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. What is the earliest year in which one of the poets was born?

2. What was Meredith's job?

3. Elizabeth Bishop was raised by relatives in which major metropolitan area?

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

5. Which of the poets wrote a piece titled, "Frederick Douglass?"

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is unique about Charles Olson's work? What did Olson do to prepare to write about a particular place or era? How did Olson believe work should be paced?

3. What prestigious position did Carolyn Kizer hold? Who greatly influenced Kizer's work? What major award did Kizer receive?

4. 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?

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

6. 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.

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

At the beginning of the book, McClatchy discusses the drastic changes in poetry before and after World War II. What are McClatchy's opinions on the drastic change of the art form? What does McClatchy use to support his statements and opinions? What was the biggest change in poetry after World War II? Why was poetry in decline when the new poets were putting forth new and innovative ideas and styles? Do you think this group of poets would have surfaced if the war had not taken place? Explain.

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

Although there are common threads between the poets included in this anthology, the poetry in this book varies widely in regards to scope, theme and style. Choose at least five different styles, themes, techniques to examine. Also make note of the use of formal language versus slang or contemporary language. Plot each of the fifteen poems to explain your points and references.

(see the answer keys)

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