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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 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.

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 Shel Silverstein

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

4 Ben Jonson

Ben (Benjamin) Jonson (June 11, 1572 – Aug. 6, 1637) was a noted English poet, literary critic, and playwright during the late 16th and early 17th Centuries.

5 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".

6 Lascelles Abercrombie
Lascelles Abercrombie
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Lascelles Abercrombie (also known as the Georgian Laureate) (January 9, 1881 – October 27, 1938) was a British poet and literary critic, one of the "Dymock poets". He was born in Ashton-on-Mersey and educated at the University of Manchester.

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 Sarah Fuller Flower Adams
Sarah Fuller Flower Adams
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Sarah Flower Adams (February 22, 1805 - Au­gust 14, 1848) was an English poet known for her most popular work, the 1841 immortal hymn , "Nearer My God To Thee".

9 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.

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 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.

12 Delmira Agustini

Delmira Agustini was born in Montevideo, Uruguay on October 24, 1886. She is considered one of the greatest female Latin American and Uruguayan poets of the early 20th century.

13 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.

14 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).

15 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.

16 Anna Akhmatova

Anna Akhmatova was a modernist poet during the "Silver Age". She became one of the leading female poets in Russia during the turmoil of the World Wars and the Russian Revolution. She was born on June 23, 1889 in Bolshoy Fonton near Odessa, Russia and grew up in St. Petersburg.

17 Robert Burns

Robert Burns was a poet and songwriter widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland. This celebrated Scottish poet and lyricist was born at Alloway, near Ayr, in 1759. Burns' poem "A Red, Red Rose" is considered one of the greatest poems of all-time.

18 Julie Hill Alger

Julie Hill Alger was an American poet whose most critically acclaimed poem, Death In the Family,compared the death of a loved one to the death of a pet. She was born in Norfolk, Virginia on March 13, 1927 and died in Amherst, Massachusetts on January 13, 1995.

19 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.

20 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.

21 Oscar Wilde

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

22 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.

23 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.

24 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.

25 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.

26 Sylvia Plath

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

27 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"

28 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.

29 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.

30 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.

31 Phillis Wheatley

Phillis Wheatley was the first African American female writer to be published in the United States.

32 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.

33 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.

34 Matthew Arnold

Matthew Arnold (Matthew) was an English Victorian Era poet and critic. He was educated at Winchester, Rugby, and Oxford, where he won the Newdigate prize. In 1857 he was elected Professor of Poetry at Oxford. Mr. Arnold has a lucid style and is abreast of the thought of his age. He may be said in his own words to wander "between two worlds, one dead, the other powerless to be born."

35 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 ."

36 Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott, born on November 29, 1832 in Germantown, Pennsylvania, was an American novelist best known for her novel Little Women. She died on March 6, 1888 in Boston, Massachusetts.

37 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.

38 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.

39 Conrad Aiken

Conrad Aiken, born on August 5, 1889 in Savannah, Georgia, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet and author. Aiken won the Pulitzer Prize in 1930 and was named the Poetry Consultant for The Library of Congress from 1950 to 1952.

40 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.

41 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.

42 Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh is a famed English writer, poet, courtier, aristocrat, and explorer. His most influential work of poetry was entitled "The Lie." He was born on January 22 1552 in Devon, England. He died on October 29, 1618 in London.

43 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.

44  Homer

Homer, the great epic poet of Greece, and the greatest of all time; author of the "Iliad" and the "Odyssey". He is one of the most well-known, studied, and referred to poets in the history of the world.

45 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.

46 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.

47 Dante Alighieri

Dante Alighieri is an Italian Florentine poet (born in Florence, Italy in 1265). His greatest work is la Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy).

48 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.

49 Wystan Hugh (W H) Auden
Wystan Hugh (W H) Auden
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Wystan Hugh Auden, known more commonly as W. H. Auden was an English poet, often considered one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century. He was one of the greatest Anglo American poets. Born in England, he later obtained an American citizenship.

50  Sappho

Sappho is an Ancient Greek lyric poetess, born in Eresos on the island of Lesbos in Greece. No contemporary historical sources exist for Sappho's life—only her poetry.

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