Rhythm and Rhyme: The Poetry Quiz


By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Poetry may seem simple, but if you take a closer look, you'll see the attention to form, detail, meter and rhyme that make classic poems so unforgettable. Take our quiz to see how much you know about the art and practice of poetry.

What type of poem is Shakespeare best known for?

Shakespeare wrote more than 150 sonnets between 1593 and 1601, then published the collection as a group in 1609.


How many lines does a sonnet have?

A sonnet consists of 14 lines, and the rhyming scheme can vary. Sonnets with those 14 lines grouped as four, four, four and two are known as Shakespearean sonnets.


What do you call a poem where the first letter of each line spells a word or phrase when read vertically?

The first letter in each line of an acrostic spells a word or phrase. Lewis Carroll's "A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky" is an example of this.


What does every didactic poem have?

Didactic poetry is known for its strong lesson or moral. John Milton's "Paradise Lost" is one famous example.


What type of poetry was Virgil known for?

Ancient poet Virgil was famous for his Georgic works, which were often instructional and covered agriculture and other rural topics.


How many lines are in a haiku?

A haiku consists of three lines, with five syllables in the first and third lines and seven syllables in the second line.


What country did landays originate in?

Landays are a form of folk poetry native to Afghanistan. They consist of a simple couplet with a total of 22 syllables.


How many lines are in a limerick?

A limerick consists of five lines with an AABBA rhyming scheme.


How many lines make up a quatrain?

A quatrain consists of four lines, though the rhyming pattern and meter can vary between works.


Where did the tanka style of poetry originate?

A tanka is a Japanese poem similar to the haiku that has five lines with five syllables in the first and third lines and seven syllables in each of the remaining lines.


What of these rhyming schemes is known as common measure?

Common measure incorporates the traditional ABAB rhyming pattern. This measure can be found in many poems by Emily Dickinson and in Rudyard Kipling's "The Benefactors."


What country produced the world's longest poem?

With more than 1.8 million words, India epic "The Mahabharata" is the world's longest poem.


When was the "Epic of Gilgamesh" first recorded?

The epic poem about a Sumerian king dates back to around 2100 B.C.E. It was compiled onto cuneiform tablets around the 12th century B.C.E., making it one of the oldest known poems.


How old is the world's oldest known love poem?

A Sumerian love poem, romantically titled "Istanbul No. 2461," dates back to around 2030 B.C.E.


What year was magnetic poetry invented?

Believe it or not, it wasn't until 1993 that songwriter Dave Kapell came up with the idea for magnetic poetry.


What month is celebrated as National Poetry Month in the U.S.?

Since 1996, the Academy of American Poets has designated April as National Poetry Month.


What year was the first poet laureate of the United States selected?

Starting in 1937, the U.S. entrusted its poetic interests to a consultant of poetry, which evolved into the title of poet laureate in 1985.


Who appoints the poet laureate of the United States?

Sorry Mr. President — the appointment of the poet laureate is left up to the Librarian of Congress.


True or false: The poet laureate position is unpaid.

Poet laureates earn a stipend of $35,000 per year thanks to an endowment established by Archer Milton Huntington.


What style of poetry is Allen Ginsberg best known for?

Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and other Beat poets were known for their free verse, jazz-influenced style.


What style of poetry originated in Switzerland around 1916?

Dada poetry was a precursor to surrealism that originated in Switzerland in 1916. Both T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound are associated with this style.


True or false: There is a style of poetry called flarf.

Flarf started as an internet joke in the '90s but is now considered a legitimate poetic form in which writers are inspired by bizarre online searches.


What is the most common poetic meter called?

The iamb meter is the most common rhythm used in poetry. It consists of unaccented syllables followed directly by accented ones.


How many syllables are in a foot?

In poetry, a foot consists of two syllables, generally including one accented syllable and one unaccented.


How many feet are in a pentameter?

A pentameter consists of five feet, for a total of ten syllables. It is among the most common metrical lines in English poetry.


How many syllables are in Poulter's measure?

Poulter's measure consists of two rhyming lines with a total of 26 syllables — the first with 12 syllables and the second with 14.


What do you call a foot in which both syllables are accented?

A foot in which both syllables are accented is a spondee. "Hog wild" is one common example of this.


What is the opposite of spondee?

Pyrrhic meter was common in classic Greek poetry and consists of a foot in which both syllables are unaccented.


What are aubade style poems about?

An aubade is a poem dedicated to or lamenting the dawn.


What style of poem has ABCD rhyming quatrains and alternating three-stress and four-stress lines?

Ballad-style poems follow this form. Edgar Allen Poe's "Annabel Lee" is a popular example of a ballad.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!