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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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