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

2. Ammons favored which style?

3. Which of the following words is used to describe Mary Swenson's work?

4. Which poet was greatly influenced by William Butler Yeats and W.H. Auden?

5. Merrill was known for writing in which type of verse?

Short Essay Questions

1. Examine Yusef Komunyakaa's background and influences regarding his work.

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

3. 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.

4. What themes are most often seen in Gary Snyder's work? What does Snyder credit with helping him focus on the inner world?

5. What prompted Anne Sexton to begin writing poetry? What was Sexton's style? What are some characteristics of Sexton's style?

6. What first inspired Charles Wright to write poetry? Where was Wright at the time? How can Wright's early work be characterized? How did Charles Wright's work evolve?

7. Heather McHugh's poem, "The Typewriter's the Kind," tells the story of a writer sitting in front of a type writer. Discuss the meaning of the poem and which passage best describes what McHugh is feeling about her work.

8. Dave Smith's work has been compared to which famous poets? Discuss Smith's earlier poems and the evolution of his work.

9. Discuss Michael S. Palmer's poem "H." what is the main theme of the poem? Does the reader get a clear vision of Palmer's insight? What might the poem mean?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 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

Allen Ginsberg was a leading force in the poetic movement of the 1950s. Ginsberg, along with fellow poets Jack Kerouac, William Carlos Williams and Neal Cassady, formed the iconic Beat Generation. Write a 1,000 word essay on Ginsberg's ground breaking work and the formation of the Beat Generation. Also cite the change in the poetic movement due to the Beat Generation and how it evolved in the 1960s.

(see the answer keys)

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