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. Charles Wright wrote an homage to which famous painter?

2. What was Yusef Komunyakaa's birth name?

3. Philip Levine was greatly impacted by which war?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. 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.

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

4. In which regions and countries did Irving Feldman live? What are some of the characteristics of Feldman's work? Name three people that appear in Feldman's poetry.

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

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

7. What type of work did Richard Howard produce? Examine Richard Howard's fascination with the figures of 19th century high society. Also list some of the poems contained in his section.

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

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. How does Ellen Bryant Voigt compare poetry to music? Why does Voigt make this comparison? In which part of the poem is the comparison most evident?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Compare and contrast the opinions of one poet from each section. Choose poets that are the most unique or have views not shared by the others. You may reference outside sources for information as long as sources are cited.

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.

(see the answer keys)

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