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The Most Popular Famous Poets - Top 50 Poets in Order

This is a list of the most popular famous poets of all time. This list of the 50 most popular famous poets in history (with their best poetry) is determined by website visitors. Some of these famous poets were more famous than others, yet all of them have left lasting "fingerprints" and their names will long be remembered.

Remember, this is a modern popularity page. Many people argue that these are not the best poets of all-time. Well, that may be true, however these are the most viewed and search for poets on PoetrySoup (See our 100 Best Poets of All Time List). That’s why this is not called the best famous poet’s page, but the most popular famous poet’s page. Nevertheless, please continue to enjoy these famous poets. Maybe you’ll find a new poet to add to your favorite poet’s list. Share your comments on this list...

Rank   Famous Poet's List Brief Bio
1 William Wordsworth

Major English Romantic poet William Wordsworth, born in 1770, is considered to be one of the most important literary figures in modern history, as well as one of the leading purveyors of the Romantic Movement.

2 Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson, born on December 10, 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts, is one of the premier American poets of the 19th century. She is an American poetess who died at the age of 56.

3 William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. He is one of the world's most highly esteemed writers, and is thought to be the most quoted author in history, second only to the Bible. His plays and poems have been studied, analyzed, read, and loved for centuries.

4 Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore was a Bengali poet, philosopher, visual artist, playwright, composer, and novelist from India. He won the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature.

5 Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Annie Johnson, was a Pulitzer Prize-winning African American poet. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 8 1928 and died in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on May 28, 2014. Angelou was also a dancer, an actress and a singer.

6 Walt Whitman

American Walt Whitman, born on May 31, 1819, is considered to be one of the world's greatest and most influential poets and writers.

7 Robert Frost

Robert Frost was an American poet born on March 26, 1874 in San Francisco, California. One of the foremost poets of the 20th century and winner of four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry.

8 Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, short story writer, and newspaper columnist. He is noted as having been a creator of jazz poetry and as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance, an African American cultural movement that occurred during the 1920s and 1930s.

9 William Blake

William Blake (born on November 28, 1757 in London's West End) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. He was one of the greatest poets of the Romantic era.

10 Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda is a Chilean poet, author, and communist activist considered one of the most influential poets of the 20th century. His real name was Ricardo Eliecer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto.

11 Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath was a troubled American poet, novelist, short story writer, and essayist. Plath posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize in 1982.

12 Shel Silverstein

Sheldon Silverstein is American poet, songwriter, musician, composer, screenwriter, and author of children's literature from Chicago.

13 William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats, who is often considered to be one of the foremost figures of the 20th century literature, was born in Sandymount Castle, Dublin (Ireland) on June 13, 1865. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years he served as an Irish Senator for two terms. Yeats was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival and, along with Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn, and others, founded the Abbey Theatre, where he served as its chief during its early years.

14 Sandra Cisneros

Sandra Cisneros, born in Chicago, Illinois on December 21, 1954, is a United States author and poet best known for her novel The House on Mango Street. She is also the author of Caramelo, published by Knopf in 2002. Much of her writing is influenced by her Mexican-American heritage. She the only daughter in a Mexican-American family of seven children.

15 Edward Estlin (E E) Cummings
Edward Estlin (E E) Cummings
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Edward Estlin Cummings, born October 14 1894, was a great 20th century American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright.

16 Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling was a British short-story writer, poet, and novelist, born in Mumbai, India and educated in England. One of Kipling's most famous works is The Jungle Books; a collection of poems and stories.

17 Oscar Wilde

An Anglo-Irish playwright, novelist, poet, short story writer and Freemason.. Irish writer playwright and poet

18 Alfred Lord Tennyson

Alfred Lord Tennyson was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1850–1892 and is one of the most popular English poets. He lived from 6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892.

19 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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American poet and educator Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is one of the greatest poets in American history. Born in Portland, Maine, He became professor of Modern Languages in Harvard University; wrote "Hyperion," a romance in prose, and a succession of poems as well as lyrics, among the former "Evangeline," "The Golden Legend," "Hiawatha," and "Miles Standish"

20 Tupac Shakur

Tupac Shakur, born in New York City, New York on June 16, 1971, was an American rapper. Shakur sold over 75 million albums worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world. Rolling Stone Magazine named him the 86th Greatest Artist of All Time.

21 Carol Ann Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy is a British poet and playwright born in Glasgow, Scotland. Duffy is the first female and first Scottish Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom.

22 Edgar Allan Poe

​Edgar Allan Poe is an American poet and short story writer best known for his tales of the macabre. Poe was an author, poet, editor, and literary critic most famously known for his poem "The Raven".

23 Alice Walker

Alice Walker is an American poet, activist, author and feminist. She is one of the most celebrated in modern history. Her most famous work, The Color Purple, won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and it remains one of the bestselling books in the United States.

24 Sarojini Naidu

Sarojini Naidu, (born as Sarojini Chattopadhyaya) also known by the sobriquet as The Nightingale of India, was a child prodigy, Indian independence activist and poet. Naidu was one of the formers of the Indian Constitution. Naidu was the first Indian woman to become the President of the Indian National Congress and the first woman to become the Governor of Uttar Pradesh state. Her birthday is celebrated as women's day all over India.

25 Charles Bukowski

Henry Charles Bukowski was a German-American poet, novelist and short story writer.

26 Billy Collins

Billy Collins is an American poet who served two terms as the 44th Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001–2003. He's arguably the greatest poet of the 21st century.

27 Christina Rossetti

Christina Georgina Rossetti 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 the Christmas carol In the Bleak Midwinter.. English poet

28 Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson was born on May 25, 1803 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was a famous American preacher, philosopher, and poet of the 19th century who served as the center of the Transcendental movement.

29 John Donne

John Donne (1572 – March 31, 1631) was a Jacobean poet, satirist, lawyer and preacher/cleric in the Church of England. He is considered the founding figure of the so-called metaphysical poetry movement.

30 Raymond Carver

Raymond Clevie Carver, Jr. was an American short story writer and poet. Carver was a major writer of the late 20th century and a major force in the revitalization of the American short story in literature in the 1980s.

31 Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy was a British novelist, short story writer, and poet of the Naturalist movement. Hardy was born in Dorsetshire, with whose scenery he has made his readers familiar; bred an architect; first earned popularity in 1874 by his "Far from the Madding Crowd," which was followed by, among others, "The Return of the Native," "The Woodlanders," and "Tess of the D'Urbervilles," the last in 1892, books which require to be read in order to appreciate the genius of the author; b. 1840.

32 John Keats

John Keats was an English poet who is now regarded as being one of the greatest lyric poets of his time and one of the principal poets of the English Romantic movement. He was born in London on October 31, 1795 and in his short lifetime had 54 poems published in various magazines and in three volumes of poetry. Recognition of his achievements as one of the leading poets of his time only came after his death in Rome on February 23, 1821.

33 Mark Twain

Mark Twain is the famous pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, who was born on November 30, 1835 in Florida, Missouri. He is one of the most beloved figures in the history of American literature, and was a journalist, novelist, humorist, literary critic, essayist, short story writer, and poet. He wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called "the Great American Novel ."

34 Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican clergyman, and photographer. His fame rests on his books for children of which Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and its sequel, Through the Looking-glass, are the best.

35 Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
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A celebrated Romantic English poet of the Victorian era, Elizabeth Barrett Browning is still one of the most influential figures within English poetry.

36 Anne Sexton

Anne Gray Harvey Sexton, American poet and playwright, was born in Newton, Massachusetts, the daughter of Ralph Harvey, a successful woolen manufacturer, and Mary Gray Staples. Sexton is known for her highly personal, confessional verse. She won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1967 for her book Live or Die.

37 Alexander Pushkin

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin was a Russian author of the Romantic era who is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. Pushkin pioneered the use of vernacular speech in his poems and plays, creating a style of storytelling—mixing drama, romance, and satire—associated with Russian literature ever since and greatly influencing later Russian writers. He also wrote historical fiction. His The Captain's Daughter provides insight into Russia during the reign of Catherine the Great. A Russian Romantic author who is considered to be the greatest Russian poet.

38 Gary Soto

Gary Soto was born April 12, 1952 in Fresno, California. He is known as a poet, novelist, and Children's Literature author whose notable works include: “Petty Crimes”, “New and Selected Poems”, and “Living Up the Street”. Soto has won numerous awards including the Academy of American Poets Prize, American Book Award, NEA Fellowship and the Guggenheim Fellowship.

39 Spike Milligan

Spike Milligan is an Irish comedian writer musician poet playwright soldier and actor. He was born an 'Army Brat', the son of an Irish Captain in the British Raj in India. He lived most of his life in England and served in the British Army, in the Royal Artillery during World War II.

40 Henry David Thoreau

An American author, development critic, transcendentalist, pacifist, and philosopher.. American author poet philosopher abolitionist naturalist tax resister development critic surveyor historian and leading transcendentalist

41 Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Giovanni is one of the best-known African-American poets who reached prominence during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

42 Carl Sandburg

An American poet, historian, novelist, balladeer and folklorist.. American poet writer and editor; three Pulitzer Prizes

43 Margaret Atwood

Margaret Eleanor Atwood, CC, O.Ont, FRSC is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and environmental activist. While she is best known for her work as a novelist, she is also a poet, having published 15 books of poetry to date. Many of her poems have been inspired by myths and fairy tales, which have been interests of hers from an early age. Atwood has published short stories in Tamarack Review, Alphabet, Harper's, CBC Anthology, Ms., Saturday Night, and many other magazines. She has also published four collections of stories and three collections of unclassifiable short prose works.. poet novelist essayist

44 Roger McGough

Roger McGough is an English poet, comedian, performance poet, broadcaster, children's author and playwright. He was Born on November 9, 1937 in Litherland, United Kingdom and educated at St Mary's College, Crosby, and University of Hull.

45 George (Lord) Byron

George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, later George Gordon Noel, 6th Baron Byron, FRS (22 January 1788 – 19 April 1824), commonly known simply as Lord Byron, was an English poet and a leading figure in the Romantic movement. Among Byron's best-known works are the lengthy narrative poems Don Juan and Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and the short lyric " She Walks in Beauty ." He is regarded as one of the greatest British poets and remains widely read and influential.

46 Jane Austen

Jane Austen, a gifted English novelist, daughter of a clergyman in N. Hampshire; member of a quiet family circle, occupied herself in writing without eye to publication, and only in mature womanhood thought of writing for the press. Her first novel, "Sense and Sensibility," was published in 1811, and was followed by "Pride and Prejudice," her masterpiece, "Persuasion," and others, her interest being throughout in ordinary quiet cultured life, and the delineation of it, which she achieved in an inimitably charming manner. She is the mother of the English 19th-century novel, as Scott is the father of it" (1775-1816).

47 Sara Teasdale

Sara Teasdale was an American lyrical poet. She is the total embodiment of a tortured soul who had a gift for artistic expression. She was born on August 8, 1884 in St. Louis, Missouri. She died at the age of 48 on January 29, 1933 in New York City.

48 Allen Ginsberg

An American Beat poet born in Newark, New Jersey.. American poet; one of the leading figures of the Beat Generation

49 Gwendolyn Brooks

Pulitzer Prize-winning African-American woman poet.. African-American poet; 30th US Poet Laureate

50 Thomas Moore

Thomas Moore was an Irish poet, singer, songwriter, and entertainer, now best remembered for the lyrics of The Minstrel Boy and The Last Rose of Summer. He was responsible, with John Murray, for burning Lord Byron's memoirs after his death.. Irish poet singer songwriter and entertainer

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