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. Which was not one of Cunningham's jobs?

2. Garrigue was influenced by which famous composer?

3. How many poets appear in the book?

4. Which of the following was not one of Robert Creeley's jobs?

5. In which year was Van Duyn appointed as the Poet Laureate?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Richard Hugo's work and possible influence on style and subject.

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

3. Describe William Meredith's work and his main focus. Also list some of the poems included in his section.

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

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

6. 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?

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

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

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

10. 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?

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

Discuss juxtaposition and how it might help or hinder a poet's work. How does one choose the appropriate items or subjects to juxtapose? Write two poems - one with effective juxtaposition and one where the juxtaposition fails to make the poem interesting, distinct, or understood. Also examine at least one of the poems included by Allen Ginsberg and Charles Simic to better understand the use of juxtaposition.

Essay Topic 3

There are several places in the book that refer to having an argument with self or warring with making a decision or opinion about a specific item or event. Choose one of the following:

1. Write a series of poems featuring the two sides of self involved in an ethical dilemma. Be sure to represent each side equally.

2. Write a series of poems from the perspective of a person with a personality or mental disorder, such as the ones suffered by Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton.

(see the answer keys)

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