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. What was Yusef Komunyakaa's birth name?

3. Which of the poets also worked as a playwright?

4. Marilyn Hacker spends six months of the year in New York; the other six months in _____.

5. Adrienne Rich practiced which religion?

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. 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?

3. 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?

4. 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?

5. 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.

6. 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?

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

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

9. 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?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In several of the works, the poets manage to create characters and evoke emotions through the use of monologue and/or dialogue. As such the poet requires the reader to experience a situation through the eyes of another, effectively creating or using another voice rather than one's own. Explain how this might be done. If you were going to create a poem written in this way, what voice would you choose to use? How would you achieve the transformation? Would it be easier or more difficult to choose a fictional character? Would it be easier or more difficult to write through the eyes of the opposite sex?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

At the beginning of the book, McClatchy discusses the drastic changes in poetry before and after World War II. What are McClatchy's opinions on the drastic change of the art form? What does McClatchy use to support his statements and opinions? What was the biggest change in poetry after World War II? Why was poetry in decline when the new poets were putting forth new and innovative ideas and styles? Do you think this group of poets would have surfaced if the war had not taken place? Explain.

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