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

J. D. Mcclatchy
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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. From which university did Theodore Roethke graduate?

2. Duncan was linked to the _______ poets.

3. "Mule Team and Poster" was based on a photograph taken by which of the following?

4. David Wagoner wrote a poem about which activity?

5. Duncan's work is different because it is considered to be more ____.

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. What were some of the unusual jobs held by Robert Creeley? Who were Creelye's influenecs? How does Creeley feel about speaking to his readers?

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

4. Give a brief description of Jean Garrigue's life and work.

5. Why is Robert Penn Warren considered to be one of the country's most famous poets? What position did Warren hold in the 1960s?

6. What other career did A.R. Ammons have while writing poetry on the side? What were some of Ammon's influences outside the literary realm? What are some styles used by Ammons?

7. Examine briefly the life and work of Robert Hayden. How did Hayden attempt to break the color barrier? What are some of Hayden's poems included in this section?

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

9. 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.

10. What was Allen Ginsberg's first major success? What made Ginsberg into an iconic poet?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Jay Wright, Michael S. Harper and Allen Ginsberg are just three of the poets that used their work to support a particular culture. Wright and Harper wrote poems dedicated to black culture, while Ginsberg was focused on being part of the counterculture of America during the 1950s and beyond. Write a 750 word essay on how using poetry to reveal and/or celebrate cultural differences may be an effective way to teach the general public about that specific culture. Also discuss how using poetry in this way might have a negative effect.

Essay Topic 2

Allen Ginsberg was a leading force in the poetic movement of the 1950s. Ginsberg, along with fellow poets Jack Kerouac, William Carlos Williams and Neal Cassady, formed the iconic Beat Generation. Write a 1,000 word essay on Ginsberg's ground breaking work and the formation of the Beat Generation. Also cite the change in the poetic movement due to the Beat Generation and how it evolved in the 1960s.

Essay Topic 3

Compare and contrast the opinions of one poet from each section. Choose poets that are the most unique or have views not shared by the others. You may reference outside sources for information as long as sources are cited. Use at least one passage from each poet's work to support your opinion and/or argument.

(see the answer keys)

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