Poetry and Poets Quiz


"The poet produces the beautiful
by fixing his attention on something real."
-- Simone Weil

The answers appear after the last question, number 26.


1. Who banished poets from the utopian state in The Republic?

a. Ogden Nash
b. Plato
c. Saki
d. Jean Paul Sartre

2. Beowulf was written by whom?

a. Pliny the Elder
b. John Ruskin
c. Anonymous
d. Alexander Pope

3. This poet feared that his poems helped to incite bloodshed during the Irish Rebellion. Who was he?

a. W. B. Yeats
b. Winston Churchill
c. Bertrand Russell
d. Thucydides

4. In which of his poems did Percy Bysshe Shelley blame the critics for John Keats’ early death?

a. “Ode to the West Wind”
b. “When the Lamp is Shattered”
c. “The Cloud”
d. “Adonais”

5. When was the Aeneid by Vergil written?

a. 1776
b. between 30 BC and 19 BC
c. 10 AD
d. 1492

6. The “Bhagavad Gita” means "The Lord's Song" in what language?

a. Russian
b. Hungarian
c. Latin
d. Sanskrit

7. “The Cantos,” Ezra Pound's epic poem, attempts to explain what?

a. courtship, marriage, and divorce
b. economics, history, and culture
c. politics, religion, and loafing
d. reading, writing, and arithmetic

8. Tennyson's "The Charge of the Light Brigade" was based on an actual event in which war?

a. World War II
b. the War of the Roses
c. the Crimean War
d. the Vietnam War

9. The “Divine Comedy” was originally titled what?

a. Ha! Ha!
b. Commedia
c. Tears
d. Bella

10. Edmund Spenser in “The Faerie Queene” planned to praise England and which monarch?

a. King George III
b. Queen Victoria
c. Queen Elizabeth I
d. King Henry VIII

11. Which Beat poet wrote "Howl"?

a. John Milton
b. Allen Ginsberg
c. Rod McKuen
d. Robert Frost

12. Idylls of the King, Tennyson's work, consists of how many poems in blank verse?

a. 182
b. 4
c. 12
d. 2459

13. What epic poem is set in the Trojan War and has Achilles as its hero leaving the battlefield in anger?

a. “The Charge of the Light Brigade”
b. “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”
c. The Iliad
d. “Kubla Khan”

14. The Leaves of Grass was what writer's first published volume of poetry?

a. Walt Whitman
b. Thomas Hardy
c. Oscar Wilde
d. Truman Capote

15. Who is a hero in Paradise Lost?

a. Satan
b. Cain
c. Adam
d. Christopher Columbus

16. Who wrote “The Rape of Lucrece”?

a. William Shakespeare
b. Hilda Doolittle
c. Sylvia Plath
d. Maxwell Smart

17. In “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” what friendly animal is senselessly killed?

a. a moose
b. an albatross
c. a dog
d. a unicorn

18. Longfellow's narrative of an Ojibwa Indian's life during peacetime is called what?

a. “The Song of Hiawatha”
b. “The Tune of My Pal”
c. “Mending Wall”
d. “The Beast in the Jungle”

19. The Spoon River Anthology reveals secrets of people who live where?

a. in London
b. a small midwestern town in the United States
c. in Sodom
d. in Berlin in the 1930s

20. What is the verse that is excessively regular, monotonous, and predictable in rhythm and rhyme?

a. blank verse
b. doggerel
c. elegy
d. sonnet

21. Who wrote “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”?

a. Thomas Gray
b. Bret Harte
c. Harry Truman
d. Edgar Allan Poe

22. What is the retelling of significant events in a hero's life?

a. a limerick
b. an epic
c. a comic routine
d. a tall tale

23. Derived from Italian and meaning "little song," this poem is called what?

a. ode
b. sonnet
c. pretty good
d. epic

24. What was the group of gentlemen poets bound to Charles I during the English Civil War?

a. The Cavaliers
b. The Four Horsemen
c. The Gay Blades
d. The Chas Men

25. The group of 18th century American poets known as The Connecticut Wits attended what college?

a. Salem State
b. Harvard
c. Smith
d. Yale

26. Robert Blair's “The Grave” and Edward Young's “Night Thoughts” are examples of what group of writers?

a. The Cemetery Poets
b. The Graveyard Poets
c. The Black Cat Poets
d. The Scary Poets



Answers: 1-b, 2-c, 3-a, 4-d, 5-b, 6-d, 7-b, 8-c, 9-b, 10-c, 11-b, 12-c, 13-c, 14-a, 15-c, 16-a, 17-b, 18-a, 19-b, 20-b, 21-a, 22-b, 23-b, 24-a, 25-d, 26-b

A Literary Quiz (Index)

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