Well done to everyone who did our Christmas Quiz. Some of you aced it — our top score was 100% in 2 minutes 8 seconds — and some of you didn’t. Naming no names but someone scored 0% and took 4 minutes 35 seconds to do it!
Your answers gave us a real insight into the minds of Friday Poem readers. We asked ‘What art isn’t hard to master?’ (the answer is of course ‘losing’, from the first line of Elizabeth Bishop’s famous poem ‘One Art’), among the best wrong answers were ‘light verse’, ‘small talk’, and ‘farting’.
When we asked ‘What is the third worst poetry in the Galaxy’ (the answer is ‘Vogon’, from Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) we got a range of responses including ‘limericks’, ‘love poetry’ (oh you hard of heart), ‘sonnets’, ‘concrete poetry’ (yes, that’s our personal pet hate), ‘Spoken Word poetry’ and (shock, horror) ‘Pam Ayres’. As Pam is referred to in this household as ‘Saint Pam’ this was particularly hard to hear …
And when we asked ‘Poets are the unacknowledged what of the world?’ (the answer being ‘legislators’, from the famous quote by Percy Shelley) we got ‘saviours’, ‘masters’ and, best of all, ‘wankers’.
Some of you got quite creative with your answers. We asked who was Batman’s publisher (answer: Cape) and lots of you quite reasonably said Marvel, D.C., Gotham or Penguin. Lots of people thought that ‘the thing with feathers’ was grief rather than hope, though one responder said ‘crow’ and another said ‘my dog’.
It’s not easy to set a quiz where all answers which are broadly right get marked right — we have to enter all prospective right answers, including spelling mistakes that we would still mark as correct (pentamiter for pentameter, for example). So some people found Cape Poetry marked wrong because we’d just put ‘Cape’ in as the correct answer, and others got ‘Vogon Poetry’ marked wrong, ditto. You have no idea how many different spellings of The Iliad there are, and we actually got it wrong ourselves to start with, which didn’t help. On the other hand, when we asked who, if he made cakes, would make exceeding good ones, lots of you put Mr Kipling, which is kind of right but also kind of wrong — we were, of course, looking for Rudyard Kipling. Most delightful was the responder who thought it was TS Eliot.
Our last question was ‘Who fucks you up’ and the answer was, of course, ‘your mum and dad’, and most people got this right, though other answers included ‘Larkin’ and ‘family’, and one person said ‘mum and dad (not mine)’, which was heartening. Less heartening was the responder who answered ‘Your Stupid Quizz’, but at least we can console ourselves with the fact that he or she scored zero. We have your IP address.
Bonus points, though, to the responder who answered the question ‘Where is Poet’s Corner?’ (correct answer ‘Westminster Abbey’) with the painfully honest response ’at the end of any bar’!
If you fancy having a go yourself the quiz is still available here. You even know some of the answers already!