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. Charles Olson refers to himself as which of the following?

2. Justice writes a poem about a lone reader waiting in a _____ at dusk.

3. What was the profession of Richard Wilbur's father?

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

5. Who served as the first Poet Laureate of the United States?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. Discuss the wide variety of jobs held by Richard Wilbur. Also discuss Wilbur's style and the poems in which the style is exhibited in this collection.

5. 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?

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

7. Give a brief overview of Robert Lowell's life and work as a poet. What were Lowell's main topics? Which techniques did he favor when writing poetry? Also list at least four of Lowell's poems.

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. 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.

10. Examine Robert Duncan's childhood and how it affected his career.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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