English

Rita Dove’s poems are widely admired for their ——-; as one critic has said, Dove has “planed away unnecessary matter.”

(A) complexity
(B) lyricism
(C) leanness
(D) warmth
(E) zest
  1. Correct Answer: C

    Explanation:

    Skill: Determining the meaning of words

    Explanation for Correct Answer C :

    Choice (C) is correct. “Leanness” in this context means characterized by an economy of style or expression. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read “Rita Dove’s poems are widely admired for their leanness; as one critic has said, Dove has ‘planed away unnecessary matter.'” The semicolon in the sentence introduces an explanation of the missing term. The fact that Dove is known for “planing away,” or removing, excess language from her poems indicates that her writing style is “lean,” or economical.

    Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

    Choice (A) is incorrect. “Complexity” refers to a state of having complicated, interrelated parts. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read “Rita Dove’s poems are widely admired for their complexity; as one critic has said, Dove has ‘planed away unnecessary matter.'” Although Dove’s poems may indeed be complex, the sentence implies that her poems are admired for having little superfluous language.

    Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

    Choice (B) is incorrect. “Lyricism” in poetry is the expression of intense emotion. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read “Rita Dove’s poems are widely admired for their lyricism; as one critic has said, Dove has ‘planed away unnecessary matter.'” While Dove may be known for writing “lyrical” poems, the sentence only suggests that her poems are admired for having no “unnecessary matter.”

    Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

    Choice (D) is incorrect. “Warmth” implies a close and friendly feeling. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read “Rita Dove’s poems are widely admired for their warmth; as one critic has said, Dove has ‘planed away unnecessary matter.'” There is nothing in the sentence to indicate that Dove’s poems are admired for their warmth.

    Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

    Choice (E) is incorrect. “Zest” is an enjoyably exciting quality. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read “Rita Dove’s poems are widely admired for their zest; as one critic has said, Dove has ‘planed away unnecessary matter.'” The missing term must characterize a writing style that has “planed away unnecessary matter.” In no way does the sentence suggest that Dove’s poems are particularly “zesty,” or exciting.

Test ID: 1297
Source: SAT Critical Reading Practice Tests