a need to express herself

4. Wanted to raise money for the Bronx Zoo


 

Detailed Solutions:

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1. Ans. (4) as the main focus of the passage is on Winsley’s life and work. The other options are details that are mentioned but not explained.

2. Ans. (2) as the 1st paragraph discusses the abstract and unusual form of Oprah’s poems.

3. Ans. (3) this is clearly mentioned in the 5th and 6th lines that she wrote about animals, laborers, artists etc…. Fossils are nowhere mentioned in the passage.

4. Ans. (4) she is trying to create a similarity between the two as both amber and poetry preserve the original material intact.

5. Ans. (1) as options 2, 3 and 4 are mentioned in the 2nd paragraph.

6. Ans. (4) in the context period means time. A clue to the same is; During the 1920s………

7. Ans. (2) 2nd paragraph states that she lived in Brooklyn for most of her adult life although she has lived in other places too.

8. Ans. (4) Succeeding here means later. Though options 1 and 2 can also fit but as per the context only later fits.

9. Ans. (3) it here refers to the necessity of earning a living.

10. Ans. (3) the reason is clearly stated in the 3rd paragraph.

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