The Best English Poets of All Time

Voting Rules
Vote up the greatest poets from England of all time.

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.


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  • William Shakespeare
    Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?, My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun, All the World's a Stage
    3,536 votes
    • Age: Dec. at 52 (1564-1616)
    • Birthplace: Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom
  • John Keats
    Bright Star, Ode on a Grecian Urn, A Thing of Beauty (Endymion)
    1,700 votes
    • Age: Dec. at 25 (1795-1821)
    • Birthplace: Moorgate, London, England
  • John Milton
    Paradise Lost, On His Blindness, How Soon Hath Time
    1,350 votes
    • Age: Dec. at 65 (1608-1674)
    • Birthplace: Cheapside, United Kingdom
  • William Wordsworth
    I wandered lonely as a cloud, The world is too much with us, Daffodils
    1,396 votes
    • Age: Dec. at 80 (1770-1850)
    • Birthplace: Wordsworth House, United Kingdom
  • William Blake
    The Tiger, A Poison Tree, Auguries of Innocence
    804 votes
    • Age: Dec. at 69 (1757-1827)
    • Birthplace: Soho, London, United Kingdom
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley

    Percy Bysshe Shelley

    Ozymandias, Ode to the West Wind, To a Skylark
    725 votes
    • Age: Dec. at 29 (1792-1822)
    • Birthplace: Horsham, United Kingdom