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. Marilyn Hacker previously worked as a salesperson. Which item did Hacker sell?

2. The reader's ____ are a significant part of Michael Palmer's poetry.

3. Which poet wrote "Another Life?"

4. Michael Palmer's poetry is said to use a(n) ______ abstraction.

5. Philip Levine was greatly impacted by which war?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. Discuss Amy Clampitt's early career. What are some of Clampitt's themes?

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

6. 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?

7. 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.

8. 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?

9. Where was Charles Simic born? How did his youth affect his poetry? What themes are often seen in Simic's work? What technique is often used by Simic?

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

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

Michael Palmer is considered to be one of the Language Poets. Explain Palmer's beliefs regarding the proper use of language in regards to his own poetry and the poetry of beginning poets. How might preconceived notions of language interfere with a poet's work? Do you agree think that preconceived notions of language can be a hindrance? Are the preconceptions more or less difficult when working with a foreign language as opposed to English? How can one overcome these preconceived notions and habits? Give an example of at least three words that may conjure up preconceived notions and create an alternative view for each.

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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