The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry Test | Final Test - Hard

J. D. Mcclatchy
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 136 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which of the poets was born in the south but uses a northern perspective?

2. Gary Snyder focuses a lot of his work around which topic?

3. Michael Harper wrote a poem dedicated to which famous musician?

4. Later in his career, Williams changed his style to reflect that of which famous poet?

5. Heather McHugh's work is often compared to the work of ______.

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

David Wagoner, James Merrill, John Berryman and Richard Wilbur are all noted for their skill in writing lyric poetry. What is lyric poetry? How does writing lyric poetry differ from writing song lyrics? What is the format and technique of writing lyric poetry? What is the value of lyric poetry? Compare and contrast one poem from each poet to determine the best case of lyric poetry. Also compare the work of these poets to the work of famed lyric poet W. B. Yeats.

Essay Topic 2

William Meredith and Robert Pinsky both believed that effective poetry could be created by focusing on ordinary things. However, those ordinary things were mixed with extraordinary language. Why is it important to use unusual words or a combination of words as a powerful tool to create vivid poetry? How do Meredith and Pinsky accomplish this task? Why are these tools and techniques valuable? What can be learned from employing these techniques in reference to topics that might otherwise seem mundane?

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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