National Poetry Day – do you know which poems inspired these book titles?

Poems are often used to inspire struggling readers, but sometimes readers in general need to be inspired to read poetry. With this in mind, last year I wrote a blog about YA books that quoted poems: seeing a poem used in a favourite book often inspires readers to look the poem and from there an interest in and appreciation of poetry can develop.

This year I am looking at book titles inspired by poems (I’m including Shakespeare as a source of inspiration) and I think this would be a fun quiz or display – asking people to  identify the poem and the poet that inspired these titles and then asking them to come up with other titles inspired by poems:

  1. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  2. Of Mice and Men by John Steinback
  3. Alone on a Wide, Wide Sea by Michael Morpurgo
  4. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
  5. A Darkling Plain by Philip Reeve
  6. A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh
  7. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  8. Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
  9. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  10. Dying of the Light by George R R Martin
  11. For Whom the Bells Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  12. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
  13. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

And finally – What film quoted the poem “Stop All the Clocks” by WH Auden?


Answers: The Tempest (Shakespeare), To a Mouse (Robert Burns), Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Samuel Taylor Coleridge), Paradise Lost (Milton), Dover Beach (Matthew Arnold), The Wasteland (T S Eliot), Julius Caesar (Shakespeare), Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (Thomas Gray), Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae (Ernest Dowson), Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night (Dylan Thomas), For Whom the Bell Tolls (John Donne), Sailing to Byzantium (William Butler Yeats), The Second Coming (William Butler Yeats), Four Weddings and a Funeral.





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