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. Edward Hirsch currently works as the head of which prestigious organization?

2. Rita Dove's work often blends history with which type of poetry?

3. In Louise Gluck's "Messengers" which of the following seems to be waiting for the poet?

4. Which word is not used to describe Ellen Bryant Voigt's work?

5. Who wrote the poem titled, "Onions?"

Short Essay Questions

1. 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.

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

3. What first inspired Charles Wright to write poetry? Where was Wright at the time? How can Wright's early work be characterized? How did Charles Wright's work evolve?

4. What unique gift is expressed in Philip Levine's work? What prompted this style and choice of theme? What are some of Levine's poems included in his section?

5. 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.

6. How does Ellen Bryant Voigt compare poetry to music? Why does Voigt make this comparison? In which part of the poem is the comparison most evident?

7. 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?

8. How is Sharon Olds categorized as a poet? What words are best used to describe Olds' work? What are some of Olds' most common themes?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There are several places in the book that refer to having an argument with self or warring with making a decision or opinion about a specific item or event. Choose one of the following:

1. Write a series of poems featuring the two sides of self involved in an ethical dilemma. Be sure to represent each side equally.

2. Write a series of poems from the perspective of a person with a personality or mental disorder, such as the ones suffered by Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Allen Ginsberg was a leading force in the poetic movement of the 1950s. Ginsberg, along with fellow poets Jack Kerouac, William Carlos Williams and Neal Cassady, formed the iconic Beat Generation. Write a 1,000 word essay on Ginsberg's ground breaking work and the formation of the Beat Generation. Also cite the change in the poetic movement due to the Beat Generation and how it evolved in the 1960s.

(see the answer keys)

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