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

2. Sharon Olds is often labeled as a ______ poet.

3. Harper was born in which city?

4. Who wrote "Venetian Interior, 1889?"

5. Richard Howard worked as a writer and editor of dictionaries. What is the proper name for a person who has that job?

Short Essay Questions

1. What themes are most often seen in Gary Snyder's work? What does Snyder credit with helping him focus on the inner world?

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. 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?

4. 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?

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. How did Audre Lorde often identify herself? Where was Lorde born? What was Lorde's style?

8. 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?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Why does Edward Hirsch encourage students to write using childhood memories? How do those memories differ from memories of an older child or adult? Compare and contrast childhood memories with adult memories. Do the same with dream work.

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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