Poetry Trivia Questions

In case you missed them, here are the past five Columbia Granger's World of Poetry trivia questions of the day. You can also receive our poetry trivia questions via RSS Feed Trivia RSS Feed.

  • March 30

    Question:

    What English poem by Edward Young enjoyed widespread popularity in early eighteenth century Europe, but was mostly forgotten by later generations?

    Answer ->

    "The Complaint, or Night Thoughts on Life, Death and Immortality" was widely translated and became a cornerstone of the French Romantic School in its time.

  • March 29

    Question:

    What poet-nobleman sent his hirelings to beat up John Dryden because he suspected Dryden had criticized his "want of wit"?

    Answer ->

    John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester. The "Essay on Satire" was actually by Lord Musgrave. The incident became known as "Rose-alley ambuscade."

  • March 28

    Question:

    What literary work might Shakespeare have been surprised to see for sale in 1609?

    Answer ->

    A copy of his own sonnets. In 1609 a manuscript of the sonnets fell into the hands of Thomas Thorpe, a stationer who played the part of a literary agent by picking up this floating "copy." He commissioned George Eld to print them.

  • March 27

    Question:

    What is the source of Ben Jonson's "To Celia"?

    Answer ->

    A love letter from the sophist philosoper Philostratus. The original reads: "Drink to me with thine eyes alone; and, if thou wilt, apply thy lips and fill the cup with kisses, and so give it to me. When I behold thee, I thirst, even the cup in my hands; and it is not this that I touch with my lips, but I know that I drink of thee. I have sent thee a wreath of roses, not to honour thee (though this too was in my mind) but out of favour to the roses themselves, that so they may not wither. And if thou wilt do a favour to thy lover, send back what remains of them, smelling no longer of roses, but only of thee. (Philostrati Epistotola xxiv . Translation from A History of English Poetry by John Courthope.)

  • March 26

    Question:

    For how much did an amorous sonnet sell toward the end of the Elizabethan sonnet craze?

    Answer ->

    2 crowns, as recorded by Sir John Harington in his critical epigrams.

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