Poetry flourished, perhaps more predominantly than anywhere else, in England. England produced a profusion of brilliant English poems and poets who are worshipped to this day. Today, we pay homage to them by talking about 10 best English poets of all time and their literary odyssey.
English Poems: 10 Best English Poets Of All Time
One of the stalwarts of the Romanticism Movement in 19th century English poetry, Keats was known for his odes, such as ‘Ode to a Nightingale’, ‘Ode to a Grecian Urn’ and more. He also wrote ‘Sleep and Poetry’ and ‘On First Looking Into Chapman’s Homer’. He died at the age of twenty five due to tuberculosis.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Shelley was a contemporary and confidante of John Keats, and a major poet in the romantics wave. ‘Ozymandias’, ‘Ode to the West Wind’ and ‘To A Skylark’ are some of his most celebrated works of poetry. He also wrote political ballads like ‘The Mask of Anarchy’. He twisted the Greek classic into what is now an English classic , ‘Prometheus Unbound’.
Wordsworth, whose ‘Daffodils’ we have all studied in school, is perhaps the best known romantic poet of the lot. Liked by young and old alike, his works are shrouded in beautiful simplicity that masks profound thought. With Samuel Taylor Coleridge, he founded the romantics movement by launching ‘Lyrical Ballads’.
The poet laureate during much of Queen Victoria’s reign, Alfred was a master of short lyric as well as narrative poetry. He wrote ‘Claribel’, ‘Mariana’, ‘Break Break Break’, ‘Tears, Idle Tears’, ‘Crossing the Bar’ and more. He was also known for his work the arena of classical Greek and Roman literature. Several of his sayings live to this day is proverbs and idioms.
‘To see the world in grain of sand // And heaven in a wildflower // Hold infinity in the palm of your hand // And eternity in an hour’ is a timeless verse composed by the prolific Blake. His ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’, ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell’, ‘The Four Zoas’, and ‘Jerusalem’ are gems of English literature.
John Milton is credited to the brilliant English epic poem ‘Paradise Lost’. In this he recounts the Biblical story of the fall of man, and temptation of the devil via the snake. It also tackles the banishment of Adam and Eve from Eden. His other works include ‘On His Blindness’, ‘Lycidas’, ‘On Shakespeare’ and ‘On Arriving at the Age of Twenty Three’.
Byron was one of the leading poets of the Romantics movement. He has to his name long narrative poems such as ‘Don Juan’ and ‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage’ as well as shorter works of ‘She Walks in Beauty Like the Night’, ‘Hebrew Melodies’ and more. He was quite a scandalous man with several extramarital affairs, and also travelled widely.
Rosetti is one of the most famous women poets of all times, known for her work in romantic, children’s and devotional poetry. She wrote ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’, ‘Love Came Down at Christmas’ which are famous Christmas carols. In addition, her most famous works are ‘Goblin Market’, ‘A Pageant and Other Poems’, ‘The Prince’s Progress’ and more.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Wife of Robert Browning, Elizabeth’s prolific literary career encompasses her famous work ‘Sonnets from the Portuguese’. This is a collection of sonnets she wrote to Browning while he was wooing her, and Portuguese was his nickname for her. She also wrote ‘The Cry of Children’ ‘Sabbath Morning at Sea’, ‘Aurora Leigh’ and more.
Husband to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert was a prolific poet in his own right. His major works (volumes) include ‘The Pied Piper of Hamelin’, ‘Men and Women’, ‘Bells and Pomegranates’ and several more. He was a part of the Romantics Movement.
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