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. Robert Pinsky studied at which university?

2. Anne Sexton lived in which city?

3. What word is used to describe Robert Frost's work?

4. Rita Dove was named as the ____ Poet Laureate.

5. Yusef Komunyakaa's father was born in which country?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. 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?

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. 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?

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

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

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

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

9. 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?

10. Jay Wright had a way of combining facts about various cultures and relating them to his heritage. Discuss Wright's heritage and how he celebrated the accomplishments of others.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss juxtaposition and how it might help or hinder a poet's work. How does one choose the appropriate items or subjects to juxtapose? Write two poems - one with effective juxtaposition and one where the juxtaposition fails to make the poem interesting, distinct, or understood. Also examine at least one of the poems included by Allen Ginsberg and Charles Simic to better understand the use of juxtaposition.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Jay Wright, Michael S. Harper and Allen Ginsberg are just three of the poets that used their work to support a particular culture. Wright and Harper wrote poems dedicated to black culture, while Ginsberg was focused on being part of the counterculture of America during the 1950s and beyond. Write a 750 word essay on how using poetry to reveal and/or celebrate cultural differences may be an effective way to teach the general public about that specific culture. Also discuss how using poetry in this way might have a negative effect.

(see the answer keys)

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