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. In which year did Merrill win the Pulitzer Prize?

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

3. Which of the poets wrote a piece titled, "The Sheep Child?"

4. How many poets appear in the book?

5. David Wagoner's work was greatly influenced by which native American tribe?

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

3. Give a brief overview of John Berryman's life. Also note Berryman's influences, style, and common topics covered in his work. How did critics review Berryman's work?

4. 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?

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

6. What is the purpose of the anthology? Who is involved? What are the criteria for the poets? How do these poets reflect the popularity and talent of twentieth century poets?

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

8. 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?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In several of the works, the poets manage to create characters and evoke emotions through the use of monologue and/or dialogue. As such the poet requires the reader to experience a situation through the eyes of another, effectively creating or using another voice rather than one's own. Explain how this might be done. If you were going to create a poem written in this way, what voice would you choose to use? How would you achieve the transformation? Would it be easier or more difficult to choose a fictional character? Would it be easier or more difficult to write through the eyes of the opposite sex?

Essay Topic 2

Many of the poems contained in the book used dreams or the unconscious as a source of material for poetry. Examine the poems in the collection, and choose at least three to use as a reference. Which do you feel is most effective in its use of the unconscious as a tool? Explain. Is there a scientific connection between dreaming and the conscious? Could those concepts and images seen in dreaming be captured in a waking state? If so, how?

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.

(see the answer keys)

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