Poets The Best Female Poets of All Time  

Ranker Books
Originally by
1.9k votes 459 voters 17k views 79 items

List Rules Vote up the all time greatest female poets

Who are the best female poets? This list includes great female poets such as Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sylvia Plath, and Emily Dickinson. The women on this list have all changed poetry in their own way and left their mark on the genre. Women have been writing poetry through many eras and generations, but the poets on this list are the best.

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 schools to young students.

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

Vote up the best woman poets on the list below, or add the women poets you think are the top if they aren't already on the list.
list ordered by

1
126 48
Emily Dickinson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
The complete poems, The letters, Acts of Light: The World of Emily Dickinson

2
67 22
Sappho is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Sappho, the poems and fragments, Woman from child (Sappho)

3
114 51
Maya Angelou is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Sister, Sister

4
80 31
Sylvia Plath is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
The Bell Jar, Ariel, The Collected Poems

5
39 16
Elizabeth Bishop is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Elizabeth Bishop: Poems, Prose, and Letters

6
28 10
Emily Brontë is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
stubb added Wuthering Heights, Gondal poems, Poems by Currer - Her poetry is better than her sisters'.

7
32 15
Anne Sexton is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
شاعرة-يتبعها-الغاوون added Verwandlungen / Transformations, All My Pretty Ones, Live or Die

8
29 15
Gwendolyn Brooks is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
In the Mecca; Poems, Annie Allen

9
34 20
Edna St. Vincent Millay is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Fatal interview, The murder of Lidice, The harp-weaver and other poems

10
28 18
Christina Rossetti is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
What Is Pink?, The Skylark, From Queens' Gardens

11
26 14
Anna Akhmatova is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Anna Akhmatova, Selected Poems, Chetki

12
21 10
Mary Oliver is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
stubb added Long Life: Essays And Other Writings, Why I Wake Early: New Poems, White Pine: Poems and Prose Poems

13
30 18
Dorothy Parker is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Saboteur, A Star Is Born, A Star Is Born

14
44 28
Elizabeth Barrett Browning is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Sonnets from the Portuguese, Poems and Letters, New Poems by Robert Browning and elizabeth Barrett Browning

15
27 16
Nikki Giovanni is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Rosa, The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni, Cotton candy on a rainy day

16
28 21
Charlotte Brontë is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre

17
18 9
Audre Lorde is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
stubb added The Cancer Journals, The Marvelous Arithmetic of Distance: Poems 1987-1992, Undersong: Chosen Poems Old and New

18
18 10
Marianne Moore is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
The Selected Letters of Marianne Moore, Homage to Henry James, Tell me

19
15 10
Phillis Wheatley is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Poems of Phillis Wheatley, The collected works of Phillis Wheatley, Poems on Various Subjects

20
19 10
Lucille Clifton is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Good news about the earth, Good Woman: Poems and A Memoir, 1969-1980

21
17 11
Sara Teasdale is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Helen of Troy and Other Poems, Love Songs, Flame and Shadow

22
17 11
Margaret Atwood is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
stubb added The Handmaid's Tale, The Blind Assassin, Alias Grace - She's written a very significant body of excellent poetry.

23
16 14
H.D. is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Asphodel, Her, Red Roses for Bronze

24
14 9
Adrienne Rich is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
stubb added Diving into the Wreck: Poems 1971-1972, An Atlas of the Difficult World, Midnight Salvage: Poems 1995-1998

25
13 8
Katherine Mansfield is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
The Garden Party, Something Childish But Very Natural, Prelude

26
13 9
Louise Bogan is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Dark summer, Collected Poems, 1923-1953

27
11 7
Louise Glück is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
stubb added Averno, The Wild Iris, The Seven Ages

28
13 9
Denise Levertov is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Collection of serials with contributions by or articles about Denise Levertov, Seth Thomas, Breathing the Water

29
18 15
Anne Brontë is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Agnes Grey, Best Poems of the Brontë Sisters

30
11 8
Thylias Moss is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
stubb added Slave moth, Tale of a sky-blue dress, Last Chance for the Tarzan Holler

31
6 3
Sor Juana is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
stubb added Poesía, teatro y prosa, Los empeños de una casa =

32
8 7
Anaïs Nin is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
شاعرة-يتبعها-الغاوون added Delta of Venus, Incest: From a Journal of Love, Henry and June

33
4 3
Gabriela Mistral is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
stubb added Lagar II, Selected prose and prose-poems, Producción de Gabriela Mistral de 1912 a 1918

34
17 14
Alice Walker is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
The Color Purple, Possessing the Secret of Joy, The Temple of My Familiar

35
9 9
Amy Lowell is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
looksharp added Six French poets, Ballads for sale, A critical fable

36
7 7
Hedwig Gorski is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time

37
5 5
Rosanna Warren is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
looksharp added Stained Glass: Poems, Fables of the self, Each leaf shines separate

38
9 10
Alice Fulton is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
stubb added Felt, Palladium, Sensual Math

39
9 8
Marina Tsvetaeva is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Izbrannai͡a︡ proza v dvukh tomakh, Za vsekh-protivu vsekh!, The Poem of the End

40
4 5
Marge Piercy is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
stubb added City of Darkness, City of Light, Woman on the Edge of Time

41
2 3
Nawal El Saadawi is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
شاعرة-يتبعها-الغاوون added Memoirs from the women's prison, Death of an ex-minister, Memoirs of a woman doctor

42
9 8
Elinor Wylie is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
The novels of Elinor Wylie, The Venetian Glass Nephew, The orphan angel

43
8 7
Ingeborg Bachmann is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Die Hörspiele, Das Buch Franza, Three paths to the lake

44
7 9
Anne Bradstreet is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, Early New England Meditative Poetry, works of Anne Bradstreet in prose and verse

45
3 3
Petya Dubarova is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
Antikythera added Lyastovitsa. Stihove i Razkazi, Az i Moreto

46
1 3
Nazik Al-Malaika is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
شاعرة-يتبعها-الغاوون added

47
1 3
Ghada al-Samman is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
شاعرة-يتبعها-الغاوون added Beirut '75, Zamn AL Hob Al Akhr, Sofart Inzar Dakhel Raasy

48
1 3
Elif Şafak is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
شاعرة-يتبعها-الغاوون added The Gaze, The Flea Palace, The Happiness of Blond People

49
4 7
Julia Ward Howe is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
From the oak to the olive, The Hermaphrodite, Margaret Fuller (Marchesa Ossoli)

50
3 6
is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Female Poets of All Time
شاعرة-يتبعها-الغاوون added Asia JAssia Djebar (Arabic: آسيا جبار‎) was the pen name of Fatima-Zohra Imalayen (30 June 1936 – 6 February 2015), an Algerian novelist, translator and filmmaker. Most of her works deal with obstacles faced by women, and she is ...