Famous Poets & Poetry: Classical to Modern Era
Here is a list of famous poets on Poem of Quotes. Hopefully you'll find someone you love or will love in the near future through their poetry, biographies, and analyses.
These vintage writers include authors born before the 18th century. The biographies of each person are included before a section listing their poems.
- Dante Alighieri - Known simply as "Dante", he his widely regarded as one of the best love poets in history.
Famous work: Autumn Song.
- Anne Bradstreet - She was originally published without her own permission and was an intellectual despite social norms against women.
Famous work: The Vanity of All Worldly Things
- Gaius Valerius Catullus - Not much is known about Catullus, but he was an intellectual who greatly admired Sappho.
Famous work: Catullus 51
- Geoffrey Chaucer - He is often hated by English Literature students, because he wrote one of the greatest poetry works in English history.
Famous work: The Canterbury Tales
- John Donne - Once jailed for his writings on religion and politics, he was later praised by the King and ordained later in life.
Famous work: Go and Catch A Falling Star
- Ben Jonson - A writer during the time of Shakespeare and Donne. He led an exciting life of duels, performance, writing, and was also imprisoned.
Famous work: Still to be Neat
- Lao Tzu - A great Chinese philosopher known for the expansion of Taoism.
Famous work: Five Colors
- Christopher Marlowe - Sometimes thought of as the "Real Shakespeare", Marlowe wrote many famous dramatic plays and other works during his life. Nonetheless, he was also a lover of poetry.
Famous work: Who Ever Loved That Loved Not at First Sight?
- Andrew Marvell Seen as one of the greatest classical love poets, was a traveller, and the assistant of John Milton.
Famous work: To His Coy Mistress
- John Milton - Started writing poetry at nine, was homeschooled, and became known for his poetry while in college.
Famous work: On Time
- Mawlawi Rumi - Seen as one of the greatest Persian writers, he was a very religious man. He was quite well with poetry too.
Famous work: Wedding Night
- Sappho - Often referred to as the first published woman poet, the words "lesbian" and "sapphic" are due to her.
Famous work: Ode to a Loved One
- William Shakespeare - Seen as the single greatest English writer in history, Shakespeare wrote many famous poems and plays throughout his time.
Famous work: Sonnet 116
Here we have well-known artists which were born during the 1700s. Each poet's page includes a biography and a list of their greatest works.
- Francisco Balagtas - He is probably the most famous Filipino poet in history, even the city was renamed in his honor.
Famous works: Florante
- William Blake - An artist of all trades, Blake is best known for his poetry, but even his illustrations for the Book of Job were likened to Rembrandt.
Famous work: Love's Secret
- Robert Burns - Perhaps one of the greatest Scottish poets, he was a farmer and a supporter of the French Revolution.
Famous work:Comin Thro' the Rye
- Lord Byron - Rarely known by his real name George Gordon, Byron is seen as one of the best romantic poets.
Famous work: She Walks in Beauty
- John Clare - Also known as the Northamptonshire Peasant Poet, he was a farmer, had lived with gypsies, and made more money through his wife than single.
Famous work: I Hid My Love
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge - A critic, philosopher, poet, and founder of the Romantic Movement in England.
Famous work: Love
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - By far the most famous German poet throughout the world. He was a master of language, love, and law.
Famous work: The Elf King
- Thomas Gray - A studious and reflective man, he was born to an abusive "money-scrivener." He was a traveller and literature nut.
Famous work: Ode to Adversity
- John Keats - Often seen as the single most important component of the English movement and one of the greatest English poets of all-time.
Famous work: Bright Star, Would I Were Steadfast as Thou Art
- Alexander Pope - Once trampled by a cow, struggled with Potts' Disease, tuberculosis of the spine, he was first published at the age of 23.
Famous work: Lines by a Person of Quality
- Percy Bysshe Shelley - Born of a wealthy family, he was tutored from home and was well educated. He was published for the first time at age 18.
Famous work: Love's Philosophy
- Robert Southey - Well educated at Westminster School (but expelled), attended college, but didn't receive a degree. He was published at age 20.
Famous work: God's Judgment On A Wicked Bishop
- Phillis Wheatley - A former slave who was taught English, Latin, and Greek by her owner's daughter. Her first poem was published when she was 17.
Famous work: On Virtue
- William Wordsworth - An educated liberal, he became one of the "Lake Poets." Much of his poetry is written about death, separation, and grief.
Famous work: The Green Linnet
These are highly acclaimed poets from the 1800s who became legends during their time and ours. Many of these rhymists have influenced modern day poets, rappers, and lyricists through their words and rhythm.
- Charles Baudelaire - One of the most influential French poets, he was the son of a former priest, expelled from school, and was even sent on a voyage to India due to his irregular lifestyle.
Famous work: The Death of Lovers
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning - The wife of Robert Browning, she was perhaps even more popular during her life and afterlife than her husband.
Famous work: How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways
- Robert Browning - A lover of history and poetry, he wrote his first book at the age of twelve. He hated school, but was fluent in English, French, Greek, Italian, and Latin.
Famous work: Meeting at Night
- Lewis Carroll - A famous children's author famous for many great works like "Alice in Wonderland".
Famous work: Jabberwocky
- E. E. Cummings - One of the most famous American authors of all time. He is known for helping the Dada Movement.
Famous work: Buffalo Bill's
- Emily Dickinson - Never published in her life, she was sheltered, often alone, and kept in contact with others through mail.
- Paul Laurence Dunbar - The son of a former slave and veteran of the American Civil War, he was the only black student at his high school, and was the chief of the school paper, class poet, and president of the litearary society. He wrote his first poem at age six.
Famous work: He Had His Dream
- Ralph Waldo Emerson - Attended Harvard University, was a Unitarian minister, and a master of poetry.
Famous work: Ode to Beauty
- Robert Frost - One of the most famous modern day poets. He gave the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy.
Famous work: Out Out -
- Khalil Gibran - A Lebanese poet who spent many years living in the United States.
Famous work: Let These be Your Desires
- Oliver Wendell Holmes - A doctor, he published poetry, comics, and satiric verse. He surrounded himself with great poetic minds like Lowell, Longfellow, and Emerson.
Famous work: The Last Leaf
- Jean Ingelow - Her first volume of poetry was published anonymously at the age of 13. However, her fame didn't rise until she was 43.
Famous work: Song of the Old Love
- Rudyard Kipling - Travelled throughout Asia, and became associated with the voice of the modern world.
Famous work: The White Man's Burden
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - Was a professor at Harvard University, was known as a romantic, and devoted much of his time to writing.
Famous work: The Slave's Dream
- Amy Lowell - Her brother predicted the existence of Pluto, she traveled widely, and was once called a hippopoetess by Ezra Pound.
Famous work: Fireworks
- Amado Nervo - A famous Mexican poet.
Famous work: At Peace
- Edgar Allan Poe - Known as the father of horror, he wrote dark poetry but was also an excellent romance author.
Famous work: Annabel Lee
- Alfred Tennyson - A Poet Laureate whose son later became Governor-General of Australia. He wrote many fantastic works throughout his life.
Famous work: Maud
- Walt Whitman - Self taught, he is now considered perhaps the greatest American poet of all-time.
Famous work: Sometimes with One I Love
- Oscar Wilde - An Irish romance poet, he was imprisoned for gross indecency, and spent time in London, Paris, and the USA.
Famous work: Under the Balcony
- William Butler Yeats - His brother was a well-known painter, he helped establish the Celtic Revival, and opened Abbey Theatre.
Famous work: When You Are Old
These men and women helped create a genre so great that it is often referred to only as "haiku". Even though haiku is a type of poem, what was once seen as something written for a greater work is now one of the greatest stand-alone works literature.