• A gracious hello! You have unaccountably blundered upon my Who Knows the Unknown Poet Test. I'll be using sub-human logic and arcane knowledge, (as well as copyright infringement and plagiarism, not to mention violations of several laws of man and nature) to determine your knowledge of poets obscure and not so obscure, and of their poetry. We will also be measuring dumb luck - defined as good luck guessing - as a minor variable.

    For the purposes of this exercise we will be treating song as a form of poetry, which of course it is.(Don't worry, there are relatively few snatches of song, and almost no songs of snatch)

    In general, you will be given a portion of a poem of greater or lesser length, and asked to match it to a poets name. Once or twice, you will simply be asked to match the poem to it's title. You might even be asked to name the publication in which the poem was first published.

    Please note, you should take this without using search engines, goes without saying. However, even if you do, I doubt anyone can achieve a perfect score.

    By the way, when you are finished, if you want to know an answer or answers, or would like to find the poem and can't using your search engines, e-mail me and I'll be glad to help you out.

    Well, if it would be done at all, t'would be best done quickly.

    (Currently, there are 20 questions)

  • 1

    Okay! This is the "ringer" in the group. What we want to know here, is who is the author of this doggerel supposed to be. (it was a letter to a newspaper, published 120 years ago or so)

    I'm not a butcher.

    I'm not a Yid.

    Nor yet a foreign skipper.

    But I'm your own light hearted friend.

    Yours truly..........................


  • 2

    Yet on they went through mire like pitch

    Till they came to a fine and spacious ditch

    Well camoflaged from planes and Zeps

    Where soldiers stood on firing steps

    And a Major sat on a wooden bench;

    And the Sergeant whispered, "First line trench!"


  • 3
    Oh, Lavas Leark had a face like a dirk

    And of swordsmen twenty and three

    And his greased black ship through the waves did slip

    T'was the sleekest craft at sea

    Yet it helped him naught

    When he was caught

    By magic.......

  • 4
    And if I could only be drug-lugging man

    I'd be greatful for all that I've got

    For each new year would net me a seven cent raise

    Whether I need it or not

  • 5
    When Afric's sun is sinking low,

    And shadows wander to and fro,

    And everywhere there's in the air

    A hush that's deep and solemn;

    Then is the time good men and true

    With View Halloo pursue the gnu;

    (The safest spot to put your shot

    is through the spinal column).

  • 6
    From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,

    Like the beating of the storm waves on the stern and distant shore.

    "Kill him! kill the umpire!" shouted someone on the stand;

    And it's likely they'd have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

  • 7
    Give me back my broken night

    my mirrored room, my secret life

    it's lonely here,

    there's no one left to torture

  • 8
    Then Kelly belched a manly belch

    As Reilly crushed a louse

    And Flynn roared out in thunderous tone

    Four more here! On the house!

  • 9
    To Ma Own beloved Lassie.

    A poem on her 17th Birthday.

    Lend us a couple of bob till Thursday.

    I'm absolutely skint.

    But I'm expecting a postal order

    and I can pay you back as soon as it comes.

  • 10
    And now hath every city

    Sent up her tale of men;

    The foot are fourscore thousand,

    The horse are thousands ten.

    Before the gates of Sutrium

    Is met the great array.

    And proud was Lars Porsena

    Upon the trysting day.

  • 11
    Hey! Come merry dol! derry dol! My darling!

    Light goes the weather-wind and the feathered starling.

    Down along under Hill, shining in the sunlight,

    Waiting on the doorstep for the cold starlight,

    There my pretty lady is, River-woman's daughter,

    Slender as the willow-wand, clearer than the water.

  • 12
    "Captain, they cry, the fight is done,

    They bid you send your sword."

    And he answered, "Grapple her stern and bow.

    They have asked for our steel?

    They shall have it now;

    Out cutlasses and board!"

  • 13
    Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,

    Great Chieftan o' the Puddin-race!

    Aboon them a' ye tak your place,

    Painch, tripe, or thairm:

    Weel are ye wordy of a grace

    As lang's my arm.

  • 14
    He holds him with his skinny hand,

    "There was a ship," quoth he.

    "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"

    Eftsoons his hand dropt he.

  • 15
    "Fifteen men on the dead man's chest

    Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!

    Drink and the devil had done for the rest

    Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"

  • 16
    And on the pedestal these words appear:

    "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:

    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

    Nothing beside remains: round the decay

    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,

    The lone and level sands stretch far away.

  • 17
    The following opus is submitted in it's entirety, for your delight and edification. What I want to know is, in what publication did it first greet the public eye?

    I wandered lonely as a clod,

    Just picking up old rags and bottles,

    When onward on my way I plod,

    I saw a host of axolotls;

    Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

    A sight to make a man's blood freeze.

    Some had handles, some were plain;

    They came in blue, red pink, and green.

    A few were orange in the main;

    The damndest sight I've ever seen.

    The females gave a sprightly glance;

    The male ones all wore knee-length pants.

    Now oft, when on the couch I lie, The doctor asks me what I see.

    They flash upon my inward eye And make me laugh in fiendish glee.

    I find my solace then in bottles,

    And I forget them axolotls.

  • 18
    What we are interested in here, is the title of this fine effort!

    When a man grows old and his balls grow cold,

    And the tip of his prick turns blue;

    When it bends in the middle like a one-string fiddle,

    He can tell you a tale or two.

  • 19
    No, this is NOT a trick question....

    We wrapped 'em all in a mains'l tight

    With twice ten turns of a hawser's bight

    And we heaved 'em over and out of sight,

    With a Yo-Heave-Ho! and a fare-you-well

    And a sudden plunge in the sullen swell

    Ten fathoms deep on the road to hell,

    Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

  • 20
    There are strange things done in the midnight sun

    By the men who moil for gold;

    The Arctic trails have their secret tales

    That would make your blood run cold;

    The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,

    But the queerest they ever did see

    Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge

    I cremated Sam McGee.