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Quiz about In the Rhythm
Quiz about In the Rhythm

In the Rhythm Trivia Quiz

Poet Birthplaces

Can you match each of these poets with an image representing the country of their birth?
This is a renovated/adopted version of an old quiz by author cryptix

A label quiz by looney_tunes. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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3 mins
Label Quiz
Quiz #
Jan 03 23
# Qns
Very Easy
Avg Score
9 / 10
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: PurpleComet (10/10), polly656 (10/10), ssabreman (10/10).
Heinrich Heine Robert Burns William Butler Yeats Dylan Thomas Lord Byron Sappho Federico Garcia Lorca Charles Baudelaire Alexander Pushkin Dante
* Drag / drop or click on the choices above to move them to the answer list.

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May 08 2024 : PurpleComet: 10/10
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Apr 23 2024 : ssabreman: 10/10
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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Sappho

Sappho, who was probably born on the Greek island of Lesbos around 630 BCE, was considered to be one of the greatest lyrical poets of her time, but most of her work has been lost over the years. Only a single poem, 'Ode to Aphrodite' has survived virtually intact. As well as her lyrical poems (poems designed to be sung or recited with musical accompaniment), she is said to have written elegaic poetry (written as couplets consisting of a dactylic hexameter followed by a dactylic pentameter, sometimes recited responsorially).

Little is known about her life, mostly gleaned from the contents of her poems and from references in other ancient writers; there was no biography written until about 800 years after her life, so it cannot be considered an authoritative source. She seems to have come from an aristocratic family, and to have had at least three brothers. What is perhaps most associated with her is her sexuality - although that connotation has changed over time. Athenian comedy of the fifth to third centuries BCE made her a figure of fun as a wildly promiscuous heterosexual woman; later depictions focused on her possible homosexual relationships. Indeed, the terms Sapphic love and lesbian refer to her and her birthplace. Social norms over the centuries have impacted on critics interpretations of the sexual orientation of her erotic poems.
2. Dante

Dante Alighieri, to use a more formal version of his name, is considered an Italian poet, even though he was born in Florence around 1265, long before the formation of the modern country of Italy. He is often described as the Father of Italian, because his use of the vernacular in his work helped to establish the developing language, as well as making his writing available to a larger audience than would have been the case had he written in the more common Latin. His 'Comedia', later dubbed 'Comedia Divina' ('Divine Comedy') by Giovanni Boccaccio, introduced the terza rima verse form, and is considered one of the most important poems of the Middle Ages.

At the age of 9 Dante met Beatrice Portinari, who would become the love of his life - if you have read 'Divine Comedy', that won't come as a surprise! However, his marriage to Gemma di Manetto Donati, arranged for commercial purposes, meant that it was love at a distance. The complex political/religious conflicts of the time eventually led to Dante's exile from Florence in 1302. 'Divine Comedy' was written during his exile, which ended with his death in Ravenna in 1321. In 2008, the city of Florence apologised for his expulsion, and in 2021 a virtual re-trial of the poet was held in Florence to posthumously clear his name.
3. Robert Burns

Rabbie Burns (1759-1796) is often described as the national poet of Scotland, although that is not an official designation. He is the best-known poet to have written in the Scots language, as well as in English; much of his work is actually in a Scots dialect of English, making it accessible to a wide audience. His classic 'Auld Lang Syne' is a feature of many a New Year's Eve celebration around the world.

Burns was the oldest of seven children of a tenant farmer, meaning he was raised in a life of poverty and hard physical work, which had a lifelong impact on his health - if not on his libido. His first child, the product of an affair with his mother's servant, was born in 1785, just as he was starting a relationship with Jean Armour, who gave birth to twins in 1786, and married him in 1788. They had nine children, but their marriage might never have happened if Mary Campbell, to whom he is thought to have become engaged in 1786, had not died of typhus. He previously and subsequently had several amorous relationships, each of them the inspiration for one or more poems.
4. Alexander Pushkin

Born into a noble family in 1799, Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin was the leading Russian poet of the Romantic era, and perhaps of all time. He published his first poem at the age of 15, and was an established author by the time he finished school. However, his sympathy with the French Enlightenment, and subsequent active work for social reform, led to his banishment after one of his poems was found in the belongings of a member of the 1825 Decembrist Uprising. It was while in exile that he wrote some of his best known work, including the play 'Boris Gudonov' and a novel in verse form, 'Eugene Onegin'.

In 1831 he married Natalia Goncharova, and the couple was allowed back to court, but Pushkin was insulted by the low status of his allocated position, which made it clear that it was really only in deference to his wife (a personal favorite of the Emperor) that it happened. Her beauty and the consequent pursuit of her by many men was a constant source of irritation, and ultimately led to his death in a duel with a particularly persistent suitor who had married Natalia's sister (supposedly just to quash the rumors).
5. Lord Byron

George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron FRS (1788 - 1824) was one of the leaders of Romanticism in England, whose most familiar works are the epic poem 'Don Juan' (which portrays the legendary lover as a man easily seduced, rather than a sexual predator) and the narrative poem 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage'. The latter is often considered to have significant autobiographical content, and was a major contributor to the development of the cult following he gained.

Byron's scandalous lifestyle was something of a family tradition: his great uncle was nicknamed "Wicked Lord Byron", his father was known as "Mad Jack", and he himself was famously described as "mad, bad and dangerous to know" by his lover, Caroline Lamb. He escaped rumors of an incestuous relationship with his half sister by a marriage to Annabella Millbanke, with whom he had a daughter, Ada (later known as Ada Lovelace), a mathematician who is often recognised as the first computer programmer. A month after her birth, Byron left England forever. After spending time in various European locations, including the visit to the Shelleys that was responsible for Mary Shelley writing 'Frankenstein', he joined the Greek independence movement in 1823. His time there did not involve any military success, nor did he succeed in his aim of uniting the various factions trying to overthrow the Ottoman rulers, but his mere presence drew international attention to the struggle, and he was able to provide substantial humanitarian aid before his death from a fever.
6. Heinrich Heine

Harry Heine was born into a Jewish family in 1797, and changed his name to Heinrich when he converted top Lutheranism in 1825. He was a third cousin once removed of Karl Marx, with whom he corresponded as an adult. Heine grew up in a region that was under French control during his childhood, and had a lifelong admiration of them for removing monarchy and moving towards a democratic state. In 1830, inspired by the July Revolution, he moved to Paris, where he resided until his death in 1856.

Heine's early lyrical poems are his best known work outside of Germany, primarily because they were set to music as lieder by such composers as Robert Schumann, Franz Schubert, Felix Mendelssohn, and many others. His later work was much more political, and its satirical bite led to his work being banned, despite his protests that the criticism of the social structure was a demonstration of his deep love for the Fatherland.
7. Charles Baudelaire

Charles Pierre Baudelaire was born in Paris in 1821, and spent much of his life dealing with the feelings of rejections caused by his mother's remarriage following his father's death when he was six. Had he followed his stepfather's wishes, he would have had a career in the law, rather than as a writer. He chose the dissolute life of a 19th century dandy, wasted most of his inherited fortune, had a long and tempestuous affair with a Haitian-African woman who was never accepted by his family, spent the last two years of his life partially paralysed following a stroke that was possibly brought on by his excessive drinking and use of laudanum, and left us some magnificent poems.

Baudelaire is most familiar for his 'Les Fleurs du Mal' ('The Flowers of Evil'), a collection of poems that were considered scandalous at the time, due to their erotic and decadent imagery. Now they are seen as a significant movement from Romanticism to Symbolism and Modernism. They were part of the American Advanced Placement French course in the late 1960s, a level of acceptance that would have seemed unimaginable in 1857. He was fascinated with the work of Edgar Allan Poe, and spent most of his time between 1847 and 1865 translating Poe's work into French, to significant acclaim.
8. William Butler Yeats

One of the foremost Irish authors of the 20th century, W B Yeats (1865-1939) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923, "for his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation". In his early years, he was a fierce Irish nationalist, and one of the founders of the Abbey Theatre, established in 1904 to promote Irish dramatic writing. He also had a lifelong interest in mysticism, and was involved in a number of hermetic and spiritualist groups, including the secret society known as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Yeats (whose name, as Wikipedia quaintly notes, rhymes with gates) is known as a symbolist poet, and his poems have been widely studied in schools to give students accessible examples of the use of symbols, and the various ways in which they can be interpreted. His early poems drew heavily on the traditions of Irish folklore, while his later work was more reflective of contemporary issues. 'The Wanderings of Oisin', published in 1889, earned Yeats acclaim for his poem in the form of a dialogue between the Irish mythological hero and St Patrick. 'The Second Coming', published in 1919, uses Christian imagery to convey the destruction of World War I (and the subsequent flu epidemic), and the energy driving the Easter Rebellion of 1919.
9. Federico Garcia Lorca

Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca (1898 - 1936) was one of a group of Spanish poets called the Generation of '27 (that being the year in which they had their first formal meeting in Seville). As a group, they wanted to connect traditional Spanish folklore and popular culture with the avant-garde developments in other parts of Europe. The group did not survive the Spanish Civil War, during which some members died and others were either incarcerated or forced into exile. Lorca was one of those who died, assassinated by Nationalist troops early in the war, for reasons that remain unclear: possibly because of his homosexuality, possibly because of his socialist political stance, possibly because of a personal quarrel.

Lorca's best known book of poetry, 'Romancero gitano' ('Gypsy Ballads') was published in 1928. An homage to traditional Andalusian motifs blended with surrealism, the poems used Romani people as a unifying theme for his ideas. They were an instant success, to the point that Lorca worried about being pigeonholed, and not allowed to explore more broadly. A year in the United States, mostly in New York City (where he was at the time of the Wall Street Crash of 1929) led to the writing of a collection of poems condemning capitalism and materialism, 'Poeta en Nueva York' ('Poet in New York'), which was published posthumously in 1942. His subsequent return to Spain saw him focus on writing plays, working to use theatre to create social change.

The arrest of Federico Garcia Lorca on 18 August 1936 was the last that is definitely known about him. He was probably shot the next day, but records from the time are less than clear and comprehensive. His body has never been located, a situation rather eerily described in 'The Fable and Round of the Three Friends', one of the poems from 'Poet in New York':
"Then I realized I had been murdered.
They looked for me in cafes, cemeteries and churches
.... but they did not find me.
They never found me?
No. They never found me."
10. Dylan Thomas

Dylan Marlais Thomas was born in Swansea, Wales in 1914. He started writing poetry while still at school, and continued to do so while working as a journalist, then in the theatre (both onstage and backstage) - half of his poems were written by the time he was 20, with "And death shall have no dominion" published in 1933. As an adult, he carefully nurtured a reputation for drinking to excess, which helped to disguise the fact that the critical success of his writing was not matched by financial security. His sudden death in New York City while on tour in 1953 was popularly put down to being alcohol-related, and that certainly was a contributing factor, but the official cause of death was given as a combination of pneumonia, brain swelling and a fatty (but not cirrhotic) liver.

Dylan Thomas's poems include many which express strong emotion - 'Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night' springs immediately to mind - but he was also fond of just exploring the sound and rhythm of words, in a manner reminiscent of his (roughly) contemporary James Joyce. The element of humour, of course, is also a recurring feature. He titled a 1940 book of short stories 'Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog', an obvious reference to Joyce's 'Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man'. Then there is the town where he located his play for voices, 'Under Milk Wood'. Llareggub is clearly based on Laugharne, a town where he had lived intermittently for several years, but reading the name backwards adds another level to it! Early print editions wrote it as Llaregyb, both to remove the unseemly humour and to make it look more Welsh.
Source: Author looney_tunes

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