Poets

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8th/9th B.C.

Homer

Homer was the ancient Greek poet and author of epic poems. Homer is considered one of the greatest world literary artists and profoundly influenced Western ideas and thought.
1130-1191

Chrétien de Troyes

Chrétien de Troyes was a French medieval epic poet who wrote about heroic knights during the Arthurian era. His writing was some of the best of medieval literature. It included Erec and Enide, Lancelot, Perceval, and Yvain.
1552-1599

Edmund Spenser

Edmund Spenser was an English poet best known for his epic poem The Faerie Queene. It was a fantasy allegory celebrating the queen and the Tudor dynasty. Spenser is considered one of the greatest poets in the English language.
1759-1796

Robert Burns

Robert Burns was Scottish Poet and the national poet of Scotland. Also known as Rabbie Burns he is the National Bard, Bard of Ayrshire and the Ploughman’s Poet.
1770-1850

William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth was an English poet. He helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with poems like I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.
1772-1834

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an English poet, philosopher, and theologian. He and his friend William Wordsworth founded the Romantic Movement in England.
1788-1824

Lord Byron

Lord Byron, George Gordon Byron was the 6th Baron Byron. He was one of the greatest British poets and figures in the Romantic movement. Notorious and celebrated he scandalized society.
1792-1822

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Percy Bysshe Shelley was one of the major English Romantic poets. His second wife was Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.
1795-1821

John Keats

John Keats was a Romantic English poet. Born in England to parents of meager means they both died by the time he was seven. London merchants became his guardians, apprenticing to an apothecary-surgeon. But he met a literary group of men who encouraged his poetry. Keats never married.
1799-1837

Alexander Pushkin

Alexander Pushkin was a Russian noble considered to be the greatest poet Russia has produced. A poet, playwright and Romantic era novelist he founded modern Russian literature.
1803-1882

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American poet and philosopher. He came from a long line of distinguished New England clergymen and began his career as a Unitarian minister in Boston. He led the transcendentalist movement of the 19th century and defined transcendentalism as a belief system that espouses a nontraditional appreciation of nature.
1806-1861

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was an English poet during the Victorian era Romantic Movement. She was the oldest of 12 children. Her father was rich and owned sugar plantations using slave labor in Jamaica. She was part Creole and a sickly child dosed with opium. Her health remained poor and she was addicted throughout her life.
1809-1892

Alfred Lord Tennyson

Sir Alfred Lord Tennyson was an English poet, considered the embodiment of the era. He remains beloved for poems like the Charge of the Light Brigade. During the reign of Queen Victoria he was Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland.
1817-1862

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau was an American essayist, poet, and philosopher. He was a leading transcendentalist known for his reflections on simple living in natural surroundings.
1819-1892

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman was an American poet, essayist, and journalist. He was a humanist and used both transcendentalism and realism in his works. Whitman is often referred to as the father of free verse.
1821-1867

Charles Pierre Baudelaire

Charles Pierre Baudelaire was a French poet, essayist and art critic who lived in Paris. His most famous work was Les Fleurs du mal, The Flowers of Evil in English. Baudelaire’s prose poetry influenced a whole generation of poets.
1830-1886

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson was an American poet little know during her lifetime. She is one of the most important figures in American poetry.
1844 -1889

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Gerard Manley Hopkins was an English poet & Jesuit priest, an innovative writer of verse. Hopkins work was recognized as some of the most original poetry of his century.