Dante Alighieri (May/June c.1265 – September 14, 1321), commonly known as Dante, was an Italian poet of the Middle Ages. The name Dante is, according to the words of Jacopo Alighieri, a hypocorism for Durante. In contemporary documents it is followed by the patronymic Alagherii or de Alagheriis; it was Boccaccio who popularized the form Alighieri.
Edmund Spenser (c. 1552 – 13 January 1599) was an English poet best known for The Faerie Queene, an epic poem and fantastical allegory celebrating the Tudor dynasty and Elizabeth I. He is recognized as one of the premier craftsmen of Modern English verse in its infancy, and is one of the very greatest poets in the English language.
Edward Estlin Cummings (October 14, 1894 – September 3, 1962), popularly known as E. E. Cummings, with the abbreviated form of his name often written by others in lowercase letters as e. e. cummings (in the style of some of his poems), was an American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright. His body of work encompasses approximately 2,900 poems, two autobiographical novels, four plays and several essays, as well as numerous drawings and paintings.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (March 6, 1806 – June 29, 1861) was one of the most prominent poets of the Victorian era. Her poetry was widely popular in both England and the United States during her lifetime. A collection of her last poems was published by her husband shortly after her death.
Edna St. Vincent Millay (February 22, 1892 – October 19, 1950) was an American lyrical poet and playwright and the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. She was also known for her unconventional, bohemian lifestyle and her many love affairs. She used the pseudonym Nancy Boyd for her prose work.
Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. (28 July 1844 – 8 June 1889) was an English poet, Roman Catholic convert, and Jesuit priest, whose 20th-century fame established him posthumously among the leading Victorian poets. His experimental explorations in prosody and his use of imagery established him as a daring innovator in a period of largely traditional verse.
John Donne, pronounced /ˈdʌn/ "dun" (21 January 1572 – 31 March 1631) was an English Jacobean poet, preacher and a major representative of the metaphysical poets of the period. His works are notable for their realistic and sensual style and include sonnets, love poetry, religious poems, Latin translations, epigrams, elegies, songs, satires and sermons. His poetry is noted for its vibrancy of language and inventiveness of metaphor, especially as compared to those of his contemporaries.
John Milton (9 December 1608 – 8 November 1674) was an English poet, author, polemicist and civil servant for the Commonwealth of England. He is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost. He was a scholarly man of letters, a polemical writer, and an official serving under Oliver Cromwell. Milton is believed to have been a Calvinist and the question of predestination and freedom was crucial to his intellectual orientation.
John Keats ("keets"; 31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821) was the latest born of the great Romantic poets. Along with Byron and Shelley, he was one of the key figures in the second generation of the movement, despite publishing his work over only a four-year period. During his short life, his work was not well received by critics, but his posthumous influence on poets such as Alfred Tennyson and Wilfred Owen was significant.
Francesco Petrarca (July 20, 1304 – July 19, 1374), known in English as Petrarch, was an Italian scholar, poet and one of the earliest Renaissance humanists. Petrarch is often called the "Father of Humanism". Based on Petrarch's works, as well as those of Giovanni Boccaccio and above all Dante Alighieri, Pietro Bembo in the 16th century created the model for the modern Italian language, later endorsed by the Accademia della Crusca.
Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) was an American poet. He is highly regarded for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech. His work frequently employed settings from rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex social and philosophical themes. A popular and often-quoted poet, Frost was honored frequently during his lifetime, receiving four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry.
Rainer Maria Rilke (4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926) was a Bohemian-Austrian poet and art critic. He is considered one of the most significant poets in the German language. His haunting images focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable in an age of disbelief, solitude, and profound anxiety: themes that tend to position him as a transitional figure between the traditional and the modernist poets. He wrote in both verse and a highly lyrical prose.
William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564; died 23 April 1616) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems.
William Butler Yeats (13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939) was an Irish poet, dramatist, and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years Yeats served as an Irish Senator for two terms. He was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival, and along with Lady Gregory and Edward Martyn founded the Abbey Theatre, serving as its chief during its early years.
William Wordsworth (7 April 1770 – 23 April 1850) was a major English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with the 1798 joint publication Lyrical Ballads. Wordsworth's magnum opus is generally considered to be The Prelude, a semiautobiographical poem of his early years which the poet revised and expanded a number of times.
Torquato Tasso (11 March 1544 – 25 April 1595) was an Italian poet of the 16th century, best known for his poem La Gerusalemme liberata, in which he depicts a highly imaginative version of the combats between Christians and Muslims at the end of the First Crusade, during the siege of Jerusalem. He died a few days before he was due to be crowned as the king of poets by the Pope. Until the beginning of the 19th century, Tasso remained one of the most widely read poets in Europe.
John Burgess Wilson (25 February 1917 – 22 November 1993) — who published under the pen name Anthony Burgess — was an English author, poet, playwright, composer, linguist, translator and critic. The dystopian satire A Clockwork Orange is by far Burgess' most famous novel, though he dismissed it as one of his lesser works.. It was adapted into a highly controversial 1971 film by Stanley Kubrick. Burgess produced numerous other novels, including the Enderby quartet, and Earthly Powers.
Rupert Chawner Brooke (middle name sometimes given as Chaucer) (3 August 1887 – 23 April 1915) was an English poet known for his idealistic war sonnets written during the First World War; however, he never experienced combat at first hand. He was also known for his boyish good looks, which prompted the Irish poet William Butler Yeats to describe him as "the handsomest young man in England".
Jaroslav Seifert (September 23, 1901–January 10, 1986) was a Nobel Prize winning Czech writer, poet and journalist. Born in Žižkov, a suburb of Prague in what was then part of Austria-Hungary, his first collection of poems was published in 1921. He was a member of the Communist Party, the editor of a number of communist newspapers and magazines - Rovnost, Srsatec, and Reflektor - and the employee of a communist publishing house.
Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503 – 24 September 1542) was a 16th-century English lyrical poet who is best known as the individual whom scholars credit with introducing the sonnet into English. He was born at Allington Castle, near Maidstone in Kent - though his family was originally from Yorkshire. His father, Henry Wyatt, had been one of Henry VII's Privy Councillors, and remained a trusted adviser when Henry VIII came to the throne in 1509.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (12 May 1828 – 9 April 1882) was an English poet, illustrator, painter and translator. He was one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 and was later to be the main inspiration for second generation of artists and writers influenced by the movement. He was also a major precursor of the Aesthetic movement. Rossetti's art was characterised by its sensuality and its medieval revivalism. His early poetry was influenced by John Keats.
Christina Georgina Rossetti (5 December 1830 – 29 December 1894) was an English poet who wrote a variety of romantic, devotional, and children's poems. She is best known for her long poem Goblin Market, her love poem "Remember", and for the words of what became the popular Christmas carol "In the Bleak Midwinter".