Greatest English Language Poets


The Top TenXW

1William Shakespeare

The really surprising thing is how close number 2 is here... A bit of desperate pleading from the Scottish Nationalists?

Goes without saying surely - what more is there to say? The rest is silence...

Was a walking example of Pure genius

Really William Shakespeare is the greatest poet of all the ages.

V12 Comments
2Robert BurnsV1 Comment
3Alfred, Lord Tennyson

A number of phrases from Tennyson's work have become commonplaces of the English language, including "Nature, red in tooth and claw", "'Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all", "Theirs not to reason why, / Theirs but to do and die", "My strength is as the strength of ten, / Because my heart is pure", "Knowledge comes, but Wisdom lingers", and "The old order changeth, yielding place to new". He is the ninth most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.

Most melodious of all the poets in English, and the greatest for me at dealing with grief and doubt about the meaning of things in life

How can he be so low down the list?

He had the best sense of music

V2 Comments
4Emily Dickinson

Amazing concision. Cognitively complex and methodologically innovative. Her work remains fresh. Just reading the poems, with no other information, it'd be difficult to place them in a particular time. Most of the poems are not difficult. Many that are difficult will usually reward the additional effort.

Best poet ever! She should be in the top five!

5Walt Whitman

I experience as deep a spiritual connection reading Whitman aloud as I have with any poet I've encountered so far.

Free verse, say what's on your mind!

V1 Comment
6William Wordsworth

Great poet. I have read several poems written by him. Including the daffodils&the solitary reaper.

Poet of nature who left tremendous mark on English literate his
Deffodills was a landmark in the literary figures

V2 Comments
7William Cowper
8T. S. Eliot

"As things are, and as fundamentally they must always be, poetry is not a career, but a mug's game. No honest poet can ever feel quite sure of the permanent value of what he has written: He may have wasted his time and messed up his life for nothing. "

Gotta be in the top 10 as the best American and British poet of the last century

T.S. Eliot may have not published most of his poems, but he made sure that every poem he published was pure poetic heroine.

With a talent that could move the century, it's quite obvious that he had to be in the pantheon of great poets. A Sublime Genius.

V1 Comment
9John Clare

He wrote a huge amount but the few last great poems of solitude are something no other poet has ever reached.


He is in the excellent poet of all the time.

The Contenders


When you consider that Keats died at age twenty five, his genius is magnified. If you can write ten immortal poems in a long life, you have achieved quite a lot. Keats' Odes are among the best poetry ever written. If you want to recommend one poet, he is the one that touched the pinnacle of grace and art.

John keats's offerings to English poetry is great that it made the section very much attractive in all areas.

Keats is an example of a great genius and talent. his odes are those epic milestones that shall live immortally till the whole ship of literature submerges.

He is the youngest romantic poet.

V5 Comments
12Rudyard Kipling

I grew up with the Jungle Book and loved the Disney cartoon. And the poem 'If'.

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13Robert Frost

At the time of his death in January, 1963, Frost had achieved a degree of fame unequaled by any modern American poet. He was not merely a celebrated writer but a public figure who seemed to embody a certain native national wisdom. In front of television cameras, radio microphones, or crowded lecture halls, Frost played with poised perfection the role of the philosophical farmer-poet. His appearance at John Kennedy's 1961 Presidential inauguration still ranks as the most famous public appearance in the history of American literature.

V1 Comment
14Alexander Pope

The best satirist in English Poetry

15Edmund Spenser

Spenser is the most beautiful English poet. His Epithalamion is the loveliest poem in the language.

16Philip Larkin

He should be higher in this great list.

17Gerard Manley Hopkins

His poetry is almost incomparable... I haven't met another who uses words and sound to their fullest possibility as this man does.


Never seek to tell thy love,
Love that never told can be;
For the gentle wind does move
Silently, invisibly.

I told my love, I told my love,
I told her all my heart;
Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears,
Ah! She did depart!

Soon as she was gone from me,
A traveller came by,
Silently, invisibly
He took her with a sigh.

V1 Comment
19W. H. Auden

Greatest English poet of the twentieth century ad still a massive influence. No-one can use an adjectival phrase quite the same nowadays

Yes, greatest English poet of the 20th century. And very entertaining.

Used to be thought lesser than Yeats and Eliot but now emerging as the greatest.

20John McCraeV1 Comment
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List StatsUpdated 7 Feb 2016

1,000 votes
112 listings
7 years, 102 days old

Top Remixes (4)

1. William Shakespeare
2. Rudyard Kipling
3. T. S. Eliot
1. Emily Dickinson
2. Walt Whitman
3. William Shakespeare
1. Robert Burns
2. John McCrae
3. W. H. Auden

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