Reading Comprehension Quiz

[A new interlinear poem will be available each Monday: Weekly Interlinear Poem .]

Use the dictionary, the acronym finder, and the word origins dictionary (links above) as needed. A new quiz is available each Monday through Thursday. This is the quiz for August 24.

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (died 1953) in Cross Creek, Florida

Martha is an inexhaustible fount of old spirituals. When we get hungry for song, she gathers several of her family together, lines them up in a row, and "leads off." Her voice is high and reedlike and utterly true. The other voices weave in and out of her melody, sometimes only humming, for some of the songs are so rare and old that only she is familiar with the words. Her favorite, and mine, is "Come, Mary, toll the bell." For this, she throws back her kerchiefed head, closes her eyes, pats her foot, and accompanies herself with an intricate syncopation of hand clapping. Rhythm-minded friends attempt to follow her timing, charmed by its perfection, and can never duplicate the fine shading of beats. Her son-in-law Henry is her favorite to sing with her, for he, too, knows many of the old songs and has a rich, sweet bass that ripples like velvet under the silver of her voice.

1. Only Martha knows some of the songs because
A. her timing is hard to follow.
B. she claps her hands.
C. she leads off.
D. they are rare and old.
2. Syncopation means
A. stressing the unaccented beats.
B. hand clapping.
C. old and rare.
D. weaving voices.
3. Accompanying Martha is/are
A. friends.
B. family.
C. the author.
D. a piano.
4. Henry's voice is
A. old and rare.
B. reedlike.
C. a bass.
D. silvery.
The entire book can be read online: Cross Creek.

Write down your answers and then see Answer Key below.

Answer Key: 1-D..........2-A..........3-B..........4-C

Corrections? Questions? Comments? E-mail Robert Jackson at