The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

J. D. Mcclatchy
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 119 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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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. "Mule Team and Poster" was based on a photograph taken by which of the following?

2. Richard Hugo taught at which university?

3. Mary Swenson received a degree in which discipline?

4. Which of the following words is used to describe Mary Swenson's work?

5. W.S. Merwin attended which Ivy League school?

Short Essay Questions

1. Examine the unique style of Anthony Hecht as well as some of his professional experiences. Also list some of the poems written by Hecht and included in this book.

2. Discuss the varied activities of James Dickey and the one thing that supposedly changed his life. What are some of the themes involved in Dickey's work?

3. Discuss the poets listed in the first section. Examine at least one of the topics two or more of the poets have in common.

4. What contributions did Mona Van Duyn make to the literary world? What was Van Duyn's biggest accomplishment?

5. What major theme was often used in James Wright's work? What major award did James Wright win for his work?

6. Name at least one of the main themes that can be seen in James Merrill's work. What is Merrill's genre? List some of the poems included in Merrill's section.

7. Discuss some of Denise Levertov's themes as well as potential influences on her work and her life.

8. What is unusual about Donald Justice's poetry? What does he encourage the reader to see in his work?

9. Howard Moss is best known for working with which iconic magazine? What is Moss' style? List some of the poems written by Moss and included in this book.

10. What is the purpose of the anthology? Who is involved? What are the criteria for the poets? How do these poets reflect the popularity and talent of twentieth century poets?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

W.S. Merwin is one of the poets that patterned his work after the traditional and classic English romantic poetry. Examine in detail the concept and technique involved in writing traditional and classic English romantic poetry. What other poets have followed this format? Why did some poets shy away from or completely distance themselves from this type of poetry? Write a 500 word essay on English romantic poetry. Also include five poems that best represent the style.

Essay Topic 2

David Wagoner, James Merrill, John Berryman and Richard Wilbur are all noted for their skill in writing lyric poetry. What is lyric poetry? How does writing lyric poetry differ from writing song lyrics? What is the format and technique of writing lyric poetry? What is the value of lyric poetry? Compare and contrast one poem from each poet to determine the best case of lyric poetry. Also compare the work of these poets to the work of famed lyric poet W. B. Yeats.

Essay Topic 3

Morals and shared values are a common theme throughout the book. For example, Amy Clampitt uses morality is a chief theme and Ellen Bryant Voigt's poems are referred to as being "moralistic." Examine how the poets use their work to share their ideas on morality. Do you think the poets simply want to express their opinions on certain moral issues or are they trying to impose moral beliefs on the reader? Choose one poem each from Clampitt and Voigt to support your opinions and insights.

(see the answer keys)

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