The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry Test | Final 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. How old was Amy Clampitt when her first book was published?

2. Sylvia Plath wrote a poem in honor of God's lioness _____.

3. Richard Howard worked as a writer and editor of dictionaries. What is the proper name for a person who has that job?

4. Michael S. Harper created his work by combining autobiography and ____.

5. Which poet wrote "The Gas Station?"

Short Essay Questions

1. Who was Adrienne Rich? What causes did she promote through her work?

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

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

4. In which regions and countries did Irving Feldman live? What are some of the characteristics of Feldman's work? Name three people that appear in Feldman's poetry.

5. How did Audre Lorde often identify herself? Where was Lorde born? What was Lorde's style?

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

7. List some of Robert Hass' jobs outside of poetry. What topics and/or themes are most common in Hass' work? Who were Hass' influences?

8. Discuss the rhyme and tone of "Ballad of Ladies Lost and Found." Who are some of the people mentioned in the poem? What is the rhyme scheme? What form does Hacker use in this poem?

9. 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.

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

David Wagoner, James Merrill, John Berryman and Richard Wilbur are all noted for their skill in writing lyric poetry. What is lyric poetry? How does writing lyric poetry differ from writing song lyrics? What is the format and technique of writing lyric poetry? What is the value of lyric poetry? Compare and contrast one poem from each poet to determine the best case of lyric poetry. Also compare the work of these poets to the work of famed lyric poet W. B. Yeats.

Essay Topic 3

Morals and shared values are a common theme throughout the book. For example, Amy Clampitt uses morality is a chief theme and Ellen Bryant Voigt's poems are referred to as being "moralistic." Examine how the poets use their work to share their ideas on morality. Do you think the poets simply want to express their opinions on certain moral issues or are they trying to impose moral beliefs on the reader? Choose one poem each from Clampitt and Voigt to support your opinions and insights.

(see the answer keys)

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