Poets
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The Best Female Poets of All Time

Updated April 28, 2021 4.4k votes 841 voters 31.3k views78 items

List RulesVote 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.
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  • 1
    165
    71

    Sylvia Plath

    The Bell Jar, Ariel
  • 2
    120
    50

    Sappho

    Sappho, the poems and fragments
  • 3
    70
    27

    Marianne Moore

    The Selected Letters of Marianne Moore, Homage to Henry James
  • 4
    81
    59

    Elizabeth Bishop

    Elizabeth Bishop: Poems, Prose
  • 5
    64
    41

    Edna St. Vincent Millay

    Fatal interview, The murder of Lidice
  • 6
    242
    96

    Emily Dickinson

    The complete poems, The letters
  • 7
    50
    20

    Anne Brontë

    The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Agnes Grey
  • 8
    59
    22

    Anna Akhmatova

    Anna Akhmatova, Selected Poems
  • 9
    57
    45

    Christina Rossetti

    What Is Pink?, The Skylark
  • 10
    61
    44
    شاعرة-يتبعها-الغاوون added

    Anne Sexton

    Verwandlungen / Transformations, All My Pretty Ones
  • 11
    65
    55

    Elizabeth Barrett Browning

    Sonnets from the Portuguese, Poems and Letters
  • 12
    46
    25
    stubb added

    Audre Lorde

    The Cancer Journals, The Marvelous Arithmetic of Distance: Poems 1987-1992
  • 13
    45
    25
    stubb added

    Thylias Moss

    Slave moth, Tale of a sky-blue dress
  • 14
    200
    91

    Maya Angelou

    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Sister
  • 15
    46
    30
    stubb added

    Mary Oliver

    Long Life: Essays And Other Writings, Why I Wake Early: New Poems
  • 16
    25
    16

    Marina Tsvetaeva

    Izbrannai͡a︡ proza v dvukh tomakh, Za vsekh-protivu vsekh!
  • 17
    32
    22
    stubb added

    Adrienne Rich

    Diving into the Wreck: Poems 1971-1972, An Atlas of the Difficult World
  • 18
    36
    26
    stubb added

    Margaret Atwood

    The Handmaid's Tale, The Blind Assassin
    She's written a very significant body of excellent poetry.
  • 19
    41
    39

    Gwendolyn Brooks

    In the Mecca; Poems, Annie Allen
  • 20
    23
    12
    stubb added

    Gabriela Mistral

    Lagar II, Selected prose and prose-poems
  • 21
    33
    26

    Louise Bogan

    Dark summer, Collected Poems
  • 22
    30
    29

    H.D.

    Asphodel, Her
  • 23
    26
    14
    stubb added

    Sor Juana

    Poesía, teatro y prosa
  • 24
    43
    30
    stubb added

    Emily Brontë

    Wuthering Heights, Gondal poems
    Her poetry is better than her sisters'.
  • 25
    21
    13

    Katherine Mansfield

    The Garden Party, Something Childish But Very Natural
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List Rules: Vote up the all time greatest female poets