The Triggering Town: Lectures and Essays on Poetry and Writing Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Hugo hopes that the student reading his book learns to write like _____.

2. One of Hugo's assumptions states that the name of the triggering town must appear _____.

3. In one of Hugo's assumptions, _____ at the farmer's market is punishable by death.

4. Hugo suggests the poet finish the poem first, then worry about being _____.

5. What response from Roethke to a student's poem does Hugo find withering?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are the reasons Hugo gives when he agrees with Auden's view that poets don't take things as seriously as other people do?

2. What are some of the ways Hugo suggests moving away from the initiating subject?

3. Why does Hugo say to "think small" when writing a poem?

4. What are the two attitudes Hugo says a writer carries to the page?

5. How does Hugo describe looking at the world of the imagination?

6. How does Hugo describe the role of the imagination in poetry?

7. How does Hugo think Roethke's teaching would affect modern students (at the time the book was written)?

8. According to Hugo, what can happen to facts when writing a poem?

9. What does Hugo point out are the distinctions between public and private poets?

10. Why are people suspicious of Hugo in the assumption about couples?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What are the advantages pointed out by Hugo of making up the rules as the poet goes along? What should making up rules do for the poet?

Essay Topic 2

Describe Hugo's view of a poet's fear of amoral and shallow writing. When does Hugo say that this kind of writing would occur? What does he say of the moral sense of all the poets he knows personally?

Essay Topic 3

What does Hugo say about communication in writing? What happens if language only exists to convey information? What is the role of "the reader" in a poet's mind when he is writing poetry?

(see the answer keys)

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