Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Love is probably the most popular subject for poetry. While you're figuring out what word goes in the blank, ask yourself if this is the beginning of a love poem.
"Lay your sleeping head, my love,
__________ on my faithless arm;"
2. Here's a very different type of love poem. Does my telling you it's different help you fill in the blank?
"I believe the woman sleeping beside me
doesn't care about what's going on
outside, and her body is warm
which is a great beginning."
3. Icarus appears often in modern poems. The familiar story of his death, which resulted from his ecstatically flying so close to the sun that his wings melted, has become a metaphor for many events in modern life. Understanding how he is being used in this end-of-love poem will help you fill in the blank correctly.
"Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It's the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is __________."
4. Writers' motto: write what you know. Here's the famous Marianne Moore, writing about writing poems:
"Fanaticism? No. Writing is exciting
and __________ is like writing.
You can never tell with either
how it will go
or what you will do;
a fever in the victim--"
5. Billy Collins is another poet writing fun poems about writing poems. This is most of a favorite poem of mine titled "Purity."
"My favorite time to write is in the late afternoon,
weekdays, particularly Wednesdays.
This is how I go about it:
I take a fresh pot of tea into my study and close the door.
Then I remove my clothes and leave them in a pile
as if I had melted to death and my legacy consisted of only
a white shirt, a pair of pants, and a cold pot of tea.
Then I remove my flesh and hang it over a chair.
I slide it off my bones like a silken garment.
I do this so that what I write will be pure,
uncontaminated by the preoccupations of the body. . . ."
6. The poet who wrote these lines is full of gentle surprises, as this poem bears witness.
"There's just no accounting for __________,
or the way it turns up like a prodigal
who comes back to the dust at your feet
having squandered a fortune far away."
7. Hint: this quote is from a poem about a famous Peter.
"And not till he saw ____________
alone and free to resume
the ecstatic, dangerous, wearisome roads of
what he had still to do,
not till then did he recognize
this was no dream. More frightening
than arrest, than being chained to his warders:
he could hear his own footsteps suddenly."
8. When his pet bulldog died, Robinson Jeffers wrote the beautiful poem "The House Dog's Grave." While it expressed his grief, Jeffers wrote it in the voice of the dog. This is one stanza:
"So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door
Where I used to scratch to go out or in,
And you'd soon open; leave on the kitchen floor
9. Some of the most beautiful and touching love poetry I know was written by a poet as his wife was dying and, later, while he was grieving. Here's a passage to illustrate:
"Today it's four weeks
since you lay on our painted bed
and I closed your eyes.
Yesterday I cut irises to set
in a pitcher on your grave;
today I brought a carafe
to fill it with fresh water.
I remember bone pain,
vomiting, and delirium. __________
10. Once you supply the blank last line, you will have the entire text of "Fire and Ice" by Robert Frost.
"Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
Source: Author NormanW5
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