The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry Test | Final 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 president is mentioned in the title of one of Wright's poems?

2. Kay Ryan and her work are compared to all but which of the following women?

3. In which year did Anne Sexton win the Pulitzer Prize?

4. Gary Snyder referred to himself as having very ____ values.

5. Howard wrote a poem focused on aristocrats of which century?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. Discuss Louise Gluck's poems that use a garden as the main theme. Which poems reflect this theme? Analyze at least one of the poems. Did Gluck write similar poems that are not included in this book?

3. 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.

4. What is Mary Oliver's style? How does Mary Oliver incorporate nature into her work? What unique gift does Oliver have as a poet?

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

6. Who is Robert Pinsky's main influence? What is Robert Pinsky's goal regarding his poetry? What topic most interests Pinsky? How does Pinsky get his point across?

7. Examine the theme and meaning contained in Rita Dove's "Adolescence - II." How does the theme link to Dove's other work?

8. How does Michael S. Harper incorporate his heritage into his work? What was Harper's biggest influence? What themes commonly appear in his poetry? List some of Harper's poems that appear in this book.

9. Examine Kay Ryan's opinion on inevitable change. What point is Ryan attempting to make?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Choose one of the following:

1.) What is the poetic form known as the epigram? Name a famous poem written in this form. Detail the form's structure, content, and requirements. What parts of the poem are open for creative license and interpretation? Write at least four distinct examples of an epigram, using four different topics.

2.) What is the poetic form known as the quatrain? In Marilyn Hacker's "The Ballad of Ladies Lost and Found," the poet used this form. Name at least three other famous poems written in this form. Detail the form's structure, content, and requirements. What parts of the poem are open for creative license and interpretation? Write at least one example of a quatrain, with a minimum of 30 lines.

Essay Topic 2

Politics is a common theme through the book. Why do you think poets would choose to write about politics and war in a format that was often related to love and other positive emotions? What issues are addressed in the poetry in the book? Who do you consider to be the most vocal political poet? Explain. What are the top three points the poets try to get across when discussing political matters in poetry? Give examples.

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?

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