Answers: The Five Poem Quiz

Here are the answers to the March 17 Five Poem Quiz


1. Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The Second Coming, William Butler Yeats (1965-1939).  Such a black poem, but it spoke powerfully to me in adolescence, during the Cold War with its threat of nuclear annihilation.


2. In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock, T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) – still a relevant anthem to the anguish of youth and isolation of urban life.  The stream-of-consciousness style is so engrossing.

If you love Eliot, here is a wonderful poetry memoir on Prufrock, from the New York Times


3. Last scene of all that ends this strange, eventful history,
is second childishness and mere oblivion.
I am sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Seven Ages of Man, As You Like It, Act 2 Scene 7, monologue – William Shakespeare (1564-1616). My brilliant Grade 5 teacher had us act out all seven stages, with costumes, providing an entry into the bard’s great works.


4. This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, 

Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman (1819-1892) – One tiny excerpt from a section called This is What you Shall Do, in the long, controversial poetry collection.  This poem has been a totem for me since I received the full collection as a tween.


5. You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

And Still I Rise, Maya Angelou (1928-2014) – One of the most meaningful poems about triumph I have ever read.  The words are a reaction to so many universal themes – racism, brutality, sexism, failure,  fear.  Angelou speaks about its purpose on this video, then recites the poem.

Dr. Angelou Recites “And Still I Rise” from Dr. Maya Angelou on Vimeo.


Please feel free to share your own favourite lines in the comments section.


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