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 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.

  • March 25

    Question:

    What Elizabethan poet was prevented from taking his seat in Parliament because he was accused of debt, manslaughter, atheism, and the writing of "slanderous Pasquelles against divers personnes of greate callinge"?

    Answer ->

    George Gascoigne.

  • March 24

    Question:

    What English meter, favored by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, is named for the inconsistent number of eggs in an Elizabethan dozen?

    Answer ->

    The Poulter's Measure. It varies between 12 and 14 syllables, just as "a dozen eggs" could vary between 12 to 14 eggs in Surrey's day.

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