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This quiz will help students to familiarize themselves with the ‘geography’ of Poems of the Decade. It will act as an introduction to the exercise of looking up prescribed poems which are spread over an anthology which also includes a majority of non-prescribed poems. Apart from that, I hope you will also find the quiz interesting and enjoyable.


The answers to the questions are available from me at


(1) In which poem does a ‘wee baby’ arrive in a doctor’s bag?


(2) Which poem mentions a piece of music by Mozart?


(3) In which poem does a girl jump from a porch roof?


(4) Name the poem by former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion which leaves the author, the reader, and a wooden pile, hanging in mid-air?


(5) Which animal is described in The Lammas Hireling as ‘a cow with leather horns’?


(6)  ‘I’d like to say that we could be friends

but the truth is we have nothing in common...’

Who is the poet Helen Dunmore addressing here?


(7)  There are two poems which deal in their different ways with cannibalism. Name them.


(8)  ‘One of them was dug up by a dog.’ What does this line in Ruth Padel’s poem refer to?


(9)  Which poem mentions the Beatles and Dustin Hoffman?


(10)  Fill in the missing word:

Bringing a – – – into a house changes it.


(11)  Which poem mentions Krakow, Zagreb, Madison and Milkwaukee?


(12)  In the poem by Alan Jenkins titled Effects, what are the effects referred to?


(13)  ‘I will tell you this,

he is something to follow,

this red fellow.’

(Robert Minhinnick)

The red fellow is ......?


(14)  Which poem has an ungrammatical title?


(15)  ‘This was the sledgehammer taken to crack the nut.’

In Simon Armitage’s poem, what corresponds to the sledgehammer, and what to the nut?


(16)  What legacy did her Mum leave to Ros Barber?


(17) What is the inheritance in Eavan Boland’s eponymous poem?


(18) ‘We know what happens next.’ (Last line of Sue Boyle’s A Leisure Centre is also a Temple of Learning.)

What happens next?


(19) ‘...God sat/ Cross-legged, navy blue/ On a boulder above his cave/ One hand forbidding anyone impure/ Or wearing leather, to come in’?

Name either the title of the poem or the author of these lines.


(20)‘Nothing happens until something does./ Everything remains just as it was /And all you hear is the distant buzz / Of nothing happening till something does.’

Name the poem which begins with these lines.


(210 ‘try it/in a pitch-black room’ (On Her Blindness by Adam Thorpe)

Try what?


(22) Which poem is a parody of a poem by John Keats?


(23) ‘There are ------ still

In the underground rivers

Of Westmoor and Palmersville.’

From Fantasia on a Theme of James Wright by Sean O’Brien.

Supply the missing word.


(24) ‘My body is their marriage register.’

Name the poem in which this line occurs.


(25) ‘Tangled with rotted trappings, half-decayed horses lay/ where they’d fallen.’

Tennyson famously celebrated an historic event which Ciaran Carson writes of in The War Correspondent. Name the event.


(26) What biblical event does Colette Bryce treat in her poem Early Version?

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