Quiz about Gently Its Touch  Great Modern Poets
Quiz about Gently Its Touch  Great Modern Poets

Gently Its Touch: Great Modern Poets Quiz


I describe a famous, English-language poet published since 1900. You match the description to a name. These had a gentle, if radical touch. (Look for the hints if you are new to poetry).

A multiple-choice quiz by Godwit. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
Godwit
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
341,138
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
860
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. In 1914, this dazzling schoolmaster and poet was born in Wales. He sustained a stormy and drunken relationship with his wife Caitlin until he died of pneumonia in 1953, exacerbated by the dying light of New York City smog. Who wrote many of his best poems before he was twenty? Hint

Ernest Hemingway
Dylan Thomas
Langston Hughes
Ezra Pound

2. Born in 1932, this Fulbright scholar published her first poem at eight, was strongly influenced by Anne Sexton, and died by her own hand in 1963. Who wrote, "If I've killed one man, I've killed two/The vampire who said he was you/And drank my blood for a year/Seven years, if you want to know..."? Hint

Maya Angelou
Marianne Moore
Sylvia Plath
Adrienne Rich

3. This poet was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1888. He later became a British subject. He believed the poet's personal life should be invisible and anonymous. To honor this Nobel Prize winner, called the poet of the century, let's forgo questions about his marriage, sexuality, or racial remarks. Who gave us, "The Waste Land"? Hint

T.S. Eliot
C.H. Sisson
A.E. Housman
D.H. Lawrence

4. This king of the beatniks believed he was visited by the spirit of William Blake. He was deported from Prague and he dropped out of Columbia University. He spent his life touring, stunning audiences with his poetry readings. Who was howling on the road? Hint

Dylan Thomas
Jack Kerouac
William Burroughs
Allen Ginsberg

5. This medical doctor was friend and tutor to many. He believed in a new, fresh, American language, rooted in direct observation and local idiom. He wrote: "...unsignificantly/off the coast/there was/a splash quite unnoticed/this was/Icarus drowning." Which poet depended upon a red wheelbarrow? Hint

Graham Greene
Langston Hughes
William Carlos Williams
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

6. His father was an English coal miner, and this poet was diagnosed with a lung infection as a boy that caused his death in 1930. Yet he loved, he risked, he traveled widely, and he strove to achieve a living spirit in his poetry. Which great modern poet is better known for his banned and burned novels? Hint

D.H. Lawrence
Carl Sandburg
William Blake
Aldous Huxley

7. This favored American poet read little before he was 12, yet he was class poet by the end of high school. He tried many jobs and two colleges before setting his own course as a poet. He wrote: "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood/And sorry I could not travel both..." Who took the road not, in truth, less traveled? Hint

Lawrence Durrell
Robert Frost
W.H. Auden
Henry Longfellow

8. In 1951, at just 22, she graduated from Harvard, then wrote two books of poems, earned a Guggenheim Fellowship, married, and had three kids. In the 1960s she moved into political, civil rights and controversial poetry. She wrote: "I came to explore the wreck/The words are purposes/The words are maps..." Which feminist poet went diving into the wreck? Hint

Joyce Carol Oates
Adrienne Rich
Anne Bronte
Margaret Atwood

9. Just twenty and already celebrated, she moved to Greenwich Village in 1917 where she was an actress, playwright, satirist, wife, and poet. She wrote eloquently and perhaps traditionally about love, nature, public events and anti-fascism. She wrote: "Monstrous and beautiful to human eyes, hard to believe...". Which of these women won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry? Hint

Edna St. Vincent Millay
Charlene Mew
Basil Bunting
Anne Sexton

10. This beloved author and poet was born in Bombay in 1865. He traveled widely, and declined many honors. He is well known for poetry supporting war, but after his young son Jack was killed in WWI, the poet wrote famously about its costs: "If any question why we died/ Tell them, because our fathers lied...". If you can keep your head about you, who is this poet? Hint

Rudyard Kipling
Ernest Hemingway
Rainer Rilke
Stephen Crane


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. In 1914, this dazzling schoolmaster and poet was born in Wales. He sustained a stormy and drunken relationship with his wife Caitlin until he died of pneumonia in 1953, exacerbated by the dying light of New York City smog. Who wrote many of his best poems before he was twenty?

Answer: Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) was born in Swansea, Wales, to a teacher and poet father who recited Shakespeare to Dylan even before he could read. At 17, he left school and became a reporter, then returned home and wrote over half the poems he would publish in his lifetime.

His poetic style was called magic and musical. He famously wrote, "And you, my father, there on that sad height/Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray/Do not go gentle into that good night/Rage, rage, against the dying of the light".
2. Born in 1932, this Fulbright scholar published her first poem at eight, was strongly influenced by Anne Sexton, and died by her own hand in 1963. Who wrote, "If I've killed one man, I've killed two/The vampire who said he was you/And drank my blood for a year/Seven years, if you want to know..."?

Answer: Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) penned her famous "Daddy" and many other poems of primary emotion in a strategic manner. She didn't believe in cries from the heart, but felt that even topics such as insanity or terror should be controlled, and made relevant to larger experience.

Her professor father died when she was 8, a traumatic loss. She had a nervous breakdown due to overwork, then attended Harvard where she met Anne Sexton, from whom she borrowed freely. Awarded a Fulbright scholarship, Plath attended Cambridge, where she met and married the poet Ted Hughes. Just after the marriage ended Plath wrote perhaps her most astonishing poetry. To listen to a recording of Plath reading her work is an experience.
3. This poet was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1888. He later became a British subject. He believed the poet's personal life should be invisible and anonymous. To honor this Nobel Prize winner, called the poet of the century, let's forgo questions about his marriage, sexuality, or racial remarks. Who gave us, "The Waste Land"?

Answer: T.S. Eliot

Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965) had six siblings and a deeply cultured, poet mother. Eliot pursued his doctoral thesis at various universities and attained success as a editor and poet when he founded an influential magazine in England, "Criterion". His work there and the nature of his poems was at first controversial, and then greatly respected. Eliot believed art should be considered on its own merits, outside the context of how the artist lived. "The Waste Land" was published in 1922.
4. This king of the beatniks believed he was visited by the spirit of William Blake. He was deported from Prague and he dropped out of Columbia University. He spent his life touring, stunning audiences with his poetry readings. Who was howling on the road?

Answer: Allen Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) was born in New Jersey to a poet father and a mother with mental illness. He studied at Columbia University, dropped out, and traveled extensively. He met his life partner in 1954. He helped create the Beat Generation via his astounding readings, protest of war and oppression, and breaking taboos in writing, speech and publication.

He wrote in "Kaddish": "...where you walked 50 years ago, little girl--from Russia, eating the/first poisonous tomatoes of America--frightened on the dock..." He is famous for "Howl", and his friendship with "On the Road" fellow beatnik, Jack Kerouac.

He once spent an entire interview with William Buckley singing "Hare Krishna", a chanting prayer of peace. He was unique to say the least.
5. This medical doctor was friend and tutor to many. He believed in a new, fresh, American language, rooted in direct observation and local idiom. He wrote: "...unsignificantly/off the coast/there was/a splash quite unnoticed/this was/Icarus drowning." Which poet depended upon a red wheelbarrow?

Answer: William Carlos Williams

William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) was reared by his mother and grandmother in New Jersey. He was close with many artists and poets including Ezra Pound, Yeats, Ginsberg, Marianne Moore and James Joyce. He disliked the work of T.S. Eliot, though Eliot was a friend, and called Robert Frost a "hick".

He married his longstanding fiancée Flossie. Often he spent weekends in New York City with artists and writers, where he was adored, and heavily influenced others. After his death, Britain announced they would publish his works, as during his lifetime he was adamantly adverse to British influence on the American language. "The Red Wheelbarrow" is among his most famous poems.
6. His father was an English coal miner, and this poet was diagnosed with a lung infection as a boy that caused his death in 1930. Yet he loved, he risked, he traveled widely, and he strove to achieve a living spirit in his poetry. Which great modern poet is better known for his banned and burned novels?

Answer: D.H. Lawrence

David Herbert Lawrence (1885-1930) had none of the financial and educational advantages of the writers of his time. In 1914, he ran away with a married woman, and they traveled widely. His topic was often flowers and animals, as well as entreaty that men "hold on to your souls".

His reputation in England during his lifetime was controversial, some of his works were banned, ostensibly due to the sexual content but also, I believe, because he was so critical of the industrialized male. This theme of the "living" versus the "mechanical" male is central: "If you are a man, and believe in the destiny of mankind/then say to yourself: we will cease to care/about property and money and mechanical devices/and open our consciousness to the deep, mysterious life/that we are now cut off from..." You see? Radical stuff. Never mind his poetry on the mysterious, dignified snake.
7. This favored American poet read little before he was 12, yet he was class poet by the end of high school. He tried many jobs and two colleges before setting his own course as a poet. He wrote: "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood/And sorry I could not travel both..." Who took the road not, in truth, less traveled?

Answer: Robert Frost

Born in San Francisco in 1874, Robert Frost lost his father when he was 11 and the family moved to New England. At the age of 12, he began to read verse. He attempted college, farming, a job in a mill, shoe-making, another college, and editing before choosing to make his own way in poetry.

He went to England with his wife and children when he was 38, frustrated and disappointed with his lack of success. When he returned to the United States three years later, however, he was an established poet. He wrote "The Road Not Taken" in 1916, and often warned readers that this particular poem is "very tricky" to interpret.

He died in 1963.
8. In 1951, at just 22, she graduated from Harvard, then wrote two books of poems, earned a Guggenheim Fellowship, married, and had three kids. In the 1960s she moved into political, civil rights and controversial poetry. She wrote: "I came to explore the wreck/The words are purposes/The words are maps..." Which feminist poet went diving into the wreck?

Answer: Adrienne Rich

Born in 1929, Adrienne Rich declined the National Medal of Arts offered by President Clinton in 1997, but by then had many awards. She began civil rights involvement in the 1960s, which strained her longtime marriage. Shortly after their separation, her husband, an economics professor at Harvard when they met, killed himself. Adrienne immersed herself in writing and activism, and later joined the gay community, spending the rest of her life as an outspoken proponent of gay, women's and African-American rights.

She was a widely read and influential poet and an important activist of the late modern era. "Diving into the Wreck" was published in 1973.
9. Just twenty and already celebrated, she moved to Greenwich Village in 1917 where she was an actress, playwright, satirist, wife, and poet. She wrote eloquently and perhaps traditionally about love, nature, public events and anti-fascism. She wrote: "Monstrous and beautiful to human eyes, hard to believe...". Which of these women won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry?

Answer: Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) was born in Maine, and encouraged by her mother to pursue music and poetry. At 20 she had published the celebrated "Renascence", and a patron enabled her to attend college. In New York she took to heavy drinking, yet also worked as a European correspondent for "Vanity Fair".

In 1923 she both married and received the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Her husband provided her with writing seclusion in New York, though she was nonetheless at times embroiled in public controversy, after penning a poem about current events or other sensitive issues.
10. This beloved author and poet was born in Bombay in 1865. He traveled widely, and declined many honors. He is well known for poetry supporting war, but after his young son Jack was killed in WWI, the poet wrote famously about its costs: "If any question why we died/ Tell them, because our fathers lied...". If you can keep your head about you, who is this poet?

Answer: Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard (1865-1936) was named after Rudyard Lake in Staffordshire, England. He loved the warmth and easy intimacy of India, but was sent to England at age six for his education. At 16 he returned to India, and then traveled to China, Japan, America, Australia, and Africa with his wife and children, as a foreign correspondent. Kipling declined knighthood more than once, and also declined the Order of Merit and many other awards.

He died of an ulcer in 1936, age 70, but not before his passing was announced in a magazine, to which he wrote, "I've just read that I am dead. Don't forget to delete me from your list of subscribers."
Source: Author Godwit

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