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Quiz about Write Me a Love Song
Quiz about Write Me a Love Song

Write Me a Love Song Trivia Quiz


Sonnets are usually amorous poems, and Shakespeare wrote some of the most famous in the English language. Many other famous writers have had a go at the genre, too!

A multiple-choice quiz by AcrylicInk. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
AcrylicInk
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
383,009
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
453
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
- -
Question 1 of 10
1. Let's start with one of the most famous Shakespearean sonnets. In 'Sonnet 130', the persona makes lots of comparisons, though most of them aren't very flattering. What are his mistress' eyes nothing like? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. John Donne wrote a sonnet about something that affects us all. According to him, what should 'be not proud'? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. Sir Philip Sidney published the first original English language sonnet sequence. It explored the love between a man and a woman. What were their names? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. 'From Pamphilia to Amphilanthus' was an early 17th century sonnet sequence. What was unusual about it? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Petrarch gave his name to a type of sonnet called a 'Petrarchan'. The man himself wrote poetry about a woman he longed for and idolized. What was her name? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Mary Elizabeth Frye is famous for one poem alone. Its title and first line is 'Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep', but what reason does the persona give for saying this? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Edna St. Vincent Millay's early 20th century sonnet 'Love is Not All' explores the idea that love alone cannot solve practical problems. Which of these four situations is NOT listed in the poem?
Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. What is the topic of George Meredith's sonnet sequence 'Modern Love'? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Who is the persona talking about in George Herbert's 'Redemption'?

'Having been a tenant long to a rich Lord... Of thieves and murderers: there I him espied...'
Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Let's end on Shakespeare, too. In 'Sonnet 138', what does the persona's love swear that she is made of? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Let's start with one of the most famous Shakespearean sonnets. In 'Sonnet 130', the persona makes lots of comparisons, though most of them aren't very flattering. What are his mistress' eyes nothing like?

Answer: The sun

In the final couplet of this sonnet, the persona says that even though she is flawed, he still cares for his lover. The poem is also a satire on sonnets as a genre, as they often idolised their subjects and made over-the-top comparisons. The persona presents a realistic representation of his lover and suggests that he doesn't need to think of her as a goddess in order to love her.

Shakespeare gave his name to a new 'breed' of sonnets that are now called - surprisingly- Shakespearean sonnets, though he wasn't the first or only writer to use the new format. The lines have a different rhyme scheme to the Italian Petrarchan sonnets, mainly because it is easier to find rhyming words in Italian than it is in English. Petrarchan sonnets also consist of two sections: one of eight lines and one of six. In Shakespearean sonnets, the lines are divided into three groups of four lines, with a couplet (two lines) at the end.
2. John Donne wrote a sonnet about something that affects us all. According to him, what should 'be not proud'?

Answer: Death

'Death, Be Not Proud' is from Donne's 'Holy Sonnets', published posthumously in 1633. The persona says that death isn't as mighty as people think. It's a slave to sickness, poison, and war. Death is nothing without its causes.

John Donne is considered to be a metaphysical poet. They used metaphysical conceits, which are extended metaphors to explore a topic. Their poetry mainly focused on religion and love.
3. Sir Philip Sidney published the first original English language sonnet sequence. It explored the love between a man and a woman. What were their names?

Answer: Astrophil and Stella

'Astrophil and Stella' was published posthumously in 1591, though it is thought that Sidney had been working on it since 1576. The work would probably not have been published before his death (he died of an infected gunshot wound in 1586) because the aristocracy did not write for money. Poetry was, however, circulated in manuscript form at Court.

Many European sonnets were translated into English, but Sidney published the first ones to be originally written in English.
4. 'From Pamphilia to Amphilanthus' was an early 17th century sonnet sequence. What was unusual about it?

Answer: It was written by a woman.

Lady Mary Wroth is one of few known writers of the era. 'From Pamphilia to Amphilanthus' consists of 103 sonnets published in 1621. Sonnets were out of fashion by the 17th century, so there is some speculation about why Lady Mary Wroth chose to write a sequence of them.

She was related to Philip Sidney, so it could be an allusion to, or an ambition to achieve, his literary accomplishments. She also fell on hard times after her husband's death, and a scandal surrounding her illegitimate children, so she needed the money earned from selling her work.
5. Petrarch gave his name to a type of sonnet called a 'Petrarchan'. The man himself wrote poetry about a woman he longed for and idolized. What was her name?

Answer: Laura

Francesco Petrarca (commonly known as Petrarch in English) was a 14th century Italian poet. He is considered the founder of Humanism after drawing a line under the dark ages and calling for a need to return to classical authors. He is also thought to have lit the fire that started the Renaissance.

Laura features in 366 poems in a collection called 'Song Book'. The 'real' Laura is unknown, and Petrarch himself did not intimately know the woman of his desire, either. In the sonnets she is frequently described as beautiful and fair-haired.
6. Mary Elizabeth Frye is famous for one poem alone. Its title and first line is 'Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep', but what reason does the persona give for saying this?

Answer: The persona isn't there.

The second line of the poem is 'I am not there; I do not sleep'. This idea is repeated in the final couplet, which reads 'Do not stand at my grave and cry;/ I am not there; I did not die.' The main chunk of the sonnet explains where the persona really is. Even though the persona has died, they are still present in the world. They are 'sunlight on ripened grain' and 'the soft star that shines at night', among other things. The poem is an uplifting take on mourning that focuses on positive memories and experiences, rather than crying at the graveside.

The poem has 12, not 14, lines, but it is still considered a sonnet. The rhyme scheme is slightly different to conventional Shakespearean sonnets as well.
7. Edna St. Vincent Millay's early 20th century sonnet 'Love is Not All' explores the idea that love alone cannot solve practical problems. Which of these four situations is NOT listed in the poem?

Answer: Love cannot open doors.

The first half of the poem sets out this list of what love is not:
'Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone'

Opening doors is not mentioned here, though love alone probably wouldn't be much use in this instance either. In the end the persona says that even if she could trade time with her lover for peace or food, she wouldn't. Aww.
8. What is the topic of George Meredith's sonnet sequence 'Modern Love'?

Answer: A marriage break-up

George Meredith's own wife left him for another man in 1858, and 'Modern Love' is considered to be an account of their relationship breakdown. It is 50 sonnets long and each poem in the series has 16 lines, instead of the conventional 14. There is a big gap between Petrarch's 14th century poetry and Meredith's 19th century work.

Originally, sonnets were over-the-top and compared humans to gods. They over-emphasised beauty and often drew on the mythology of the Ancient world. 'Modern Love' is worlds away from its beginnings.

It is bleak and honest, and records the end of a relationship, rather than the beginning of one.
9. Who is the persona talking about in George Herbert's 'Redemption'? 'Having been a tenant long to a rich Lord... Of thieves and murderers: there I him espied...'

Answer: God

Sonnets usually have amorous themes, and sometimes that love is directed towards God. 'Redemption' is about Jesus' crucifixion and its meaning for Christians. Herbert was ordained in the Church of England. Much of his poetry is of a religious nature.
10. Let's end on Shakespeare, too. In 'Sonnet 138', what does the persona's love swear that she is made of?

Answer: Truth

This is my favourite poem because, like many sonnets, there are multiple layers, but I think Shakespeare blends them together beautifully here. In the poem, the persona explains how he and his lover lie to each other as they say flattering things. Neither of them minds or calls the other liar; they acknowledge the love behind the flattery, even though they are growing old and the things they are saying are no longer true.

Throughout the poem there is a play on the word 'lie', though it only becomes obvious in the final couplet ('Therefore I lie with her, and she with me'). You can reread the poem using the romantic or intimate definition of 'lie' and the meaning changes - or expands - a little.
Source: Author AcrylicInk

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor looney_tunes before going online.
Any errors found in FunTrivia content are routinely corrected through our feedback system.
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