94 Poetry Trivia Questions (Ranked from Easiest to Hardest)

Updated Date:
February 11, 2024
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Poetry is a powerful and expressive art form that has been used to capture the human experience for centuries. From classical sonnets and haikus to modern free verse and slam poetry, poetry encompasses a wide range of styles, techniques, and perspectives that are essential to the development of language and culture. Trivia questions about poetry can provide a fun and engaging way to test your knowledge and deepen your appreciation for this dynamic and diverse art form.

Whether you're a seasoned poet or just starting to explore the world of language and literature, poetry trivia questions offer a glimpse into the rich history and culture of this exciting field. From the basics of rhyme and meter to the major movements and poets that have shaped the genre, these questions can challenge you on your knowledge of poetry history, theory, and practice.

94 Poetry Trivia Questions Ranked From Easiest to Hardest (Updated for 2024)

  1. The Shockoe Bottom neighborhood of Richmond, VA, is home to a museum dedicated to what 19th century American author? He is known for poems such as “Annabel Lee” and “The Bells”, as well as many dark stories and detective fiction.

    Answer: Edgar Allan Poe

  2. Europe's largest library, the Library of Birmingham, has the 1623 First Folio of what playwright and poet with a whole memorial collection in the building?

    Answer: William Shakespeare

  3. If you visit a museum on East Main Street, you can see a pair of socks once worn by the poet who penned “The Raven.” What’s the spooky scribe’s triple name?

    Answer: Edgar Allan Poe

  4. Given her poetic prowess, “em dash” could have been a fun nickname for which American poet, though little known during her life, who had the initials ED?

    Answer: Emily Dickinson

  5. What American poet was drawn to the young working men he met when he came to New York City in 1841, writing about the "frequent and swift flash of eyes offering me robust, athletic love?"

    Answer: Walt Whitman

  6. From Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1860 poem Paul Revere’s Ride, “One if by land, and…” what four-word phrase is ingrained into U.S. schoolchildren's’ minds referring to lanterns hung in the Old North Church?

    Answer: Two If By Sea

  7. “Iliad” and “Odyssey” get all the buzz, but real fans of what Ancient Greek poet also love his deeper cuts, like “Batrachomyomachia”?

    Answer: Homer

  8. Used in ancient times by the poet Tibullus, "The Eternal City" is a nickname given to what European capital?

    Answer: Rome

  9. A popular interlibrary loan service is known by what name chosen to sound like one of Homer's most famous epic poems?

    Answer: ILLiad

  10. What self-described "Black, lesbian, warrior, mother, poet" was the State Poet of New York in 1991-1992?

    Answer: Audre Lord

  11. A Rochester, New York organization developed what open-source operating system, written in way more than three lines of code, and named for what short poetry form?

    Answer: Haiku

  12. Best known for its famous oratory reenactment of Walt Whitman poem “Oh Captain! My Captain!”, what film starring Robin Williams was filmed at St. Andrews School in Middletown, Delaware?

    Answer: Dead Poet’s Society

  13. Located within the Irish province of Munster, what city in Ireland is also a type of five-line poem which famously follows an AABBA rhyming scheme?

    Answer: Limerick

  14. In poetry, formal verse has a meter and rhyme scheme. Blank verse has meter, but no rhyme scheme. What type of verse does not use meter or rhyme scheme? Take a guess if you don’t know, it won’t cost you anything if you’re wrong.

    Answer: Free

  15. Walt Whitman famously described the poetry of what fellow American as "a propensity toward nocturnal themes, a demoniac undertone behind every page?"

    Answer: Edgar Allan Poe

  16. The Divine Comedy, a massive narrative poem including sections for Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso andcompleted in 1320, is the best known work of what Italian poet?

    Answer: Dante

  17. What 1854 poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson memorializes a failed British cavalry action in the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War?

    Answer: The Charge of the Light Brigade

  18. What northern California city's name spells a poetic form when written backwards?

    Answer: Ukiah

  19. Sequoioideae is the scientific name of what coniferous trees found in Northern California? The color in its name is reminiscent of a wheelbarrow from a poem by William Carlos Williams.

    Answer: Redwood

  20. "O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done" is the opening line of a Walt Whitman poem which serves as an extended metaphor about the demise of what U.S. President?

    Answer: Abraham Lincoln

  21. H.G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw were among the first members of an international association of poets, essayists, and novelists known by what three-letter name?

    Answer: PEN

  22. The name of what ancient Greek epic poem follows the word "Magnavox" to name the first commercial home video game console?

    Answer: Odyssey

  23. Which famous musical is based on a 1939 collection of poems by T. S. Eliot?

    Answer: Cats

  24. What epic John Milton poem, first published in 1667, concerns the fall of Lucifer from Heaven, and Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden?

    Answer: Paradise Lost

  25. What famous poet who went by his initials stated: "I have measured out my life with coffee spoons"? Well-known works include "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and "The Waste Land."

    Answer: T.S. Eliot

  26. "The Burial of the Dead" and "The Chess Game" are sections from what 1922 poem by T.S. Eliot, commonly regarded as one of the most important poems of the 20th century?

    Answer: The Waste Land

  27. The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture features a quote on its wall: "I, too, am America," which comes from a poem by what leader of the Harlem Renaissance?

    Answer: Langston Hughes

  28. What Canadian poet, author of books such as “Surfacing” and “Cat’s Eye”, as well as a famous dystopian novel from 1985, received an MA from Radcliffe College of Harvard University in 1962.

    Answer: Margaret Atwood

  29. What is the title of the bestselling 2017 memoir by Nina Riggs, a poet who was a 38-year-old mother of two young sons when she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer?

    Answer: The Bright Hour

  30. The Folger Library, located on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., is home to large collection of printed works by what Bard of English poetry and plays?

    Answer: William Shakespeare

  31. What French poet, writer, and artist is considered the "Father of Surrealism?"

    Answer: Andre Breton

  32. "Was it for this the wild geese spread" is a line from "September 1913," a poem by what Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet?

    Answer: William Butler Yeats

  33. James Joyce's seminal book Ulysses takes place on a single day in Dublin, but is heavily based on what epic poem that covers a decade of travel around the Mediterranean Sea?

    Answer: The Odyssey

  34. What poet was banished to the Black Sea by Roman Emperor Augustus in 8 CE? Though the official justification was the poet's subversive and adulterous work Ars Amatoria, or The Art of Love, some have suggested the Emperor had more personal reasons in mind.

    Answer: Ovid

  35. What author and poet wrote a "closet drama" titled Samson Agonistes about the famous strongman from the Bible in 1671--four years after the publication of his most famous Biblical adaptation?

    Answer: John Milton

  36. Which author and poet’s home in Flat Rock is a national historic site? (Hint: He was known for “The War Years,” for which he won the Pultizer Prize, and his wife Lilian was known for her goat farming).

    Answer: Carl Sandburg

  37. At the end of the 1989 film Dead Poets Society, the students stand on their desk reciting "O Captain! My Captain!" in support of fired teacher John Keating. Keating taught the students the famous poem, which was written by what poet upon the death of President Abraham Lincoln?

    Answer: Walt Whitman

  38. The first mention of dragons in Greek literature can be found in this epic poem, which describes Agamemnon wearing a blue dragon design on his sword belt and a three-headed dragon seal on his breastplate.

    Answer: The Iliad

  39. What is the name of the poet who composed and read "The Hill We Climb" at the inauguration of President Joe Biden, making her the youngest inaugural poet in US history?

    Answer: Amanda Gorman

  40. A nineteen-line poetic form, exemplified by Dylan Thomas' "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night," also names what villain-ous character played by Jodie Comer on BBC America's Killing Eve?

    Answer: Villanelle

  41. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways: What English poet (and wife of a poet) posed as the translator, not the writer, of her 44 Sonnets From the Portuguese, published in 1850?

    Answer: Elizabeth Barrett Browning

  42. According to the poet Ovid, the little owl that was the companion of the goddess Athena was originally a princess of Lesbos called what, until Athena turned her into an owl so she could escape an abusive father?

    Answer: Nyctimene

  43. In a famous poem by Edward Lear, and Owl and a Pussy-cat go to sea in a boat, described as being the color of what green vegetable?

    Answer: Pea

  44. What noted American expatriate poet was charged with treason for his broadcasts against America’s participation in W.W. II, only to be placed in St. Elizabeth's Hospital for the criminally insane, being released in 1958?

    Answer: Ezra Pound

  45. The word comes from the Dakota word for waterfall and is the name of a female character from a Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem. The word is also a park, creek, and academy in Minnesota. What is the word?

    Answer: Minnehaha

  46. Born in Mountain Home, Arkansas, what poet was a MacArthur Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, and the Poet Laureate of Rhode Island? Her poetry frequently conveys a sense of place and time, particularly focused on the American South.

    Answer: C. D. Wright

  47. Translating as "my fatherland," "Ma Vlast" is a group of six symphonic tone poems written in the 1870s by what Czech composer?

    Answer: Bedrich Smetana

  48. What prize is given to the winner of Mount Holyoke College's annual invitation-only poetry competition, whose notable winners include Sylvia Plath and James Merrill?

    Answer: Glascock Prize

  49. During his embassy days in Rome, 14th and 15th century Dutch erotic poet-slash-diplomat Dirc Potter van der Loo found inspiration for his epic poem "The Course of Love" in the works of what saucy Florentine "Decameron" writer?

    Answer: Giovanni Boccaccio

  50. Featuring a military rank in its repetitive title, what 1865 Walt Whitman poem was written as a memorial to recently assassinated President Abraham Lincoln?

    Answer: O Captain! My Captain!

  51. "Candy is dandy / But liquor is quicker," according to what often pithy American poet?

    Answer: Ogden Nash

  52. What famed Boston author of "Little Women" was previously taught by Henry David Thoreau and even penned him a poem titled "Thoreau's Flute?"?

    Answer: Louisa May Alcott

  53. What New England-born poet was famously prolific,  having written nearly 1,800 poems, buthad fewer than a dozen published during her lifetime? Famous poems include "Because I could not stop for Death" and "Tell all the truth but tell it slant."

    Answer: Emily Dickinson

  54. The poem 'Filipinas' was adapted to become the lyrics for this song, while the music was written by Julian Felipe. Originally called the "Marcha Nacional Filipina", what is this famous song better known as today?

    Answer: Lupang Hinirang

  55. Which poet’s headstone in Amherst’s West Cemetery has “Called back” as its epitaph? (Hint: She once wrote: “Because I could not stop for Death, he kindly stopped for me.”)

    Answer: Emily Dickinson

  56. Although her life tragically ended at the age of 30, what American poet and short-story writer is credited with advancing the genre of confessional poetry and is best known for collections such as "The Bell Jar?" She posthumously won a Pulitzer Prize in 1982 for her collected poems.

    Answer: Sylvia Plath

  57. Appointed in 2019, Joy Harjo became the first Native American to hold what honorific U.S. government title formerly called the Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress?

    Answer: Poet Laureate

  58. Poet and politician Léopold Sédar Senghor served as the first president of which country in West Africa where French is the official language?

    Answer: Senegal

  59. What groundbreaking Black American poet wrote, "I always like summer / best / you can eat fresh corn / from daddy's garden" in "Knoxville, Tennessee," a poem about her hometown?

    Answer: Nikki Giovanni

  60. In 1794, William Blake wrote about what powerful animal in a poem, wondering what kind of hand or eye “Dared frame thy fearful symmetry?” It was also the name of the dog on “The Brady Bunch.”

    Answer: Tiger

  61. Who was fired from the U.S. Interior Department in 1865 for having written the poetry collection "Leaves of Grass?"

    Answer: Walt Whitman

  62. The word "Lesbian" comes from the Greek island of Lesbos, home to what ancient poet, whose lyric poetry remains an enduring symbol of love and desire between women?

    Answer: Sappho

  63. Many traditional folk songs of Finland are sung in a metre which echoes that of what Finnish epic poem, which tells the story of the world's first man, Väinämöinen?

    Answer: "Kalevala

  64. What acclaimed children's author and poet spent much of his career as a cartoonist for Playboy, and also wrote songs for the 1960s folk scene?

    Answer: Shel Silverstein

  65. Who wrote “Beauty is truth, truth beauty” in his poem, “Ode on a Grecian Urn?”

    Answer: John Keats

  66. Robert Frost, who attended Harvard from 1897 to 1899, famously wrote what poem that ends "I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference?"

    Answer: The Road Not Taken

  67. The term "robot" was introduced in what form of literature (novel, play, short story, article, book, poem) by Czech writer, Karel Capek, in 1920?

    Answer: Play

  68. The King, the Queen, and the Dairymaid are characters in "The King's Breakfast," a poem by what English author best known for creating Winnie the Pooh?

    Answer: A.A. Milne

  69. What American poet was once fired from a job due to laziness and afterward wrote the following? "I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass."

    Answer: Walt Whitman

  70. The Greek poet Sappho, born in the 630 BC was born on which island? The word “sapphic” derives from her name, while a different word with a similar meaning derives from the island where she was born.

    Answer: Lesbos

  71. "Give me such shows — give me the streets of Manhattan!" is a quote from what famous American poet who, despite his association with nature, was a New York City resident and editor of the Brooklyn Eagle for a few years in the mid 19th century?

    Answer: Walt Whitman

  72. What body of work by William Shakespeare is sometimes split into sections called "Fair Youth" and "Dark Lady"?

    Answer: Sonnets

  73. Richard Wagner's opera Parsifal is based on 13th century German poem about the title Knight of the Round Table and his search for what sacred object?

    Answer: The Holy Grail

  74. Which Bengali poet and polymath became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize for Literature when it was awarded to him in 1913 for his work "Gitanjali"?

    Answer: Rabindranath Tagore

  75. Although he is better known as a silversmith, what hero of the American Revolution and subject of a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow also practiced dentistry?

    Answer: Paul Revere

  76. What was the surname of the California-born poet who won the Pulitzer Prize four times, and read at the inauguration of President Kennedy in 1961?

    Answer: Frost

  77. "The Whitsun Weddings" and "This Be the Verse" are famous works by what English poet who also worked as a librarian after graduating from Oxford?

    Answer: Philip Larkin

  78. What famed British poet had the middle name Bysshe? In fact, his first, middle, and last names all contained the letter "Y."

    Answer: Percy Bysshe Shelley

  79. What 20th-century Welsh poet is perhaps best remembered for his poem “Do not go gentle into that good night,” as well as stories such as “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog?”

    Answer: Dylan Thomas

  80. "Boston Hymn" is a 19th-century poem by what American thinker also known for his essays like "Nature" and "Self-Reliance?"

    Answer: Ralph Waldo Emerson

  81. The National Museum of African-American History and Culture features a quote engraved in a wall from "I, Too," a classic poem by what leader of the Harlem Renaissance?

    Answer: Langston Hughes

  82. Which Greek epic poem is believed to include the first written reference to earplugs, which are suggested to the tale’s protagonist as a way to avoid the fatal call of the Sirens?

    Answer: The Odyssey

  83. In the poem, "The Owl and the Pussycat" by Edward Lear, the Owl obtained a ring for the Pussycat from the nose of what animal?

    Answer: Piggywig

  84. "Black, lesbian, warrior, mother, poet" was the self-description of what poet who said "I am Black because I come from the earth's inside" in her poem "Coal?"

    Answer: Audre Lorde

  85. Which Roman poet's "Art of Love" from around 1 BC is a hedonistic seduction manual still in circulation and use today?

    Answer: Ovid

  86. Containing the famous line "Give me your tired, your poor," what is the "monumental" name of the 1883 Emma Lazarus sonnet that appears on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty?

    Answer: The New Colossus

  87. The Sea Around Us, a poetic imagining of sea life, won a National Book Award for what writer and naturalist, most famous for writing Silent Spring?

    Answer: Rachel Carson

  88. In Latin poet Ovid’s magnum opus, “Metamorphoses,” what is the Greek name for the Roman god Cupid?

    Answer: Eros

  89. What “A” word refers to the repetition of internal vowel sounds in words that are close together, often used to create a lyrical effect in poetry?

    Answer: Assonance

  90. In what 1995 poem did Maya Angelou declare, "Pretty women wonder where my secret lies / I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size?"

    Answer: Phenomenal Woman

  91. In the poem, "The Owl and The Pussycat," by Edward Lear, who lived on a hill and married the couple?

    Answer: The Turkey

  92. "Death Be Not Proud" is the common title for a sonnet by what British poet of the Elizabethan era, who is also famous for the phrase "no man is an island?"

    Answer: John Donne

  93. What Hispanic-American poet, and former Poet Laureate Of The United States, wrote the books “Everyday We Get More Illegal”, “Imagine”, and “Jabber Walking”, among many others?

    Answer: Juan Felipe Herrera

  94. According to the Lydia Child poem "Thanksgiving Day," it's just "over the river, and through the wood" to reach the house of what relative?

    Answer: Grandfather

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