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 of the poets was a high school football star?

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

3. Olson believed poetry should be written based on _____, not meter.

4. Which series of numbers is in the poem titled, "A Century of Epigrams?"

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

Short Essay Questions

1. 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.

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

3. 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?

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

5. Examine briefly the life and work of Robert Hayden. How did Hayden attempt to break the color barrier? What are some of Hayden's poems included in this section?

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

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

8. 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?

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

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

Why does Edward Hirsch encourage students to write using childhood memories? How do those memories differ from memories of an older child or adult? Compare and contrast childhood memories with adult memories. Do the same with dream work.

Essay Topic 2

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.

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. Use at least one passage from each poet's work to support your opinion and/or argument.

(see the answer keys)

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