Who Is Your Inner Poet?

Columbus State Library is celebrating National Poetry Month. Celebrate poetry with us and take our quiz to discover your inner poet!

Columbus State Library
Created by Columbus State Library
On Apr 5, 2015

Your inner poet is Rumi.

Your inner poet is Rumi.

Rumi was a 13th century mystic poet whose poetry sustains the spirit: “What was said to the rose that made it open was said/to me here in my chest.” His poetry captured everyday experiences and the universal theme of love. He once composed a poem, “Masnavi-ye Ma’navi,” of 64 thousand lines. Like Rumi, you seek spiritual enlightenment through poetry.

Your inner poet is Ogden Nash.

Your inner poet is Ogden Nash.

Nash was known for his whimsical light verse. He was a hypochondriac who saw the world in rhymes. His humorous and “punny” poems often contained keen observations and biting social commentary. Like Nash, you are a “worsifier” who appreciates that “Candy/Is dandy, /But liquor/Is quicker.”

Your inner poet is Maya Angelou.

Your inner poet is Maya Angelou.

Angelou was the first African-American female cable car conductor in San Francisco and first African-American female director in Hollywood. She was a true Renaissance woman: poet, director, producer, actress, screenwriter, songwriter, and civil rights activist. Angelou read her poem “On the Pulse of the Morning” at President Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration, and her poems give strength to many: “You may trod me in the very dirt/But still, like dust, I’ll rise.” Like Angelou, you, too, may inspire Oprah.

Your inner poet is Emily Dickinson.

Your inner poet is Emily Dickinson.

Dickinson was a reclusive soul who seldom left home. As Dickinson once wrote, “The soul selects her own society,/Then shuts the door.” She published only a few of her poems anonymously, and left behind almost 1,800 poems. Legend has it that Dickinson preferred to dress all in white. Like Dickinson, you can sing most of your poems to the Gilligan’s Island theme song.

Your inner poet is Sylvia Plath.

Your inner poet is Sylvia Plath.

Plath was a confessional poet whose poetry is raw, honest, emotional, and often autobiographical. Intelligent and sensitive, she wrote prolifically in the last year of her life, which tragically ended at age 30. In her last poem, “Edge,” she wrote, “The woman is perfected. /Her dead/Body wears the smile of accomplishment.” Even though you identify with Plath, you don’t necessarily have “daddy” issues.

Your inner poet is Rita Dove.

Your inner poet is Rita Dove.

Born in Akron, Ohio, Rita Dove remains a bright star in the poetry world. In 1993, at age 40, Dove became the youngest poet and first African-American to be named U.S. Poet Laureate. Her poems often reveal the musical quality of language: “If you can’t be free, be a mystery.” Like Dove, when you’re not writing poetry, you’re ballroom dancing.

Your inner poet is Walt Whitman.

Your inner poet is Walt Whitman.

Self-taught, Whitman worked as a printer, teacher, journalist, and clerk, but most importantly, he was and remains America’s poet. Best remembered for Leaves of Grass, Whitman celebrated humanity and nature, the physical and the spiritual, in his sensual poetry: “I loafe and invite my soul,/I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.” One day you hope that students will stand on their desks and shout, “O Captain! my Captain!” to you.

Your inner poet is Charles Bukowski.

Your inner poet is Charles Bukowski.

Bukowski was an underground poet and cult hero whose tombstone reads, "Don't try." Like Bukowski, you are a straight shooter and loner who lives hard and fast. As a poet, you know, "An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way."