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

J. D. Mcclatchy
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 136 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. Merrill moved back to the US in which year?

2. John Ashbery lived in which European city?

3. Which of the poets was a high school football star?

4. James Dickey claims his life was changed after spending a year in which European country?

5. According to the text, the best English language literature was produced in which century?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. Examine the theme and meaning contained in Rita Dove's "Adolescence - II." How does the theme link to Dove's other work?

3. 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?

4. What is Mary Oliver's style? How does Mary Oliver incorporate nature into her work? What unique gift does Oliver have as a poet?

5. Who was the biggest influence in Sylvia Plath's life? When did they meet? What type of work is most often related to Plath? Plath is often grouped with which poets?

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

7. How did Audre Lorde often identify herself? Where was Lorde born? What was Lorde's style?

8. 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?

9. Discuss Amy Clampitt's early career. What are some of Clampitt's themes?

10. What is unusual about W.S. Merwin's choice of career? What are some of the main topics and/or themes often used by Merwin?

Essay 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

In several of the daily lessons, students were asked to keep and update a poetry journal. Explain in detail the type of entries kept in both journals and how the information in each may be used to create an effective and vivid poem. Include examples.

Essay Topic 3

Choose one of the following:

1.) What is the poetic form known as the epigram? Name a famous poem written in this form. Detail the form's structure, content, and requirements. What parts of the poem are open for creative license and interpretation? Write at least four distinct examples of an epigram, using four different topics.

2.) What is the poetic form known as the quatrain? In Marilyn Hacker's "The Ballad of Ladies Lost and Found," the poet used this form. Name at least three other famous poems written in this form. Detail the form's structure, content, and requirements. What parts of the poem are open for creative license and interpretation? Write at least one example of a quatrain, with a minimum of 30 lines.

(see the answer keys)

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