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100 Great Poets of All Time

Kumar Paral is a writer, a culture enthusiast, and a bibliophile.



Top 100 Great Poets of the World

Poetry is one of the earliest form of literature in the world. It originated in the form of folk songs – lullabies, work songs, war songs, spiritual songs, songs for children, songs of celebration, songs of dance, and songs of enjoyment- which were transmitted orally. It is believed that the first systematized and organized work of verse is “Rik Veda” in Sanskrit, one of the earliest Indo European languages, which was written around 1st century BC . It was composed much earlier. The earliest works of literature were collective communal creations and of communal ownership. The authorship was not mentioned in such works. The subsequent generation made changes in them and handed over to the next generation.


The custom of identifying the author with a literary work was begun only after the printing of books had been started and it was transformed into a means of earning income by selling them. Though many of the greatest poets of the pre - printing era had not won the fame and money in their lifetime, but they wrote for the sake expressing their untamed creative energy and talents.

Great works of literature, though they are written in different languages, they share many common elements which make them classics. The sad fact is that only a few of them have been translated and available in other languages.So they cannot be enjoyed by all. The translation of great literary works including poetry in the international link languages is very much necessary for sharing the gems of world literature. That has to be done by international cultural organizations and universities of the world. Poetry has the power to unite the people of all the nations as ancestors and share holders of a common culture and civilization.

The Top 100 Poets of the World is my favorite list of poets. It was prepared based on many of similar studies and my personal research. This is not a ranked list. Critical opinions and comments are welcome.

Top 100 Great Poets of the World

  1. Homer
  2. Kalidasa
  3. Virgil
  4. Dante
  5. Du Fu
  6. T. S. Eliot
  7. Alexander Pushkin
  8. Pablo Neruda
  9. Milton
  10. William Shakespeare
  11. Johann Von Goethe
  12. William Wordsworth
  13. Alexander Pope
  14. Kimiko Hahn
  15. Matsuo Basho
  16. Alfred Lord Tennyson
  17. Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  18. Chaucer
  19. John Keats
  20. Dylan Thomas

O N V Kurup

O N V Kurup, India

O N V Kurup, India

21. Percy Bysshe Shelley

22. Sylvia Plath

23. Emily Dickinson

24. John Donne

25. William Blake

26. Sly Cheney Coker

27. Li Bai

28. Edgar Allan Poe

29. William Butler Yeats

30. Algernon Charles Swinburne

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31. Allen Ginsberg

32. Kobayashi Issa

33. Seamus Heaney

34. Robert Frost

35. Vladimir Mayakovsky

36. Joseph Brodsky

37. Andrew Marvell

38. Anna Akhmatova

39. Ben Jonson

40. Sappho

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

41. Mahagama Sekara

42. Kahlil Gibran

43. Langston Hughes

44. Walter Scott

45. Wole Soyinka

46. King Solomon

47. John Dryden

48. Wallace Stevens

49. Lord Alfred Tennyson

50. Firdawsi

51 Jayanta Mahapatra

52 Lord Byron

53 Louis MacNieice

54 Ezra Pound

55 Kwesi Brew

56 Meng Haoran

57 Lucille Clifton

58 Luis Borges

59 Matthew Arnold

60 Thomas Hardy

Anna Akhmatova

Anna Akhmatova

61 Ted Hughes

62 Maya Angelou

63 Rabindranath Tagore

64 Michael Ondaatje

65 Walt Whitman

66 Ogden Nash

67 Elizabeth Barrett Browning

68 Omar Khayyam

69 Hafiz

70 Ralph Waldo Emerson

71 W.H. Auden

72 Alexander Pushkin

73 Robert Browning

74 G M hopkins

75 Robert Burns

76 Garcia Lorca

77 Keki N. Daruwalla

78 Geoffrey Hills

79 George Trakl

80 Gwendolyn Brooks

Robert Browning

Robert Browning

Robert Browning

81 Henry Lawso

82 Robert Hayden

83 Robert Herrick

84 Nissim Ezekiel

85 Vladimir Mayakovsky

86 Robert Lowell

87 Stephen Crane

88 Stephen Spender

89 William Morris

90 Kumaran Asan

91 Stevie Smith

92 Paul Zimmer

93 A.E. Housman

94 Walter de La Mare

95 O N V Kurup

96 Theodore Roethke

97 Thom Gunn

98 Niyi Osundare

99 Gabriel Okara

100 Kofi Awoonor

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Kumar Paral


Anshul kumar on October 02, 2013:

I like it so much .

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