Think you’re a poetry expert? Many poetry fans have memorized a poem or two over the years – you may even have one in mind right now. But it can be difficult to remember poetry at will, and even if you can identify it, do you know the title and author offhand? The first lines of poetry are often the most important. They serve to grab the reader’s attention and set the tone for what is next to come. Go ahead and try your hand at matching the first lines of these famous poems to their titles and authors.
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise…
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
A. The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
B. The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot
C. Harlem by Langston Hughes
D. Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
E. The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
1. D 2. A 3. E 4. C 5. B
How did you do? Think you have what it takes to write a poem that will go down in history? Go ahead and take a stab at it! If you like what you write, consider submitting it to our poetry contest and show your work to the world!