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. Merrill moved back to the US in which year?

2. Which of the following words is not used in reference to Howard Nemerov's work?

3. James Merrill spent part of his life living in which exotic location?

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

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

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. 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.

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

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

5. 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.

6. 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?

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

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

9. 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?

10. 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?

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

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

Discuss juxtaposition and how it might help or hinder a poet's work. How does one choose the appropriate items or subjects to juxtapose? Write two poems - one with effective juxtaposition and one where the juxtaposition fails to make the poem interesting, distinct, or understood. Also examine at least one of the poems included by Allen Ginsberg and Charles Simic to better understand the use of juxtaposition.

(see the answer keys)

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