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. Edward Hirsch currently works as the head of which prestigious organization?

2. Which of the following was not a job held by Amy Clampitt?

3. Howard wrote a poem focused on aristocrats of which century?

4. Which poet works at Johns Hopkins University?

5. William Matthews is not connected to which of the following colleges/universities?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Examine Kay Ryan's opinion on inevitable change. What point is Ryan attempting to make?

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

5. 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?

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

7. 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?

8. 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?

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. Who is Robert Pinsky's main influence? What is Robert Pinsky's goal regarding his poetry? What topic most interests Pinsky? How does Pinsky get his point across?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Many of the poems contained in the book used dreams or the unconscious as a source of material for poetry. Examine the poems in the collection, and choose at least three to use as a reference. Which do you feel is most effective in its use of the unconscious as a tool? Explain. Is there a scientific connection between dreaming and the conscious? Could those concepts and images seen in dreaming be captured in a waking state? If so, how?

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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