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Poets Laureate
Refusals
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Poets

This page is concerned with questions that are specifically about poets – including poets laureate and who wrote what poem.

For questions of the type "Which poem includes the line(s) ... ?", see Poems.

For anything else that you might get asked about poetry (including terminology, poems and collections of poetry, and details of the contents of poems), see Poetry.

Poets Laureate

Gulielmus Peregrinus was appointed "versificator regis" (King's poet) to Click to show or hide the answer
According to Wikipedia, the term 'Poet Laureate' dates from the appointment of Bernard André, a French Augustine friar, as an official chronicler of the reign of Click to show or hide the answer
Often called the first Poet Laureate – granted a pension by James I of England in 1619 Click to show or hide the answer
Godson of Shakespeare (rumoured – probably falsely – to be his "natural" son); succeeded Jonson following the latter's death in 1637 Click to show or hide the answer
The first official Poet Laureate (1668–89 – title conferred by letters patent) Click to show or hide the answer
(Various incumbents 1689–1813)
1813–43 Click to show or hide the answer
1843–50 Click to show or hide the answer
1850–92: longest time in office Click to show or hide the answer
1896–1913 Click to show or hide the answer
1913–30 Click to show or hide the answer
1930–67 Click to show or hide the answer
1968–72 Click to show or hide the answer
1972–84 Click to show or hide the answer
1984–98 Click to show or hide the answer
1999–2009: accepted the role for only ten years, breaking the tradition of its being held for life Click to show or hide the answer
2009–19 Click to show or hide the answer
2019–29 Click to show or hide the answer

Refusals

The following poets turned down the post of Poet Laureate:

1757, following the death of Colley Cibber Click to show or hide the answer
1813, following the death of Henry James Pye Click to show or hide the answer
1850, following the death of Wordsworth (he was 87 years old and died five years later) Click to show or hide the answer
1892, following the death of Tennyson Click to show or hide the answer
1984, following the death of Betjeman Click to show or hide the answer

The Nation's Favourites

In 1995 the BBC conducted a poll to find the UK's 100 favourite poems. Seems to me that any serious quizzer should be able to name the author of any one of these (although I can't say I could myself, before I made the effort to learn them); so here they are.

Please note: the dates are for guidance only. As far as possible they're when the poems were written, but they may be when they were published. Some are approximate.

1 If ("If you can keep your head when all about you / Are losing theirs and blaming it on you") 1910 Click to show or hide the answer
2 The Lady of Shalott 1833 Click to show or hide the answer
3 The Listeners ("'Is there anybody there?' said the Traveller / Knocking on the moonlit door") 1912 Click to show or hide the answer
4 Not Waving but Drowning 1957 Click to show or hide the answer
5 The Daffodils (a.k.a. I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud) 1804 Click to show or hide the answer
6 To Autumn ("Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness") 1819 Click to show or hide the answer
7 The Lake Isle of Innisfree 1888 Click to show or hide the answer
8 Dulce et Decorum Est 1817 Click to show or hide the answer
9 Ode to a Nightingale 1819 Click to show or hide the answer
10 Aedh (ee or ay) Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven 1899 Click to show or hide the answer
11 Remember ("Remember me when I am gone away ... ") 1849 Click to show or hide the answer
12 Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard 1750 Click to show or hide the answer
13 Fern Hill ("Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs") 1945 Click to show or hide the answer
14 Leisure ("What is this life if full of care / We have no time to stand and stare") 1911 Click to show or hide the answer
15 The Highwayman 1906 Click to show or hide the answer
16 To His Coy Mistress 1650 Click to show or hide the answer
17 Dover Beach 1851 Click to show or hide the answer
18 The Tyger ("Tyger! Tyger! burning bright / In the forests of the night ") 1794 Click to show or hide the answer
19 Stop All the Clocks 1936 Click to show or hide the answer
20 Adlestrop ("Yes. I remember Adlestrop ... ") 1914 Click to show or hide the answer
21 The Soldier ("If I should die, think only this of me ... ") 1914 Click to show or hide the answer
22 Warning ("When I am an old woman I shall wear purple") 1961 Click to show or hide the answer
23 Sea–Fever 1902 Click to show or hide the answer
24 Upon Westminster Bridge ("Earth has not anything to show more fair") 1802 Click to show or hide the answer
25 Sonnets from the Portuguese XLIII ("How Do I Love Thee?") 1845 Click to show or hide the answer
26 The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock 1910 Click to show or hide the answer
27 Cargoes 1903 Click to show or hide the answer
28 Jabberwocky 1871 Click to show or hide the answer
29 The Rime of the Ancient Mariner 1797 Click to show or hide the answer
30 Ozymandias of Egypt 1818 Click to show or hide the answer
31 Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening 1922 Click to show or hide the answer
32 Abou Ben Adhem ("Abou Ben Adhem – may his tribe increase! / Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace") 1838 Click to show or hide the answer
33 Everyone Sang (about the end of World War I) 1919 Click to show or hide the answer
34 The Windhover 1918 Click to show or hide the answer
35 Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night 1951 Click to show or hide the answer
36 Sonnet 18 ("Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?") 1609 Click to show or hide the answer
37 When You Are Old 1893 Click to show or hide the answer
38 Naming of Parts – from Lessons of the War (to Alan Mitchell) 1942 Click to show or hide the answer
39 The Darkling Thrush 1899 Click to show or hide the answer
40 Please Mrs. Butler 1983 Click to show or hide the answer
41 Kubla Khan 1797 Click to show or hide the answer
42 Home–Thoughts, From Abroad ("Oh, to be in England / Now that April's there") 1845 Click to show or hide the answer
43 High Flight (An Airman's Ecstasy) 1941 Click to show or hide the answer
44 Journey of the Magi 1927 Click to show or hide the answer
45 The Owl and the Pussy–Cat 1871 Click to show or hide the answer
46 The Glory of the Garden 1911 Click to show or hide the answer
47 The Road Not Taken 1915 Click to show or hide the answer
48 The Way Through the Woods 1910 Click to show or hide the answer
49 Anthem for Doomed Youth ("What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?") 1917 Click to show or hide the answer
50 Bloody Men ("Bloody men are like bloody buses ... ") 1987 Click to show or hide the answer
51 Emmonsail's Heath in Winter 1828 Click to show or hide the answer
52 La Figlia Che Piange 1917 Click to show or hide the answer
53 The Whitsun Weddings 1964 Click to show or hide the answer
54 The Ballad of Reading Gaol 1897 Click to show or hide the answer
55 I Remember, I Remember ("I remember, I remember / The house where I was born") 1844 Click to show or hide the answer
56 This Be the Verse 1971 Click to show or hide the answer
57 Snake 1923 Click to show or hide the answer
58 The Great Lover 1914 Click to show or hide the answer
59 A Red, Red Rose 1794 Click to show or hide the answer
60 The Sunlight on the Garden 1936 Click to show or hide the answer
61 The Old Vicarage, Grantchester 1912 Click to show or hide the answer
62 Diary of a Church Mouse 1975 Click to show or hide the answer
63 Silver 1913 Click to show or hide the answer
64 Pied Beauty ("Glory be to God for dappled things") 1877 Click to show or hide the answer
65 Prayer Before Birth ("I am not yet born; O hear me ... ") 1944 Click to show or hide the answer
66 Macavity: The Mystery Cat 1939 Click to show or hide the answer
67 Afterwards 1917 Click to show or hide the answer
68 The Donkey (" ... The Devil's walking parody / on all four–footed things") 1927 Click to show or hide the answer
69 My Last Duchess 1842 Click to show or hide the answer
70 Christmas ("The bells of waiting Advent ring ... ") 1954 Click to show or hide the answer
71 The Thought–Fox 1957 Click to show or hide the answer
72 Preludes ("The winter evening settles down / With smell of steaks in passageways") 1911 Click to show or hide the answer
73 Love (III) ("Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back / Guilty of dust and sin") 1633 Click to show or hide the answer
74 The Charge of the Light Brigade 1854 Click to show or hide the answer
75 I Am! ("I am: yet what I am none cares or knows") 1845 Click to show or hide the answer
76 The Hound of Heaven 1893 Click to show or hide the answer
77 The Passionate Shepherd to his Love ("Come live with me and be my Love") 1599 Click to show or hide the answer
78 The Song of Wandering Aengus ("I went out to the hazel wood / Because a fire was in my head") 1897 Click to show or hide the answer
79 She Walks in Beauty 1814 Click to show or hide the answer
80 Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now 1895 Click to show or hide the answer
81 The Flea ("Marke but this flea, and marke in this ... ") 1595 Click to show or hide the answer
82 Ducks (" ... All God's jokes are good - even the practical ones!") 1919 Click to show or hide the answer
83 An Arundel Tomb ("Side by side, their faces blurred / The earl and countess lie in stone") 1956 Click to show or hide the answer
84 Sonnet 116 ("Let me not to the marriage of true minds / Admit impediments") 1609 Click to show or hide the answer
85 Ulysses (last line: "To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield") 1833 Click to show or hide the answer
86 Snow (last line: "There is more than glass between the snow and the roses") 1935 1935 Click to show or hide the answer
87 Let Me Die a Youngman's Death 1967 Click to show or hide the answer
88 The Ruined Maid 1866 Click to show or hide the answer
89 Toilet ("I wonder will I speak to the girl / Sitting opposite me on this train") Click to show or hide the answer
90 Futility ("Move him into the sun ... If anything might rouse him now / The kind onld sun will know") 1918 Click to show or hide the answer
91 The Raven ("Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore'") 1845 Click to show or hide the answer
92 Tam o'Shanter 1790 Click to show or hide the answer
93 Love's Philosophy (ends: "What are all these kissings worth / If thou kiss not me?") 1819 Click to show or hide the answer
94 The Song of Hiawatha 1855 Click to show or hide the answer
95 God's Grandeur ("The world is charges with the Grandeur of God") 1877 Click to show or hide the answer
96 Chocolate Cake (I love chocolate cake / And when I was a boy / I loved it even more") 1983 Click to show or hide the answer
97 Jenny Kissed Me 1838 Click to show or hide the answer
98 Blackberry–Picking 1966 Click to show or hide the answer
99 The Prelude 1850 Click to show or hide the answer
100 Warming Her Pearls 1987 Click to show or hide the answer

Others

Q: Who wrote the poem(s) ... ?   A:
On the Pulse of Morning (read by the poet at Bill Clinton's inauguration, 1993); Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women (collection, 1995 – including the title poem) Click to show or hide the answer
Night Mail (1936), In Memory of W. B. Yeats (1940), The Age of Anxiety (1948), The Shield of Achilles (1952) Click to show or hide the answer
Funeral Blues (1936–8 – read by John Hannah at the funeral in Four Weddings and a Funeral) – sometimes known by its first line, "Stop all the clocks"
I Wish I'd Looked After Me Teeth Click to show or hide the answer
Les fleurs du mal (Flowers of evil – 1857, French poet) Click to show or hide the answer
The Bad Child's Book of Beasts, Cautionary Tales Click to show or hide the answer
Metroland; Joan Hunter Dunn (1915–2008) was a muse to Click to show or hide the answer
Words to Jerusalem ("And did those feet ... "); Visions of the Daughters of Albion, Songs of Innocence and Experience, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell Click to show or hide the answer
The Pied Piper of Hamelin, How they Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix, Pauline, My Last Duchess; Home Thoughts, From Abroad; Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came (1852 – inspired by lines from King Lear) Click to show or hide the answer
Holy Willie's Prayer, Auld Lang Syne, Address to a Haggis, To a Mouse Click to show or hide the answer
Don Juan, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage Click to show or hide the answer
7th–century herdsman from Whitby, often said to have been the first English poet Click to show or hide the answer
Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery (1829); The Village Minstrel (1821); The Shepherd's Calendar (1827); The Rural Muse (1835): collections by Click to show or hide the answer
Let Us Compare Mythologies (1956 – his first collection); The Flame (a collection published posthumously in 2018) Click to show or hide the answer
The Divine Comedy (1300–21) Click to show or hide the answer
Walking Away (1962 – in which a parent remembers a time, eighteen years ago during a game of football, when they realised that their child was growing independent) Click to show or hide the answer
Songs of Childhood: written under the pseudonym Walter Ramal, by Click to show or hide the answer
Because I Could Not Stop for Death (published posthumously in 1886, the year of her death) Click to show or hide the answer
"Gone with the wind" and "the days of wine and roses" are quotations from (English poet, 1867–1900; titles are Latin quotations from Horace and too hard for quizzes!) Click to show or hide the answer
Regarded as the chief exponent of heroic tragedy; major works include the tragedy All for Love, the satire Absalom and Achitophel, the Essay of Dramatick Poesie, Song for St. Cecilia's Day, and Annus Mirabilis (about 1666, the war with the Dutch and the Great Fire of London) – see above under Poets Laureate Click to show or hide the answer
The Waste Land; The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock; The Four Quartets; Ash Wednesday; Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats Click to show or hide the answer
Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam: translated into English by Click to show or hide the answer
The Road Not Taken, Birches (in the 1916 collection Mountain Interval) Click to show or hide the answer
The Bab Ballads (Fun magazine, 1861) Click to show or hide the answer
Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (1751) Click to show or hide the answer
Neutral Tones (1898), The Darkling Thrush (1901), The Ruined Maid (1901), The Respectable Burgher (1901), The Man he Killed (1902), A Trampwoman's Tragedy (1903), The Dynasts (a three–part "verse drama" – not intended to be staged – 1904–8), The Convergence of the Twain (1915), The Blinded Bird (1916) Click to show or hide the answer
The Wreck of the Deutschland (1875–6, dedicated to five nuns who died in the wreck), The Windhover (1877, dedicated "to Christ our Lord") – both pub. 1918 Click to show or hide the answer
A Shropshire Lad (cycle of 63 poems, published 1896) Click to show or hide the answer
The Hawk in the Rain (1957) was the highly–acclaimed first collection published by Click to show or hide the answer
The Thought–Fox (included in the above) was the first poem written by
Endymion; Ode to Autumn; Ode on a Grecian Urn; Ode to a Nightingale; Lines on the Mermaid Tavern; Hyperion; On the Grasshopper and the Cricket; The Eve of St. Agnes Click to show or hide the answer
Barrack Room Ballads – including Mandalay, Gunga Din; If; The Female of the Species Click to show or hide the answer
The Piers Plowman poems Click to show or hide the answer
The North Ship (1945) was the first collection published by Click to show or hide the answer
The Whitsun Weddings, Church Going
The Mosquito, Bavarian Gentians, Innocent England Click to show or hide the answer
English writer, popularised the limerick in his Book of Nonsense (1846); wrote The Pobble who Had No Toes, The Dong with the Luminous Nose, The Owl and the Pussycat Click to show or hide the answer
Jenny Kissed Me (1838), Abou Ben Adhem Click to show or hide the answer
Hyperion (1839), Excelsior, The Village Blacksmith, The Wreck of the Hesperus (all 1841), Evangeline (1847), The Song of Hiawatha (1855), Paul Revere's Ride (1860) Click to show or hide the answer
Famous lamentation for the Tay Bridge railway disaster Click to show or hide the answer
The Earth Compels, Plant and Phantom, Snow, Bagpipe Music, Autumn Journal Click to show or hide the answer
Le Morte d'Arthur Click to show or hide the answer
To His Coy Mistress, Upon Appleton House, The Garden, An Horatian Ode upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland, Flecknoe, The Character of Holland Click to show or hide the answer
Salt–Water Poems and Ballads (1916) – including Sea–Fever and Cargoes, two of his best–known works – was the first collection published by Click to show or hide the answer
Reynard the Fox (1920) – a narrative poem
Modern Love (1862, collection), The Lark Ascending (1881) Click to show or hide the answer
Silly Verse for Kids (1959): including (possibly in a later edition?) On the Ning Nang Nong – voted in 2004 as Britain's favourite comic poem Click to show or hide the answer
Wrote about James James Morrison Morrison Wetherby George Dupree Click to show or hide the answer
Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained; Comus (masque), Lycidas (elegy), Samson Agonistes (verse drama) Click to show or hide the answer
'Twas the Night Before Christmas Click to show or hide the answer
Admirals All, Drake's Drum, The Fighting Temeraire, Vitaï Lampada Click to show or hide the answer
Author of the poem that inspired Elgar's Dream of Gerontius Click to show or hide the answer
The Highwayman Click to show or hide the answer
The Dead–Beat, Arms and the Boy, Anthem for Doomed Youth, Dulce et Decorum Est Click to show or hide the answer
Enough Rope (1926), Sunset Gun (1928), Death and Taxes (1931) – collections Click to show or hide the answer
Lady Lazarus, Blackberrying, Daddy; collections The Colossus, Ariel Click to show or hide the answer
The Haunted Palace (1839); The Raven (1845: "Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore'") Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
An Essay on Criticism (1711), The Rape of the Lock (1712), The Dunciad (three versions, 1728–43) Click to show or hide the answer
The Cantos – a sequence of poems incorporating mythology, history, politics, economics and autobiography – was the life's work of (US–born poet – left unfinished when he died in 1972 aged 87) Click to show or hide the answer
Buried manuscripts with his wife, then dug them up again Click to show or hide the answer
Ode to Joy – used in Beethoven's 9th (Choral) Symphony, and as the anthem of the European Union Click to show or hide the answer
The Lady of the Lake (1810) Click to show or hide the answer
Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field (1808 – a historical romance in verse of 16th–century Britain, concluding with the Battle of Flodden in 1513)
The Primrose and the Turtle Click to show or hide the answer
Ode to the West Wind, Ozymandias, Queen Mab, Prometheus Unbound, The Triumph of Life (unfinished) Click to show or hide the answer
The Masque of Anarchy (written in 1819 in response to the Peterloo Massacre, but only published posthumously in 1832); has been described as "the greatest political poem ever written in English" and "perhaps the first modern statement of the principle of nonviolent resistance"; often quoted to his audiences by Mahatma Gandhi
Façade (1923 – set to music by William Walton) Click to show or hide the answer
Not Waving but Drowning Click to show or hide the answer
England fast bowler, also a published poet Click to show or hide the answer
The Faerie Queene (1590–6 – an allegory on Elizabeth I) Click to show or hide the answer
Bengali poet, Asia's first Nobel laureate (Literature, 1913) Click to show or hide the answer
The Idylls of the King, The Lotus Eaters, Come Into the Garden Maud, Locksley Hall, The Lady of Shalott, In Memoriam – the last a requiem for his friend Arthur Henry Hallam Click to show or hide the answer
And Death Shall Have No Dominion, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Fern Hill Click to show or hide the answer
Deaths and Entrances (1946 – includes Fern Hill) was the first critically successful collection, and remains the best–known, by
Welsh nationalist poet, died 1994: "Two lands at last connected / Across the waters wide / And all the tolls collected / On the English side" Click to show or hide the answer
Oh Captain! My Captain! (1865 – a lament for Abraham Lincoln) Click to show or hide the answer
The Ballad of Reading Gaol Click to show or hide the answer
The Burial of Sir John Moore at Corunna Click to show or hide the answer
Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey (1798); I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, My Heart Leaps Up, Composed upon Westminster Bridge September 3 1802 (all 1807) Click to show or hide the answer
The Second Coming; Easter 1916; The Lake Isle of Innisfree; A Prayer for my Daughter; Leda and the Swan; The Circus Animals' Desertion; The Tower (1928); The Winding Stair and Other Poems (1933); Last Poems and Plays (1940) Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017–21