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Poet Laureates of the UK Quiz | Poetry | 10 Questions
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Quiz about Poet Laureates of the UK
Quiz about Poet Laureates of the UK

Poet Laureates of the UK Trivia Quiz


The Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom is a member of the Royal Household. He or she is appointed by the monarch to write poems celebrating important state occasions.

A multiple-choice quiz by Spontini. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
Spontini
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
371,039
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Easy
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
339
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
Last 3 plays: sarahpplayer (7/10), Guest 49 (3/10), muzzyhill3 (10/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. This Victorian Poet Laureate is perhaps best known for his poem about daffodils. Who was he? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. The Poet Laureate used to hold the title for life but, since 1999, it is now for a period of ten years. One Laureate, however, was dismissed when he refused to swear the Oath of Allegiance when William III came to the throne. Who was this poet, author of such works as "Absalom and Achitophel" (1681) and "The Medal" (1682)? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. The first female Poet Laureate was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II. Who was she? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. This Poet Laureate was also known from his many appearances on British TV. He made a very successful documentary about the area where he grew up in the northwest of London ("Metro-Land", 1973). He is the only Laureate to have been knighted before becoming Poet Laureate. What was his name? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. This Poet Laureate, appointed by King James I, could be mistaken for a disgraced Canadian sprinter but he is way too early for that. Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. This Irish Poet Laureate with a hyphenated surname was the father of an actor son (first name Daniel) who won multiple Oscars for his performances. What was the poet's first name? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Several poets have turned down the offer to be Poet Laureate. Who turned it down in 1984? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. This Yorkshire-born poet became the Laureate in 1984. His wife of seven years was a famous American poet in her own right (Sylvia Plath). She committed suicide in 1963. Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. This man wrote children's books as well as poetry. His famous books include "The Midnight Folk" and its sequel "The Box of Delights". Who was Poet Laureate between 1930 and 1967? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. One of England's greatest poets, he was made Laureate by Queen Victoria. One of his most famous poems opens with the lines:-
"Half a league, half a league,
half a league onward,
all in the valley of Death
rode the six hundred."

Who was he?
Hint



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Most Recent Scores
Mar 21 2024 : sarahpplayer: 7/10
Feb 21 2024 : Guest 49: 3/10
Feb 16 2024 : muzzyhill3: 10/10

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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. This Victorian Poet Laureate is perhaps best known for his poem about daffodils. Who was he?

Answer: William Wordsworth

The title of the poem is the same as its first line and goes:-
"I wandered lonely as a cloud
that floats on high o'er vales and hills
when all at once I saw a crowd
a host of dancing Daffodils".

Wordsworth travelled to revolutionary France in 1791 and fell in love with a young Frenchwoman with whom he had a child. He returned to England the following year. He wrote a sonnet called "It is a beauteous evening, calm and free" describing his first meeting with his daughter some nine years later. He became Poet Laureate in 1843, but never actually wrote an official poem during his tenure of the office. He died in 1850.
2. The Poet Laureate used to hold the title for life but, since 1999, it is now for a period of ten years. One Laureate, however, was dismissed when he refused to swear the Oath of Allegiance when William III came to the throne. Who was this poet, author of such works as "Absalom and Achitophel" (1681) and "The Medal" (1682)?

Answer: John Dryden

Born in Northamptonshire, Dryden was the grandson of a wealthy Puritan nobleman. He had thirteen siblings and was second cousin once removed of Jonathan Swift, author of "Gulliver's Travels".
3. The first female Poet Laureate was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II. Who was she?

Answer: Carol Ann Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy was appointed Laureate in 2009. She spent some time as a writer for television after gaining her degree in philosophy in 1977, before turning to poetry. She won several major awards for her poetry collections and has also been a lecturer at Manchester University and the writer of successful plays and children's books.
4. This Poet Laureate was also known from his many appearances on British TV. He made a very successful documentary about the area where he grew up in the northwest of London ("Metro-Land", 1973). He is the only Laureate to have been knighted before becoming Poet Laureate. What was his name?

Answer: John Betjeman

He was a vociferous defender of Victorian architecture and was often involved in leading campaigns to save threatened Victorian buildings. One of his great successes was in defence of St. Pancras Station in London. There is now a statue of him at the station. Sir William Davenant, who was also Poet Laureate, was knighted after taking office.

He took his teddy bear with him to Oxford University where he met Evelyn Waugh who created Sebastian Flyte's teddy, Aloysius, in the novel "Brideshead Revisited" as a result.
5. This Poet Laureate, appointed by King James I, could be mistaken for a disgraced Canadian sprinter but he is way too early for that.

Answer: Ben Jonson

Jonson lived from 1572 until 1637. He wrote plays as well as poetry, and is regarded as one of England's greatest dramatists. After leaving school he had worked somewhat unwillingly as an apprentice bricklayer before volunteering to be a soldier in Flanders.

He returned to England as an actor and then turned to writing plays. One of those plays led to him being imprisoned in 1597 charged with "Leude and mutynous behavior". The following year he faced a manslaughter charge after killing a man in a duel.

He was released after being able to recite a short Bible verse and forfeited his goods and chattels. Later that year he had his first major success with "Every Man in His Humour".
6. This Irish Poet Laureate with a hyphenated surname was the father of an actor son (first name Daniel) who won multiple Oscars for his performances. What was the poet's first name?

Answer: Cecil

The poet is of course Cecil Day-Lewis who was Poet Laureate from 1968 until his death in 1972. As Nicholas Blake, he also wrote twenty crime-fiction novels.
7. Several poets have turned down the offer to be Poet Laureate. Who turned it down in 1984?

Answer: Philip Larkin

He was offered the position in 1984 on the death of Sir John Betjeman but refused it. He died himself the following year from cancer of the oesophagus. Given that he must have been quite ill at the time, it may not be surprising that he turned it down.
8. This Yorkshire-born poet became the Laureate in 1984. His wife of seven years was a famous American poet in her own right (Sylvia Plath). She committed suicide in 1963.

Answer: Ted Hughes

His last published work before his death in 1998 was "Birthday Letters", which concerned his relationship with Plath.
9. This man wrote children's books as well as poetry. His famous books include "The Midnight Folk" and its sequel "The Box of Delights". Who was Poet Laureate between 1930 and 1967?

Answer: John Masefield

"The Midnight Folk" is a fantasy novel concerning a young boy searching for treasure stolen from his grandfather. He is aided by some talking animals and there is a group of witches who are also out to get the treasure for themselves. "The Box of Delights" takes place a few years later.

The same boy is given a box to look after by a man who is being pursued by a gang. The box has the power to send its owner back through time. The young lad finds many adventures while protecting the box from falling into the wrong hands.

It was made into a TV serial in 1984.
10. One of England's greatest poets, he was made Laureate by Queen Victoria. One of his most famous poems opens with the lines:- "Half a league, half a league, half a league onward, all in the valley of Death rode the six hundred." Who was he?

Answer: Alfred Lord Tennyson

The poem was, of course, "The Charge of the Light Brigade", which told the story of the famous charge at the Battle of Balaclava in 1854. The Light Brigade were to be sent against a retreating Russian artillery brigade. There was some sort of mix-up, however, and they were actually sent to charge a different battery with excellent defenses.

The brigade got through under withering fire and with massive casualties before they had to retreat again.
Source: Author Spontini

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor looney_tunes before going online.
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