Most Famous Poets of All Time

By Matt Baker email   Updated 8 Jan 2013

This chart contains a list of 25 of the most famous poets of all time along with their most well-known poems.

 

Famous Poet

Famous Poem

Sir Walter Raleigh Sir Walter Raleigh
English
(1552-1618)
The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd

If all the world and love were young,
And truth in every shepherd's tongue,
These pretty pleasures might me move
To live with thee and be thy love ...

The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd (full poem)
William Shakespeare William Shakespeare
English
(1564-1616)
Sonnet No. 18

Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And Summer's lease hath all too short a date:

Sonnet No. 18 (full poem)
Christopher Marlowe Christopher Marlowe
English
(1564-1593)
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love (full poem)
Robert Burns Robert Burns
Scottish
(1759-1796)
A Red, Red Rose

O my love's like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June;
O my love's like the melody
That's sweetly played in tune ...

A Red, Red Rose (full poem)
William Blake William Blake
English
(1757-1827)
The Tyger

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry? ...

The Tyger (full poem)
William Wordsworth William Wordsworth
English
(1770-1850)
Daffodils

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils ...

Daffodils (full poem)
Percy Bysshe Shelley Percy Bysshe Shelley
English
(1792-1822)
Ozymandias

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown ...

Ozymandias (full poem)
Elizabeth Barrett Browning Elizabeth Barrett Browning
English
(1806-1861)
Sonnet No. 43

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace ...

Sonnet No. 43 (full poem)
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
American
(1807-1882)
Paul Revere's Ride

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year ...

Paul Revere's Ride (full poem)
Edgar Allan Poe Edgar Allan Poe
American
(1809-1849)
The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
''Tis some visitor,' I muttered, 'tapping at my chamber door --
Only this, and nothing more.' ...

The Raven (full poem)
Robert Browning Robert Browning
English
(1812-1889)

husband of Elizabeth Barrett
Browning (above)
You'll love me yet and I can tarry

You'll love me yet and I can tarry
Your love's protracted growing:
June reared that bunch of flowers you carry
From seeds of April's sowing ...

You'll love me yet and I can tarry (full poem)
Walt Whitman Walt Whitman
American
(1819-1892)
O Captain! My Captain!

O Captain my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring ...

O Captain! My Captain! (full poem)
Lewis Carroll Lewis Carroll
(Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)
English
(1832-1898)
Jabberwocky

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
   Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
   And the mome raths outgrabe ...

Jabberwocky (full poem)

Emily Dickinson Emily Dickinson
American
(1830-1886)
A word is dead

A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.
I say it just
Begins to live
That day.
Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Louis Stevenson
Scottish
(1850-1994)
My Shadow

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed ...

My Shadow (full poem)
A. E. Housman A. E. Housman
(Alfred Edward Housman)
English
(1859-1936)
When I was one-and-twenty

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
'Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away ...

When I was one-and-twenty (full poem)
E. A. Robinson Edwin Arlington Robinson
American
(1869-1935)
Richard Cory

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim ...

Richard Cory (full poem)
John McCrae John McCrae
Canadian
(1872-1918)
In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below ...

In Flanders Fields (full poem)
Robert Frost Robert Frost
American
(1874-1963)
The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth ...

The Road Not Taken (full poem)
Carl Sandburg Carl Sandburg
American
(1878-1967)
The Fog

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
Joyce Kilmer Joyce Kilmer
American
(1886-1918)
Trees

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

...

Trees (full poem)
T. S. Eliot T. S. Eliot
(Thomas Stearns Eliot)
English
(1888-1965)
The Hollow Men

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas! ...

The Hollow Men (full poem)
e. e. cummings e. e. cummings
(Edward Estlin Cummings)
American
(1894-1962)
anyone lived in a pretty how town

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did ...

anyone lived in a pretty how town (full poem)
Langston Hughes Langston Hughes
American
(1902-1967)
A Dream Deferred

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore ...

A dream deferred? (full poem)
Ogden Nash Ogden Nash
American
(1902-1971)
The Germ

A mighty creature is the germ,
Though smaller than the pachyderm.
His customary dwelling place
Is deep within the human race ...

The Germ (full poem)
Sylvia Plath Sylvia Plath
American
(1932-1963)
Daddy

You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.

Daddy (full poem)

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