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Quiz about Out to Old Aunt Marys
Quiz about Out to Old Aunt Marys

Out to Old Aunt Mary's Trivia Quiz


This is a wonderful poem by James Whitcomb Riley. It is a pleasant and touching view of a boy's experiences in the late 1800s, in rural America.

A multiple-choice quiz by mpkitty. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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Author
mpkitty
Time
3 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
368,350
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
118
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Question 1 of 10
1. Who was the narrator of the poem telling his reminiscences to? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. The narrator was remembering the"...old days of lost sunshine", and what he and his brother would do when their chores were done. What did they do? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. Their Old Aunt Mary lived within walking distance of the boys.


Question 4 of 10
4. When the boys were outside, what did they see in the sky? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. When the boys walked on a dusty road, who would they meet? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. When they would go to Old Aunt Mary's, what kinds of things did she give the boys to eat? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Where did Old Aunt Mary keep the crocks of cream? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. When the boys visited Old Aunt Mary, what kind of shoes did they wear in the summer? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. How does the narrator remember feeling about being a boy "Out to Old Aunt Mary's"? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. As the narrator nears the end, what does he say about memory? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Who was the narrator of the poem telling his reminiscences to?

Answer: His brother

"Wasn't it pleasant O brother mine...", are the opening words of the poem.
The words show a memory to be cherished. And somehow, by these opening lines, we are left to wonder if something special brought on these reminiscences.
2. The narrator was remembering the"...old days of lost sunshine", and what he and his brother would do when their chores were done. What did they do?

Answer: Visit Old Aunt Mary

"...when the Saturday's chores were through,
And the "Sunday's wood" in the kitchen, too,
And we went visiting, "me and you","

Some families of the day did not believe in working on Sunday, thus the "Sunday's Wood" brought to the kitchen on Saturday.
3. Their Old Aunt Mary lived within walking distance of the boys.

Answer: true

The next few stanzas of the poem tell in rich description, of the pleasures of walking along a dusty road in the pleasantly warm days of summer - idyllic.
Somehow the past seems better than the present.
4. When the boys were outside, what did they see in the sky?

Answer: A buzzard

"Where the hammering red-heads hopped awry
And the buzzard "raised" in the clearing sky
And lolled and circled, as we went by..."

They seemed to notice and appreciate everything of nature, in their world,
not only the buzzard but the condition of the sky and the bird's movement in it.
5. When the boys walked on a dusty road, who would they meet?

Answer: Teams of horses, and men

"And then in the dust of the road again;
And the teams we met, and the countrymen..."

This paints a picture of rural life in a bygone century. Even I remember my old grandfather still having his team of horses, named Salt and Pepper, and how we small girls loved them. People who know horses as partners love and value them.
6. When they would go to Old Aunt Mary's, what kinds of things did she give the boys to eat?

Answer: Jelly, jam and marmalade

"The jelly - the jam and the marmalade,
And the cherry and quince "preserves" she made!"

Nothing fancy for these boys, and a look at what treats that boys of this era considered good. Again, I remember my grandmother, (named Ida Ethel, really!), and her berry bushes making jam as a special treat for us. It meant slaving over a hot stove in summer; we didn't appreciate that, then.
7. Where did Old Aunt Mary keep the crocks of cream?

Answer: In the spring-house and cooler room

"And the old spring-house in the cool green gloom
Of the willow trees and the cooler room
Where the swinging-shelves and the crocks were kept -"

These lines give us another example of long gone country life. Of course, someone had to milk the cows, probably Aunt Mary herself, unless she had a hired man. And then churn the butter, and put it into molds, to be served with the home-made bread and jam.
8. When the boys visited Old Aunt Mary, what kind of shoes did they wear in the summer?

Answer: None

"And as many a time have you and I
Barefoot boys in the days gone by -"

One of the joys of being a country-boy was going barefoot in the summer; earlier
in the poem, Riley also writes,

"Out by the barn-lot and down the lane
We patter along in the dust again,
As light as the tips of the drops of the rain..."
9. How does the narrator remember feeling about being a boy "Out to Old Aunt Mary's"?

Answer: It was good

"Wasn't it good for a boy to see -
And wasn't it good for a boy to be
'Out to Old Aunt Mary's'?"

In this poem, the simple, common word, "good", conveys more of the feeling of the poem than any other word could. As an old man, looking back on his childhood, the narrator seems to realize what a good life it was, compared to his hum-drum life now.
10. As the narrator nears the end, what does he say about memory?

Answer: Memory now is on her knees

The last two stanzas of the poem tell us the reason for these reminiscences:

"And as many a time have you and I -
Barefoot boys in the days gone by
Knelt, and in tremulous ecstasies
Dipped our lips into sweets like these, -
Memory now is on her knees
Out to Old Aunt Mary's!

And O, my brother, so far away,
This is to tell you she waits today
To welcome us: - Aunt Mary fell
Asleep this morning whispering, 'Tell
The boys to come!' And all is well
Out to Old Aunt Mary's!"

A poignant ending - unforgettable in its emotion.
Source: Author mpkitty

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