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Analyzing a Dirge (Grades 11-12)

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Analyzing a Dirge

Dirge Without Music
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost.

The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,—
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.
1. 
In "Dirge Without Music," how does the speaker feel about the death of the person who died?
  1. The speaker did not witness what happened.
  2. The speaker is in denial about the death.
  3. The speaker is relieved it finally happened.
  4. The speaker does not approve of the death.
2. 
Which statement would the speaker in "Dirge Without Music" most likely agree?
  1. Death is inevitable.
  2. Life goes on after death.
  3. Only the good die young.
  4. In death, we'll meet again.
3. 
According to "Dirge Without Music," what happens when someone dies?
  1. All of their memories remain.
  2. The best of them is lost forever.
  3. Many people come out to mourn.
  4. The angels rejoice in the heavens.
4. 
Which choice best represents the tone of "Dirge Without Music"?
  1. sad
  2. angry
  3. excited
  4. relaxed
5. 
In "Dirge Without Music," who/what would the speaker consider the enemy?
  1. God
  2. Death
  3. Illness
  4. Nature

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