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. The introduction states that American art was great because of _____.

2. Frank O'Hara studied at which university?

3. Which of the following is not one of Lowell's poems?

4. Robert Penn Warren is said to have written poetry in a _____ style.

5. Which of the poets had a Hasidic Russian rabbi for a father?

Short Essay Questions

1. Discuss some of David Wagoner's influences and inspirations. How is Wagoner's work characterized?

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

3. 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?

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

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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?

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

9. 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?

10. Which major award was won by W. D. Snodgrass? How might Snodgrass' poems be described?

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

Many people appreciate epigrams because of their brevity. Many are also humorous. Which of the poets is best known for writing epigrams? What is your opinion on the epigram? Compare and contrast the epigram to at least three other styles of poetry, e.g., haiku.

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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