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Suicidal Poets

Suicidal Poets and their poems. A list of the top 100 most popular and best famous poets who committed suicide. Some of these suicides remain in dispute, however they are still listed here. This list contains the most popular famous suicidal poets in history (with their best poetry).

Suicide rates are much higher among poets than among authors of other literary forms as well as the general population. This phenomenon has variously been attributed to the types of writers who are naturally drawn to poetry as well as to the features of poetry itself. For example, there is retrospective evidence to suggest that many suicidal poets have suffered from some form of depressive disorder throughout their lives. Poetry, it has been argued, may be a particularly appealing medium by which to cope with the unpredictable episodes of mood swings. Source: Word Use in the Poetry of Suicidal and Nonsuicidal Poets

Rank Suicidal Poets
1 Sylvia Plath
Plath , Sylvia

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An American poet, novelist, short story writer, and essayist.. American poet novelist and short story writer; 1982 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry first to receive the honor posthumously

2 Sara Teasdale
Teasdale , Sara

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Sara Teasdale (August 8, 1884 – January 29, 1933), was an American lyrical poet. She was born Sara Trevor Teasdale in St. Louis, Missouri, and after her marriage in 1914 she went by the name "'Sara Teasdale Filsinger'".. American lyrical poet

3 John Berryman
Berryman , John

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An American poet considered one of the founders of the Confessional school of poetry.. American poet and scholar

4 John Gould Fletcher
Fletcher , John Gould

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John Gould Fletcher was a Pulitzer Prize winning Imagist poet and author. He was born in Little Rock, Arkansas to a socially prominent family. After attending Phillips Academy, Andover Fletcher went on to Harvard University from 1903 to 1907, when he dropped out shortly after his fathers death.. Imagist poet

5 Paul Celan
Celan , Paul

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Paul Celan was a poet and translator. Paul Antschel was born into a Jewish family in Romania, but as a writer used the pseudonym "Paul Celan", becoming one of the major German-language poets of the post-World War II era.. Romanian-born Jewish poet and translator

6 Thomas Chatterton
Chatterton , Thomas

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Thomas Chatterton was an English poet and forger of pseudo-medieval poetry. He died of arsenic poisoning, either from a suicide attempt or self-medication for a venereal disease.. English poet and forger of pseudo-medieval poetry

7 Hart Crane
Crane , Hart

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Harold Hart Crane was an American poet. Finding both inspiration and provocation in the poetry of T. S. Eliot, Crane wrote modernist poetry that is difficult, highly stylized, and very ambitious in its scope. In his most ambitious work, The Bridge, Crane sought to write an epic poem in the vein of The Waste Land that expressed something more sincere and optimistic than the ironic despair that Crane found in Eliot's poetry. In the years following his suicide at the age of 32, Crane has come to be seen as one of the most influential poets of his generation.. American modernist poet

8 John Davidson
Davidson , John

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John Davidson was a Scottish poet, playwright and novelist, best known for his ballads. He also did translations from French and German. In 1909, financial difficulties, as well as both physical and mental health problems, led to his suicide.. Scottish poet playwright and novelist

9 Adam Lindsay Gordon
Gordon , Adam Lindsay

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Adam Lindsay Gordon was an Australian poet, jockey and politician.. Australian poet jockey and politician.

10 Randall Jarrell
Jarrell , Randall

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. American poet literary critic children's author essayist novelist; US Poet Laureate

11 Vachel Lindsay
Lindsay , Vachel

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. American poet

12 Vladimir Mayakovsky
Mayakovsky , Vladimir

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. Russian and Soviet poet and playwright

13 Anne Sexton
Sexton , Anne

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. American poet; Confessional poetry 1967 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

14 Alfonsina Storni
Storni , Alfonsina

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. Latin American Modernist poet

15 Georg Trakl
Trakl , Georg

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. Austrian poet; considered one of the most important Austrian Expressionists

16 Marina Tsvetaeva
Tsvetaeva , Marina

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. Russian and Soviet poet

17  Archilochus
Archilochus ,

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Archilochus, or, Archilochos (Ancient Greek : ) (c. 680–c. 645 BC) [ nb 1 ] was a Greek lyric poet from the island of Paros in the Archaic period. He is celebrated for his versatile and innovative use of poetic meters and as the earliest known Greek author to compose almost entirely on the theme of his own emotions and experiences. Alexandrian scholars included him in their canonic list of iambic poets, along with Semonides and Hipponax, yet ancient commentators also numbered him with Tyrtaeus and Callinus as the possible inventor of the elegy. However modern critics often characterize him simply as a lyric poet. Although his work now only survives in fragments, he was revered by the ancient Greeks as one of their most brilliant authors, able to be mentioned in the same breath as Homer and Hesiod, yet he was also censured by them as the archetypal poet of blame —his invectives were even said to have driven his former fiancee and her father to suicide. He presented himself as a man of few illusions either in war or in love, such as in the following elegy, where discretion is seen to be the better part of valour:

18 José María Arguedas
Arguedas , José María

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José María Arguedas Altamirano (18 January 1911 – 28 November 1969) was a Peruvian novelist, poet, and anthropologist. Arguedas was a mestizo of Spanish and Quechua descent who wrote novels, short stories, and poems in both Spanish and Quechua .

19 Barcroft Boake
Boake , Barcroft

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Barcroft Henry Thomas Boake (26 March 1866 – May 1892) was an Australian poet.

20 Tadeusz Borowski
Borowski , Tadeusz

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Tadeusz Borowski (Polish pronunciation: ; 12 November 1922 – 1 July 1951) was a Polish writer and journalist. His wartime poetry and stories dealing with his experiences as a prisoner at Auschwitz are recognized as classics of Polish literature and had much influence in Central European society.. Polish writer and journalist

21 Karin Boye
Boye , Karin

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Karin Maria Boye   (help · info ) (October 26, 1900 – April 24, 1941) was a Swedish poet and novelist .

22 Andrzej Bursa
Bursa , Andrzej

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Andrzej Bursa (March 21, 1932 – November 15, 1957) was a Polish poet and writer. Born in Kraków, he studied journalism, then Bulgarian at Jagiellonian University in Kraków. In 1954–1957 Bursa worked as a journalist and reporter for the Kraków newspaper Dziennik Polski. Many of his contemporaries attributed his early death at the age of 25 to suicide, while the true cause of it was a congenital heart disease. Polish / Pole poet and writer

23 Gu Cheng
Cheng , Gu

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Gu Cheng (simplified Chinese : ; traditional Chinese : ; September 24, 1956 – October 8, 1993) was a famous Chinese modern poet, essayist and novelist. He was a prominent member of the " Misty Poets ", a group of Chinese modernist poets.

24 Danielle Collobert
Collobert , Danielle

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Danielle Collobert was a French author, poet and journalist, born in Rostrenen, Côtes-d'Armor on 23 July 1940. She died, by her own hand, in Paris on 23 July 1978.

25 Thomas Cooper
Cooper , Thomas

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Thomas Cooper (March 20, 1805 – July 15, 1892) was a poet and one of the leading Chartists. He wrote poetry, notably the 944 stanzas of his prison-rhyme the Purgatory of Suicides (1845), novels and, in later life, religious texts. An autodidact shoemaker, preacher, schoolmaster and journalist before he became a Chartist in 1840, Cooper was a passionate, determined and fiery man.

26 Arthur Cravan
Cravan , Arthur

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Arthur Cravan (born Fabian Avenarius Lloyd on May 22, 1887, Lausanne, Switzerland ) was known as a pugilist, a poet, a larger-than-life character, and an idol of the Dada and Surrealism movements. He was the second son of Otho Holland Lloyd and Hélène Clara St. Clair. His brother, Otho, was born in 1885. His father's sister, Constance Mary Lloyd, was married to Irish poet Oscar Wilde. He changed his name to Cravan in 1912 in honour of his fiancée Renée Bouchet, who was born in the small village of Cravans in the department of Charente-Maritime in western France. Why he chose the name Arthur remains unclear.

27 Gérard de Nerval
de Nerval , Gérard

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Gérard de Nerval (French pronunciation) was the nom-de-plume of the French poet, essayist and translator Gérard Labrunie, one of the most essentially Romantic French poets.. French poet essayist and translator

28 Tove Ditlevsen
Ditlevsen , Tove

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Tove Irma Margit Ditlevsen (14 December 1917 – 7 March 1976) was a female Danish poet and author.

29 Jean-Pierre Duprey
Duprey , Jean-Pierre

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Jean-Pierre Duprey (1 January 1930, Rouen – 2 October 1959, Paris ) was a French poet and sculptor, one of the modern examples of an accursed poet .

30 André Frédérique
Frédérique , André

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André Frédérique (27 February 1915, Nanterre - 17 May 1957) was a French poet. He was a son of a police officer. He became a member of the Parisienne bohème (befriending people like Jean Carmet ). His works, often full of black humour (which did not save him from suicide caused by his feeling of a metaphysical hopelessness) are similar to Henri Michaux .

31 Misao Fujimura
Fujimura , Misao

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Misao Fujimura ( , Fujimura Misao , July 1886 – May 22, 1903) was a Japanese philosophy student and poet, largely remembered due to his farewell poem.

32 Katerina Gogou
Gogou , Katerina

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Katerina Gogou (Greek : atea G ; 1 June 1940 – 3 October 1993) was a Greek anarchist poet, author and actress. Before her suicide by pill overdose at the age of 53, Gogou appeared in over thirty Greek films.

33 Ingrid Jonker
Jonker , Ingrid

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Ingrid Jonker (19 September 1933 – 19 July 1965) (OIS ), was a South African poet. Although she wrote in Afrikaans, her poems have been widely translated into other languages. Jonker has reached iconic status in South Africa and is often called the South African Sylvia Plath, owing to the intensity of her work and the tragic course of her turbulent life.

34 Kostas Karyotakis
Karyotakis , Kostas

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Kostas Karyotakis (Greek : sta at, October 30, 1896 – July 20, 1928) is considered one of the most representative Greek poets of the 1920s and one of the first poets to use iconoclastic themes in Greece. His poetry conveys a great deal of nature, imagery and traces of expressionism and surrealism. The majority of Karyotakis' contemporaries viewed him in a dim light throughout his lifetime without a pragmatic accountability for their contemptuous views; for after his suicide, the majority began to revert to the view that he was indeed a great poet. He had a significant, almost disproportionately progressive influence on later Greek poets.

35 Napoleon Lapathiotis
Lapathiotis , Napoleon

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Napoleon Lapathiotis (ap apat; 31 October 1888 – 7 January 1944) was a Greek poet. A native of Athens, he began writing and publishing poetry when he was eleven. In 1907, along with others, he established the Igiso (s, from the Attic Greek name Hegeso ) magazine, in which he published his works. In 1909, he graduated from the law school of the University of Athens. His first book of poems was published in 1939.

36 Jan Lechon
Lechon , Jan

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Jan Lechon (1899–1956), Polish poet, literary and theater critic, diplomat; co-founder of the Skamander literary movement

37 Thomas Lovell Beddoes
Lovell Beddoes , Thomas

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Thomas Lovell Beddoes (June 30, 1803 – January 26, 1849) was an English poet and dramatist.. English poet dramatist and physician

38 Gherasim Luca
Luca , Gherasim

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Gherasim Luca (or Gherashim Luca) (23 July 1913 – 9 February 1994) was a Surrealist theorist and Romanian poet. He is frequently cited in the works of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari.. Surrealist theorist and Romanian poet

39  Lucan
Lucan ,

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Marcus Annaeus Lucanus (November 3, 39 AD – April 30, 65 AD), better known in English as Lucan, was a Roman poet, born in Corduba (modern-day Córdoba ), in the Hispania Baetica. Despite his short life, he is regarded as one of the outstanding figures of the Imperial Latin period. His youth and speed of composition set him apart from other poets.

40 Francisco López Merino
Merino , Francisco López

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Francisco López Merino (June 6, 1904 - May 22, 1928) was an Argentine poet born in La Plata, Buenos Aires, who committed suicide at the age of 23.

41 Charlotte Mew
Mew , Charlotte

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Charlotte Mary Mew (15 November 1869 – 24 March 1928) was an English poet, whose work spans the cusp between Victorian poetry and Modernism.. English poet

42 Veronica Micle
Micle , Veronica

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Veronica Micle (born Ana Câmpeanu; April 22, 1850—August 3, 1889) was an Imperial Austrian-born Romanian poet, whose work was influenced by Romanticism. She is best known for her love affair with the poet Mihai Eminescu, one of the most important Romanian writers.. Imperial Austrian-born Romanian poet

43 Yukio Mishima
Mishima , Yukio

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Yukio Mishima ( , Mishima Yukio ) is the pen name of Kimitake Hiraoka ( , Hiraoka Kimitake , January 14, 1925 – November 25, 1970), a Japanese author, poet, playwright, actor, and film director. Mishima is considered one of the most important Japanese authors of the 20th century; he was nominated three times for the Nobel Prize in Literature and was poised to win the prize in 1968 although lost the award to his fellow countryman Yasunari Kawabata, presumably because of his radical right-wing activities. His avant-garde work displayed a blending of modern and traditional aesthetics that broke cultural boundaries, with a focus on sexuality, death, and political change. He is also remembered for his ritual suicide by seppuku after a failed coup d'état .

44 Henry Neele
Neele , Henry

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Henry Neele (29 January 1798 – 7 February 1828) was an English poet and literary scholar.

45 Torquato Neto
Neto , Torquato

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Torquato Pereira de Araújo Neto (November 9, 1944 – November 10, 1972) was a Brazilian journalist, poet and songwriter. He is perhaps best known as a lyricist for the Tropicália counterculture movement, which later expanded its influence to Música Popular Brasileira. He worked with Gal Costa, Gilberto Gil, Edu Lobo and Waly Salomão. He committed suicide at the age of 28.

46 Cesare Pavese
Pavese , Cesare

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Cesare Pavese (9 September 1908 – 27 August 1950) was an Italian poet, novelist, literary critic and translator; he is widely considered among the major authors of the 20th century in his home country.. Italian poet novelist literary critic and translator

47 Alejandra Pizarnik
Pizarnik , Alejandra

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Alejandra Pizarnik (April 29, 1936 – September 25, 1972) was an Argentine poet.

48 Ole Sarvig
Sarvig , Ole

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Ole Sarvig (Danish pronunciation : ['ol 'svi] ) (1921 Copenhagen - 1981, Copenhagen) was a Danish author and poet, known for his participation in the literary journal heretica. In 1967 he received the grand prize of the Danish Academy. In 2004 his 1943 work Regnmaaleren was included in the Danish Culture Canon. He was a friend and mentor to the poet Michael Strunge, whose poem "December" remembers Sarvig's death by suicide in December 1981. Like Sarvig, Strunge took his life by jumping from a building.

49 Zhu Shuzhen
Shuzhen , Zhu

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Zhu Shuzhen (Chinese : ,) (c. 1135 – 1180) was a Chinese poet who lived during the Song dynasty. She married an official with whom she had a bad marriage. She either had an affair or committed suicide and her parents burned poetry by her hand.

50 Eli Siegel
Siegel , Eli

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Eli Siegel (August 16, 1902–November 8, 1978) was the poet and critic who founded the philosophy Aesthetic Realism in 1941. He wrote the award-winning poem, "Hot Afternoons Have Been in Montana", two highly acclaimed volumes of poetry, a critical consideration of Henry James's The Turn of the Screw titled James and the Children, and Self and World: An Explanation of Aesthetic Realism.. Latvian-American poet and critic; founded the philosophy Aesthetic Realism

51 José Asunción Silva
Silva , José Asunción

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José Asunción Silva (27 November 1865 in Bogotá – 23 May 1896 in Bogotá ) was a Colombian poet. He is considered one of the founders of Spanish–American Modernism .

52 Edward Stachura
Stachura , Edward

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Edward Stachura ['dvard sta'xura]  (listen ) (18 August 1937—24 July 1979) was a Polish poet and writer. He rose to prominence in the 1960s, receiving prizes for both poetry and prose. His literary output includes four volumes of poetry, three collections of short stories, two novels, a book of essays, and the final work, Fabula rasa, which is difficult to classify. In addition to writing, Stachura translated literature from Spanish and French, most notably works of Jorge Luis Borges, Gaston Miron and Michel Deguy. He also wrote songs, and occasionally performed them. He committed suicide at the age of forty-one.

53 Kitamura Tokoku
Tokoku , Kitamura

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Kitamura Tokoku ( , 29 December 1868 – 16 May 1894) was the pen name of Kitamura Montaro, a Japanese poet, essayist, and one of the founders of the modern Japanese romantic literary movement in the late Meiji period of Japan .

54 Allen Upward
Upward , Allen

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Allen Upward (1863–1926) was a poet, lawyer, politician and teacher. His work was included in the first anthology of Imagist poetry, Des Imagistes, which was edited by Ezra Pound and published in 1914.. Irish-English poet lawyer politician and teacher; Imagist poet

55 Johannes Vares
Vares , Johannes

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Johannes Vares (12 January 1890 [ O.S. 31 December 1889] – 29 November 1946), commonly known as Johannes Vares Barbarus, was an Estonian poet, doctor, and politician.

56 Reetika Vazirani
Vazirani , Reetika

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Reetika Vazirani (1962-2003) was an American poet and educator. On July 16, 2003, Vazirani was housesitting in the Chevy Chase, Maryland home of novelist Howard Norman and his wife, the poet, Jane Shore. There, Vazirani took the life of her two-year-old son, Jehan, and then her own.. American poet and educator

57 Juhan Viiding
Viiding , Juhan

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Juhan Viiding (1 June 1948 – 21 February 1995), also known under the pseudonym of Jüri Üdi was an Estonian poet and actor .

58 Ilarie Voronca
Voronca , Ilarie

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Ilarie Voronca (pen name of Eduard Marcus ; December 31, 1903, Braila —April 8, 1946, Paris ) was a Romanian - French avant-garde poet and essayist.

59 Rafal Wojaczek
Wojaczek , Rafal

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Rafal Wojaczek (1945–1971), Polish poet

60 Peyo Yavorov
Yavorov , Peyo

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Peyo Yavorov (Bulgarian: (.) ; born Peyo Totev Kracholov, ; January 1, 1878–October 17, 1914) was a Bulgarian Symbolist poet. He was considered to be one of the finest poetic talents in the fin de siècle Kingdom of Bulgaria. Yavorov was a prominent member of the Misal group. His life and work are closely connected with the liberation movement Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization in Macedonia. He was also a supporter of the Armenian Independence Movement, and wrote a number of poems about Armenians.. Bulgarian Symbolist poet

61 Sergei Yesenin
Yesenin , Sergei

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Sergei Alexandrovich Yesenin (sometimes spelled as Esenin; Russian: ´ ´ ´; 3 October 1895 – 27 December 1925) was a Russian lyrical poet. He was one of the most popular and well-known Russian poets of the 20th century.. Russian lyrical poet

62 Qu Yuan
Yuan , Qu

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Qu Yuan (343–278 BC ) was a Chinese poet and minister who lived during the Warring States period of ancient China. He is principally remembered as the supposed origin of the Dragon Boat Festival. He is also known for his contributions to classical poetry and verses, especially through the poems of the Chu Ci anthology (also known as The Songs of the South or Songs of Chu ): a volume of poems attributed to or considered to be inspired by his verse writing. Together with the Shi Jing, the Chu Ci is one of the two great collections of ancient Chinese verse .

63 Hai Zi
Zi , Hai

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Hai Zi (Chinese:, March 1964 - 26 March 1989) is the pen name of the Chinese poet Zha Haisheng (Chinese:). He was one of the most famous poets in Mainland China after the Cultural Revolution. He committed suicide by lying on the path of a train in Shanhaiguan at the age of 25.. Chinese poet