poetry The Greatest Poets of All Time  

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List Rules Vote up the all time best poets

Who are the best poets of all time? It includes poets such as Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, William Shakespeare, and Sylvia Plath. Poetry has captivated readers for thousands of years. Regardless of the time period during which they wrote, the great poets on this list have used their talents and ways with language to connect with readers of all ages.

Written works have the ability to make us feel. They make us want to believe, be inspired, and live vicariously through the stories on the page. Whether short or long form, poetry is often illusory, and full of rich imagery or hidden meaning. It is these elements which provoke readers to dig deeper. The best poems and poets are read throughout the ages. They are passed from generation to generation and taught throughout school to young students.

Poets and their poetry have the ability to take readers places and into worlds they've never imagined. Poets can often be tortured souls or great thinkers who allow readers a new view on the world which they never would have imagined. These greatest poets provide the kind of emotional connection to the written word that few can.

Vote up the all time best poets on the list below or add the poets you think are the greatest if they aren't already on the list.

list ordered by

1
+ - 330 160
William Shakespeare is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
William Shakespeare Died at 52 (1564-1616)

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2
+ - 226 94
Dante Alighieri is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Dante Alighieri Died at 56 (1265-1321)

3
+ - 245 111
Homer is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time

4
+ - 185 100
William Butler Yeats is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
William Butler Yeats Died at 74 (1865-1939)

5
+ - 234 106
Edgar Allan Poe is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Edgar Allan Poe Died at 40 (1809-1849)

6
+ - 211 108
Walt Whitman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Walt Whitman Died at 73 (1819-1892)

7
+ - 195 88
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Died at 83 (1749-1832)

8
+ - 152 84
William Blake is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
William Blake Died at 70 (1757-1827)

9
+ - 194 75
T. S. Eliot is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
T. S. Eliot Died at 77 (1888-1965)

10
+ - 171 67
John Keats is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
John Keats Died at 26 (1795-1821)

11
+ - 175 73
Pablo Neruda is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Pablo Neruda Died at 69 (1904-1973)

12
+ - 118 33
Charles Baudelaire is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Charles Baudelaire Died at 46 (1821-1867)

13
+ - 178 80
Emily Dickinson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Emily Dickinson Died at 56 (1830-1886)

14
+ - 116 65
Rainer Maria Rilke is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Rainer Maria Rilke Died at 51 (1875-1926)

15
+ - 114 54
Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Ten... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time

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16
+ - 126 55
William Wordsworth is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
William Wordsworth Died at 80 (1770-1850)

17
+ - 149 73
Robert Frost is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Robert Frost Died at 89 (1874-1963)

18
+ - 106 44
Percy Bysshe Shelley is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Percy Bysshe Shelley Died at 30 (1792-1822)

19
+ - 122 48
John Milton is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
John Milton Died at 66 (1608-1674)

20
+ - 126 52
Virgil is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Virgil Died at 51 (69 BC-18 BC)

21
+ - 98 58
Geoffrey Chaucer is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Geoffrey Chaucer Died at 57 (1343-1400)

22
+ - 92 49
Rabindranath Tagore is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Rabindranath Tagore Died at 80 (1861-1941)

23
+ - 82 26
Aleksandr Pushkin is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Aleksandr Pushkin Died at 38 (1799-1837)

24
+ - 108 53
George Gordon Byron is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
George Gordon Byron Died at 36 (1788-1824)

25
+ - 101 50
Friedrich Schiller is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Friedrich Schiller Died at 46 (1759-1805)

26
+ - 99 48
Dylan Thomas is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Dylan Thomas Died at 39 (1914-1953)

27
+ - 99 48
Samuel Taylor Coleridge is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Samuel Taylor Coleridge Died at 62 (1772-1834)

28
+ - 92 45
Friedrich Hölderlin is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Friedrich Hölderlin Died at 73 (1770-1843)

29
+ - 109 57
Rudyard Kipling is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Rudyard Kipling Died at 71 (1865-1936)

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30
+ - 94 46
Petrarch is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Petrarch Died at 70 (1304-1374)

31
+ - 75 33
Horace is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Horace Died at 57 (64 BC-7 BC)

32
+ - 83 40
Luís de Camões is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Luís de Camões Died at 56 (1524-1580)

33
+ - 126 63
Oscar Wilde is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Oscar Wilde Died at 46 (1854-1900)

34
+ - 83 35
John Donne is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
John Donne Died at 59 (1572-1631)

35
+ - 84 46
Giovanni Boccaccio is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Giovanni Boccaccio Died at 62 (1313-1375)

36
+ - 72 59
Henrik Ibsen is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Henrik Ibsen Died at 78 (1828-1906)

37
+ - 86 54
E. E. Cummings is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
e e cummings Died at 68 (1894-1962)

38
+ - 72 45
Novalis is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Novalis Died at 29 (1772-1801)

39
+ - 73 44
Robert Burns is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Robert Burns Died at 37 (1759-1796)

40
+ - 86 30
Ovid is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time

41
+ - 58 35
Pindar is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Pindar Died at 79 (521 BC-442 BC)

42
+ - 77 63
W. H. Auden is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
W. H. Auden Died at 66 (1907-1973)

43
+ - 63 40
Ralph Waldo Emerson is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Ralph Waldo Emerson Died at 79 (1803-1882)

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44
+ - 83 60
Charles Bukowski is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Charles Bukowski Died at 74 (1920-1994)

45
+ - 87 44
Ezra Pound is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Ezra Pound Died at 87 (1885-1972)

46
+ - 52 29
Catullus is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time

47
+ - 63 31
Omar Khayyám is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Omar Khayyám Died at 83 (1048-1131)

48
+ - 66 24
Federico García Lorca is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Federico García Lorca Died at 38 (1898-1936)

49
+ - 61 42
Wallace Stevens is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Wallace Stevens Died at 76 (1879-1955)

50
+ - 74 27
Arthur Rimbaud is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Arthur Rimbaud Died at 37 (1854-1891)