Source: Official Guide Revised GRE 1st Ed. Part 4; Set 5; #4


No other contemporary poet’s work has such

No other contemporary poet’s work has such a well-earned reputation for (i), and there are few whose moral vision is so imperiously unsparing. Of late, however, the almost belligerent demands of his severe and densely forbidding poetry have taken an improbable turn. This new collection is the poet’s fourth book in six years—an ample output even for poets of sunny disposition, let alone for one of such (ii) over the previous 50 years. Yet for all his newfound (iii), his poetry is as thorny as ever. Blank (i): patent accessibility, intrinsic frivolity, near impenetrability Blank (ii): penitential austerity, intractable prolixity, impetuous prodigality Blank (iii): taciturnity, volubility, pellucidity

3 Explanations


How can we get choice D,are there any clues show that the poet was austere or penitent?

Dec 10, 2017 • Comment

Cydney Seigerman, Magoosh Tutor

Happy to help! In the third sentence, the idea of an "ample output" is contrasted to the nature of the poet. According to the prompt, the author's rate of publication is very high, especially considering the character of the poet himself, which is contrasted to someone with a "sunny" personality. Austerity, which refers to a severe sternness or self-denial, contrasts the idea of prolifically publishing books of poetry and is the best option among the different answer choices.

I hope this helps! :)

Dec 25, 2017 • Reply


Wenqing Qu
Here is where it is from!
I think the original word "difficulty" could make sense to the "as thorny as always"

Aug 23, 2015 • Comment

Jonathan , Magoosh Tutor

I think you're right :) Yes, his poetry is "thorny;" it is difficult to penetrate.

Aug 31, 2015 • Reply

Prashant Jha

Wow!! That is a great find.

Jul 14, 2016 • Reply


would pellucid be not a good fit for contrasting Thorny?why volubility (writing/reading fluently)

Jul 13, 2017 • Reply


We are not looking for a word that contrasts with "thorny" in the third blank. The previous sentence says that the author has recently begun to produce a lot of books. Therefore, he is newly "voluble." The final sentence states that the writing remains thorny (=difficult), so we don't want to say that it is pellucid.

Jul 13, 2017 • Reply


Gravatar Chris Lele, Magoosh Tutor

Oct 6, 2012 • Comment

Weiping Hsu

I have two questions confused. First, in the first blank, why can not choose B.intrinsic frivolity because I see the conjunction "and." Another one is why Blank(iii) volubility works. I see "Yet" so I assume it should be opposite. Thank you.

May 3, 2017 • Reply


Hi Weiping,

For the first blank, the conjunction "and" doesn't really give us any clues. We need to look to the second sentence, where we see "severe and densely forbidding poetry", which points us to "near impenetrability" for the first blank. Nothing in the sentence implies that his work is frivolous.

In the third blank, we're not looking for the opposite of "thorny." This is tricky. The sentence before tells us that author has recently begun to write a lot of new books. This is the support for "volubility." Even though he is writing many new books, the books are still very difficult to read.

We couldn't choose "pellucid" because it wouldn't make sense to say that the books are BOTH pellucid and unclear.

May 4, 2017 • Reply

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