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
431 230
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
301 142
Dante Alighieri is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Dante Alighieri Died at 56 (1265-1321)

3
306 155
Homer is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
housecat added Homer

4
296 152
Edgar Allan Poe is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Edgar Allan Poe Died at 40 (1809-1849)

5
246 144
Walt Whitman is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Walt Whitman Died at 73 (1819-1892)

6
227 135
William Butler Yeats is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
William Butler Yeats Died at 74 (1865-1939)

7
240 121
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
schuechen added Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Died at 83 (1749-1832)

8
189 114
William Blake is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
William Blake Died at 70 (1757-1827)

9
214 105
Emily Dickinson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Emily Dickinson Died at 56 (1830-1886)

10
214 106
Pablo Neruda is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Pablo Neruda Died at 69 (1904-1973)

11
190 93
Robert Frost is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Robert Frost Died at 89 (1874-1963)

12
230 105
T. S. Eliot is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
chrisstbax added T. S. Eliot Died at 77 (1888-1965)

13
202 89
John Keats is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
John Keats Died at 26 (1795-1821)

14
152 53
Charles Baudelaire is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Charles Baudelaire Died at 46 (1821-1867)

15
154 68
William Wordsworth is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
William Wordsworth Died at 80 (1770-1850)

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16
139 86
Rainer Maria Rilke is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
chrisstbax added Rainer Maria Rilke Died at 51 (1875-1926)

17
129 72
Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Ten... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time

18
128 59
Percy Bysshe Shelley is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
softserve added Percy Bysshe Shelley Died at 30 (1792-1822)

19
156 69
Virgil is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
chrisstbax added Virgil Died at 51 (69 BC-18 BC)

20
123 59
Rabindranath Tagore is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Rabindranath Tagore Died at 80 (1861-1941)

21
145 65
John Milton is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
softserve added John Milton Died at 66 (1608-1674)

22
114 71
Geoffrey Chaucer is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
chrisstbax added Geoffrey Chaucer Died at 57 (1343-1400)

23
111 41
Aleksandr Pushkin is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Aleksandr Pushkin Died at 38 (1799-1837)

24
121 75
Rudyard Kipling is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Rudyard Kipling Died at 71 (1865-1936)

25
107 54
Friedrich Hölderlin is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Polar Bear added Friedrich Hölderlin Died at 73 (1770-1843)

26
119 62
Dylan Thomas is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
bonifaceVIII added Dylan Thomas Died at 39 (1914-1953)

27
125 66
George Gordon Byron is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
George Gordon Byron Died at 36 (1788-1824)

28
110 55
Petrarch is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
chrisstbax added Petrarch Died at 70 (1304-1374)

29
111 60
Friedrich Schiller is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Polar Bear added Friedrich Schiller Died at 46 (1759-1805)

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30
97 50
Luís de Camões is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Polar Bear added Luís de Camões Died at 56 (1524-1580)

31
85 42
Horace is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
softserve added Horace Died at 57 (64 BC-7 BC)

32
109 61
Samuel Taylor Coleridge is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
looksharp added Samuel Taylor Coleridge Died at 62 (1772-1834)

33
147 78
Oscar Wilde is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Oscar Wilde Died at 46 (1854-1900)

34
97 45
John Donne is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
John Donne Died at 59 (1572-1631)

35
98 59
Giovanni Boccaccio is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Polar Bear added Giovanni Boccaccio Died at 62 (1313-1375)

36
91 34
Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
housecat added Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi Died at 66 (1207-1273)

37
102 38
Ovid is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
chrisstbax added Ovid

38
79 72
Henrik Ibsen is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
schuechen added Henrik Ibsen Died at 78 (1828-1906)

39
87 37
Omar Khayyám is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
softserve added Omar Khayyám Died at 83 (1048-1131)

40
84 59
Robert Burns is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Robert Burns Died at 37 (1759-1796)

41
93 69
E. E. Cummings is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
e e cummings Died at 68 (1894-1962)

42
65 43
Pindar is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
bonifaceVIII added Pindar Died at 79 (521 BC-442 BC)

43
76 56
Novalis is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Polar Bear added Novalis Died at 29 (1772-1801)

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44
97 75
Charles Bukowski is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
clash1977 added Charles Bukowski Died at 74 (1920-1994)

45
81 73
W. H. Auden is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
W. H. Auden Died at 66 (1907-1973)

46
70 51
Ralph Waldo Emerson is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
Ralph Waldo Emerson Died at 79 (1803-1882)

47
94 55
Ezra Pound is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
looksharp added Ezra Pound Died at 87 (1885-1972)

48
87 38
Fernando Pessoa is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
chrisstbax added Fernando Pessoa Died at 47 (1888-1935)

49
94 36
Arthur Rimbaud is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
chrisstbax added Arthur Rimbaud Died at 37 (1854-1891)

50
60 36
Catullus is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Poets of All Time
softserve added Catullus