Poets

The Best English Poets of All Time  

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Who is the best English poet? From the Renaissance, to the Jacobean era, to the Restoration, to the modern day, great English poets have been making readers think across the ages. If you love to debate, "Who is the best poet in English literature?" then this is the list for you. 

Written works have the ability to make us feel. They make us want to believe, be inspired, and live vicariously through the stories we read on the page. This list of English poets and their works demonstrate this particular skill. It all begins with the words written 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 and make poetry so engaging and moving.

The best of poems and poets are read throughout the ages. They are read from generation to generation and taught throughout school to young students. Poets and their poetry have the ability to take us places and into the lives of those we’ve never imagined. Poets are often tortured souls or great thinkers who show readers a new view of the world they never would have imagined. This list includes the great English poets, such as Rudyard Kipling, John Keats, Geoffrey Chaucer, and William Shakespeare. 

These greatest English poets provide the kind of emotional connection to the written word that few can. So, who are the best of the famous English poets? Vote up the absolute best English poets on the list below, or add a famous poet from England who is truly great, but isn't already on the list.

 

list ordered by
1
William Shakespeare is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best English Poets of All Time
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?, My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun, All the World's a Stage

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#1 of 1,183 The Best Writers of All Timefeaturing The Best William Shakespeare Quoteslisted on The Best Selling Fiction Authors of all Time

2
William Wordsworth is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best English Poets of All Time
looksharp added I wandered lonely as a cloud, The world is too much with us, Daffodils

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#93 of 1,183 The Best Writers of All Time #767 of 2,831 The Most Influential People of All Time #461 of 1,472 The Greatest Minds of All Time

3
John Keats is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best English Poets of All Time
Bright Star, Ode on a Grecian Urn, A Thing of Beauty (Endymion)

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#71 of 1,183 The Best Writers of All Timefeaturing The Best John Keats Quoteslisted on Famous Poets And Writers Who Died Of Tuberculosis

4
John Milton is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best English Poets of All Time
Paradise Lost, On His Blindness, How Soon Hath Time

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#54 of 1,183 The Best Writers of All Time #154 of 294 The Best Novelists of All Timefeaturing The Best John Milton Quotes

5
William Blake is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best English Poets of All Time
The Tiger, A Poison Tree, Auguries of Innocence

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#165 of 1,183 The Best Writers of All Time #210 of 1,472 The Greatest Minds of All Time #9 of 381 The Greatest Poets of All Time

6
Percy Bysshe Shelley is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best English Poets of All Time
Percy Bysshe Shelley Ozymandias, Ode to the West Wind, To a Skylark

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#148 of 1,183 The Best Writers of All Time #1,309 of 1,472 The Greatest Minds of All Timefeaturing The Best Percy Bysshe Shelley Quotes

7
John Donne is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best English Poets of All Time
looksharp added Dead Be Not Proud, For whom the Bell Tolls, No Man Is an Island

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#123 of 1,183 The Best Writers of All Time #59 of 381 The Greatest Poets of All Time #68 of 259 The Best Gay Authors

8
T. S. Eliot is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best English Poets of All Time
looksharp added The Waste Land, The Hollow Men, The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock

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#48 of 1,183 The Best Writers of All Time #664 of 2,831 The Most Influential People of All Timefeaturing The Best T. S. Eliot Quotes

9
Geoffrey Chaucer is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best English Poets of All Time
10
Alexander Pope is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best English Poets of All Time
looksharp added Ode to Solitude, Eloisa to Abelard, A Dying Christian to His Soul

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#217 of 1,183 The Best Writers of All Timefeaturing The Best Alexander Pope Quoteslisted on Famous Poets And Writers Who Died Of Tuberculosis

11
George Gordon Byron is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best English Poets of All Time
She Walks In Beauty, There Is Pleasure In The Pathless Woods, When We Two

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#109 of 1,183 The Best Writers of All Time #106 of 294 The Best Novelists of All Time #369 of 1,472 The Greatest Minds of All Time

12
Rudyard Kipling is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best English Poets of All Time
13
Samuel Taylor Coleridge ... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best English Poets of All Time
looksharp added The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan, The Suicide's Argument

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#232 of 1,183 The Best Writers of All Time #514 of 1,472 The Greatest Minds of All Time #46 of 381 The Greatest Poets of All Time

14
Alfred Tennyson, 1st Bar... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best English Poets of All Time
The Charge of the Light Brigade, Idylls of the King, The Lady of Shalott

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#94 of 1,183 The Best Writers of All Time #76 of 184 The Best Fantasy Authors #733 of 2,831 The Most Influential People of All Time

15
Dylan Thomas is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best English Poets of All Time
A prospect of the sea, Under Milk Wood, Under Milk Wood

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#608 of 1,472 The Greatest Minds of All Time #29 of 381 The Greatest Poets of All Timelisted on Famous Poets And Writers Who Died Of Tuberculosis

16
Oscar Wilde is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best English Poets of All Time
17
W. H. Auden is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best English Poets of All Time
Funeral Blues, If I Could Tell You, Cocaine Lil and Morphine Sue

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#163 of 1,183 The Best Writers of All Time #914 of 2,831 The Most Influential People of All Timefeaturing The Best W. H. Auden Quotes

18
Gerard Manley Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best English Poets of All Time
The Alchemist in the City, God's Grandeur, The Windhover

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#957 of 1,183 The Best Writers of All Time #19 of 109 The Best Catholic Authors #86 of 381 The Greatest Poets of All Time

19
Robert Browning is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best English Poets of All Time
My Last Duchess, A Woman's Last Word, Life in a Love

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#450 of 1,183 The Best Writers of All Time #126 of 381 The Greatest Poets of All Time

20
Andrew Marvell is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best English Poets of All Time
looksharp added To His Coy Mistress, A Dialogue Between the Soul and Body, Eyes and Tears ...
21
Edmund Spenser is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best English Poets of All Time
The Faerie Queene, My Love Is Like to Ice, Epithalamion

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#250 of 1,183 The Best Writers of All Time #84 of 381 The Greatest Poets of All Time

22
Christina Rossetti is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best English Poets of All Time
looksharp added What Is Pink?, The Skylark, From Queens' Gardens
23
Emily Brontë is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best English Poets of All Time
24
Elizabeth Barrett Browni... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best English Poets of All Time
25
Robert Burns is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best English Poets of All Time
Auld Lang Syne, A Red Red Rose, My Heart's In the Highlands

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#808 of 931 People We Wish Were Still Alive #463 of 1,472 The Greatest Minds of All Timelisted on Famous Poets And Writers Who Died Of Tuberculosis