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. Who prompted Anne Sexton to start a writing career?

2. Galway Kinnell wrote about which of the following topics?

3. Which word is best used to describe the work of Sandra McPherson?

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

5. Jorie Graham's work is often referred to as being _____.

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. Examine the theme of acceptance and the passing of time as it appears in Jorie Graham's work.

3. Who was the biggest influence in Sylvia Plath's life? When did they meet? What type of work is most often related to Plath? Plath is often grouped with which poets?

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

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 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.

7. Dave Smith's work has been compared to which famous poets? Discuss Smith's earlier poems and the evolution of his work.

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

9. 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?

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

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 2

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 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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