Many people turn to poetry as a creative release, a form of entertainment, or a literary passion. I, being one of those people, love poetry and have been writing poetry since I learned how to write. What started from childish limericks and ABAB stanzas turned into complex poetry filled with literary devices and experimental forms. I couldn't have done this though without the help of some dead poets.
The following list is a collection of poets that vary in style, yet achieved success in their own ways. Throughout my life, I often found myself turning to these poets for inspiration when writing a new piece. If you're a writer who's in need of inspiration, I highly recommend you check out these poets.
1. Sylvia Plath
Born in 1932, Boston, Massachusetts, Plath became an iconic poet in the 20th century. She began her writing career young, and, unfortunately, took her life at a young age of 30 due to severe depression. Her most famous poem is "Daddy" and is well-known for her confessional pieces.
2. Langston Hughes
Hughes was born in 1902 in Joplin, Missouri, but soon moved to New York City, the place where his career took off. He became the face of the Harlem Renaissance and was one of the earliest innovators of jazz poetry. "Harlem" and "I, Too" are his best-known poems.
3. E.E. Cummings
Edward Estlin "E.E." Cummings was born in 1894 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His poetry is famously known for its lack of capitalization and syntax (very similar to millennial poetry). Cumming's love poem, "i carry your heart with me," is his best-known work.
4. Emily Dickinson
Dickinson, born in 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts, wrote hundreds of lyrical poems, of which only less than 10 have actual titles attached to them. Her writing consists of heavy emotion and usage of concrete imagery to describe abstract concepts. Her famous piece is "'Hope' is the thing with feathers."
5. John Donne
This British poet was born in 1572 in London. His work is most commonly known for risque, experimental (for that time period), and sometimes, sacrilegious. "The Flea" is one of Donne's greatest works.
6. Edgar Allan Poe
Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1809, and soon earned the reputation of "that scary poet." People admire his work due to its intensity, darkness, and plethora of literary devices. "The Raven" and "Annabel Lee" are two poems from Poe that are worth reading.
7. William Shakespeare
And last, but certainly not least, Shakespeare. Shocker that he made the list. Shakespeare was born in 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom. This writer's legacy continues on centuries later in most classroom settings since he adapted famous plays and established his signature poem format: Shakespearean sonnet. His most iconic poem is "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" which is also known as "Sonnet XVIII."