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Quiz about Poetic Parodies
Quiz about Poetic Parodies

Poetic Parodies Trivia Quiz


Verse parody in English is as least as old as Chaucer, but this quiz deals with the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Can you identify the poets who are the authors or targets of ten parodies?

A multiple-choice quiz by TabbyTom. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
TabbyTom
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
213,087
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
2242
Awards
Top 10% Quiz
Last 3 plays: rahul0 (6/10), Froya (6/10), misstified (9/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Which poet is being parodied in these lines by Samuel Taylor Coleridge's son Hartley?

"He lived amidst the untrodden ways
To Rydal Lake that lead;
A bard whom there were none to praise,
And very few to read."
Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. "The stately homes of England,
How beautiful they stand,
Amidst their tall ancestral trees
O'er all the pleasant land!"

The words are those of Mrs Felicia Dorothea Hemans, who died in 1835, but who parodied them in a musical comedy in 1938?
Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. The following anonymous lines are a parody of "The Bells" by which American poet?

"Hear the fluter with his flute,
Silver flute!
Oh, what a world of wailing is awakened by its toot!
How it demi-semi-quavers
On the maddened air of night,
And defieth all endeavors
To escape the sound or sight
Of the flute, flute, flute,
With its tootle, tootle, toot ...."
Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Which Victorian poet is being parodied here?

"Oh, to be in England
Now that April's there!
And whoever wakes in England
Sees some morning, in despair,
There's a horrible fog in the heart of the town,
And the greasy pavement is damp and brown,
While the raindrop falls from the laden bough,
In England - now!"
Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. "'You are old, Father William.' the young man cried.
'The few locks that are left you are gray.
You are hale, Father William - a hearty old man:
Now tell me the reason, I pray.'"

These original lines are from "The Old Man's Comforts and How He Gained Them," by Robert Southey. Which English humorist memorably parodied them in a classic children's book?
Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Here is a stanza from "Octopus - Written at the Crystal Palace Aquarium." Which poet is being parodied?

"O breast, that 'twere rapture to writhe on!
O arms 'twere delicious to feel
Clinging close with the crush of the Python,
When she maketh her murderous meal!
In thy eightfold embraces enfolden,
Let our empty existence escape:
Give us death that is glorious and golden,
Crushed all out of shape!"
Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. "As I was a-walkin' the jungle round, a-killin' of tigers and time,
I seed a kind of an author man a-writin' a rousin' rhyme.
'E was writin' a mile a minute an'more, an' I sez to 'im: "'Oo are you?"
Sez 'e: "I'm a poet - 'Er Majesty's Poet - soldier an' sailor too!"
An' 'is poem began in Ispahan an' it ended in Kalamazoo.
It 'ad army in it, an' navy in it, an' jungle sprinkled through,
For 'e was a poet - 'Er Majesty's Poet - soldier an' sailor too!"

Which British poet is Guy Wetmore Carryl parodying here?
Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. "What! Still alive at twenty-two,
A clean upstanding chap like you?
Sure, if your throat 'tis hard to slit,
Slit your girl's, and swing for it!
Like enough, you won't be glad
When they come to hang you, lad;
But bacon's not the only thing
That's cured by hanging from a string."

Hugh Kingsmill wrote these lines, parodying which British poet?
Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. "I must go down to the seas again, where the billows romp and reel.
So all I ask is a large ship that rides on an even keel,
And a mild breeze, and a broad deck with a slight list to leeward,
And a clean chair in a snug nook, and a nice kind steward."

Which Poet Laureate is parodied in these lines?
Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. "Hush, hush!
Nobody cares!
Christopher Robin
Has
Fallen
Down-
Stairs."

Which children's writer is being parodied here?
Hint



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Most Recent Scores
Apr 09 2024 : rahul0: 6/10
Mar 14 2024 : Froya: 6/10
Feb 28 2024 : misstified: 9/10
Feb 23 2024 : SixShutouts66: 7/10
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Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Which poet is being parodied in these lines by Samuel Taylor Coleridge's son Hartley? "He lived amidst the untrodden ways To Rydal Lake that lead; A bard whom there were none to praise, And very few to read."

Answer: William Wordsworth

Few great poets have been parodied so mercilessly as Wordsworth, probably because few of them have descended from the sublime to the ridiculous so frequently. "She dwelt among the untrodden ways" is one of Wordsworth's "Lucy Gray" poems, commemorating the short life of a Lakeland girl who may or may not have existed.
2. "The stately homes of England, How beautiful they stand, Amidst their tall ancestral trees O'er all the pleasant land!" The words are those of Mrs Felicia Dorothea Hemans, who died in 1835, but who parodied them in a musical comedy in 1938?

Answer: Noel Coward

Mrs Hemans (née Browne) was immensely popular in her day, but her name is now almost completely forgotten, even by those who know her most famous line "The boy stood on the burning deck ...." Most people know Coward's parody ("How beautiful they stand, to prove the upper classes have still the upper hand") better than Mrs Hemans' original.
3. The following anonymous lines are a parody of "The Bells" by which American poet? "Hear the fluter with his flute, Silver flute! Oh, what a world of wailing is awakened by its toot! How it demi-semi-quavers On the maddened air of night, And defieth all endeavors To escape the sound or sight Of the flute, flute, flute, With its tootle, tootle, toot ...."

Answer: Edgar Allan Poe

Not all parodies are intended to ridicule the original. Sometimes, as here, a parodist will use a well-known poem as a framework for his own (usually humorous) thoughts. Poe's "Bells" seems to be a favourite with this kind of parodist: I've seen a celebration of tea-time using the same model.
4. Which Victorian poet is being parodied here? "Oh, to be in England Now that April's there! And whoever wakes in England Sees some morning, in despair, There's a horrible fog in the heart of the town, And the greasy pavement is damp and brown, While the raindrop falls from the laden bough, In England - now!"

Answer: Robert Browning

Browning's "Home Thoughts from Abroad" depicts the early spring in England as a time of joy when the natives are cheered by the resurgence of life. The anonymous "Home Truths from Abroad" paints the other side of the picture.
5. "'You are old, Father William.' the young man cried. 'The few locks that are left you are gray. You are hale, Father William - a hearty old man: Now tell me the reason, I pray.'" These original lines are from "The Old Man's Comforts and How He Gained Them," by Robert Southey. Which English humorist memorably parodied them in a classic children's book?

Answer: Lewis Carroll

Many of the poems in Carroll's "Alice" books are parodies of moral verses by men like Southey or the hymnodist Isaac Watts, which Victorian children were made to learn. His young readers must have been delighted to see this teaching burlesqued by an Oxford don who was also a deacon of the established church.
6. Here is a stanza from "Octopus - Written at the Crystal Palace Aquarium." Which poet is being parodied? "O breast, that 'twere rapture to writhe on! O arms 'twere delicious to feel Clinging close with the crush of the Python, When she maketh her murderous meal! In thy eightfold embraces enfolden, Let our empty existence escape: Give us death that is glorious and golden, Crushed all out of shape!"

Answer: Algernon Swinburne

To the sternest moralists of late Victorian England, Swinburne's "decadent" verse was the ultimate in obscenity. To men like A. C. Hilton, the author of this parody, it merely cried out for ridicule. The parody is based on Swinburne's notoriously masochistic "Dolores."
7. "As I was a-walkin' the jungle round, a-killin' of tigers and time, I seed a kind of an author man a-writin' a rousin' rhyme. 'E was writin' a mile a minute an'more, an' I sez to 'im: "'Oo are you?" Sez 'e: "I'm a poet - 'Er Majesty's Poet - soldier an' sailor too!" An' 'is poem began in Ispahan an' it ended in Kalamazoo. It 'ad army in it, an' navy in it, an' jungle sprinkled through, For 'e was a poet - 'Er Majesty's Poet - soldier an' sailor too!" Which British poet is Guy Wetmore Carryl parodying here?

Answer: Rudyard Kipling

Kipling's style, often using conventionalized Cockney dialect, was a gift to parodists. Carryl admires, while he satirizes, Kipling's ability to make literature out of "sea an' shore an' peace an' war, an' everything else in view" in the Victorian/Edwardian British Empire. Despite being referred to here as "'Er Majesty's Poet," Kipling was never Poet Laureate.
8. "What! Still alive at twenty-two, A clean upstanding chap like you? Sure, if your throat 'tis hard to slit, Slit your girl's, and swing for it! Like enough, you won't be glad When they come to hang you, lad; But bacon's not the only thing That's cured by hanging from a string." Hugh Kingsmill wrote these lines, parodying which British poet?

Answer: A E Housman

The villages of Shropshire may well be, as Housman says in one of his poems, "the quietest places under the sun," but the Shropshire lads in his work tend to meet early deaths - often as convicts, soldiers or suicides. Despite the exaggeration, Kingsmill's lines catch Housman's laconic pessimism very well.
9. "I must go down to the seas again, where the billows romp and reel. So all I ask is a large ship that rides on an even keel, And a mild breeze, and a broad deck with a slight list to leeward, And a clean chair in a snug nook, and a nice kind steward." Which Poet Laureate is parodied in these lines?

Answer: John Masefield

The parody is of Masefield's best known poem, "Sea Fever," with its wish for "a windy day with the white clouds flying, and the flung spray and the blown spume .... where the wind's like a whetted knife." According to a newspaper report, when Masefield actually had a rough transatlantic crossing, he was miserably sick. Arthur Guiterman seized the opportunity to point the contrast between the pretensions of the artist and the frailties of the man.
10. "Hush, hush! Nobody cares! Christopher Robin Has Fallen Down- Stairs." Which children's writer is being parodied here?

Answer: A A Milne

J B Morton was a robust humorist who wrote the "By The Way" column in the "Daily Express" for something like half a century under the pseudonym Beachcomber. He had little time or sympathy for what he called "the Woogie-Poogie-Boo kind of children's book." Milne's original lines, in "When We Were Very Young," are "Hush, hush! Whisper who dares! Christopher Robin is saying his prayers."
Source: Author TabbyTom

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