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Recommend me some poets (1 Viewer)


Black Riven

Lately I've been getting in the mood to read poetry, and having realized that since I was never interested in poetry all I know is the big names- Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, etc. that leaves me with nothing to search for since I'm not too interested in the old style of poetry. Can anyone help me out of this?
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Senior Member
Yusef Komunyakaa. I'm reading some of his war poems about vietnam. Very image driven and very little metaphor use.


WF Veterans
i will have to be the first to say robert service. Amazing works, try the complete series. AMAZING!

also there is Tales Of A Wayside Inn by sir Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Also the Complete Works Of Sir Edmund Spenser.

Do Not Ever Forget William Shakespeare! I've Read a few of his popular comedies and so far all are amazing.(I particularly liked A Midsummer Nights Dream)

Harry Haller

Senior Member
Black Riven,
Poems can be found in the upper right. You can get a taste of the poets work and a little history about them if you so choose. There are plenty more as well. These are just some of my favorites and with a little variety.

http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/11 Sylvia Plath

http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/119 William Carlos Williams

http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/163 Frederico Garcia Lorca

http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/394 Charles Bukowski

http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/295 Rainier Maria Rilke

http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/150 Dylan Thomas

http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/1268 Arthur Rimbaud



Senior Member
Rimbaud is amazing- kind of child-like but if you can find a web page or book that analysis’s his work you’ll see how deep he goes. Also his life story is the thing of legends. Child prodigy who ran away from home at age 16 to seek out and find Verlaine, steal him away from his wife and embark on a homosexual affair while writing some of the most critically acclaimed poetry ever- all the age of 19. Then he silenced himself, never wrote again and ran away to Africa to become a gunrunner. Rimbaud was hip before it was hip to be hip.

[FONT=&quot]My favorite poem right now, however, is T S Elliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock: http://www.cs.amherst.edu/ccm/prufrock.html


I was never very much interested in the older poets either, except for about 20% of Emily Dickinson (I can't very well relate to her faith, but when she talks about Earthly things that I can relate to I love her to death).

For poets with more modern themes, I'd recommend Philip Larkin and Frank O'Hara.


John Agard writes some interesting poems about culture and in my view is a very clever poet in the way he puts forward his work. Maybe you should check some of his poems out.


Senior Member
Edgar Allan Poe, OF COURSE! Lol and Robert Frost for some more mellow, optimistic stuff, Emily Dickinson is good for some deep philosophy, ummm... I've heard Maya Angelou is really good too.


Senior Member
Bukowski! His work is VERY accesible, almost prose at times, and very poignant. It's a bit depressing at times, but unlike a lot of older poets his words don't interupt/get-in-the-way-of the intent. He's purely about the message/tone/mood of the poem, and most of them are short anecdotes.

At least for me, his stuff just clicked.

AND for complete contrast, for the master of the lovey dovey, happier stuff there's always Neruda. Oftentimes you can only take so much Bukowski before you need some Neruda to help restore your faith in mankind.

And, ignore what EVERYONE else here is saying, the real best poet who ever EVER EVER EVER lived was Theodore Geisel.
Shakespeare Shmakespeare, it's all about Geisel.

You all know you agree with me.


There are some great Chinese poets, known as the "Misty Poets" who were writing in China before Tiananmen Square and are now exiled in various places around the world. Off hand, I can think of Bei Dao, Ha Jinn, Mang Ke. Most of them can be found in translation. For ancient Chinese poetry, I still love Li Bai.


I will recommend you to read some classics like Shakespeare, Marlowe, Blake, Goethe, etc. Then into the early XX century, as Frederic Mistral, Kavafis, Rilke, Valery, Pessoa, etc. And the modern best: some of Auden and Frost, Montale, Saint-John Perse, Aleixandre, Octavio Paz, Quasimodo, Pablo Neruda... and the best examples of contemporary verse, Tranströmer, Atwood, Geoffrey Hill, Ali Ahmad Said, Ko Un...


Senior Member
Black Riven said:
Lately I've been getting in the mood to read poetry, and having realized that since I was never interested in poetry all I know is the big names- Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, etc. that leaves me with nothing to search for since I'm not too interested in the old style of poetry.
I think it's hilarious that you clearly stated you did not like old-style poetry, and yet almost every reply you received cited DEAD poets. In many cases, long dead. That's good fun.

Here are some poets who, last time I checked, are still alive. Their books are current, interesting, and relevant. All IMHO of course.

Questions About Angels by Billy Collins
Picnic, Lightning by Billy Collins
The Continuous Life by Mark Strand
The World Doesn't End by Charles Simic
Repair by C. K. Williams
Rose by Li-Young Lee
Reign of Snakes by Robert Wrigley
In the Bank of Beautiful Sins by Robert Wrigley

Some people also like Sharon Olds, Sherman Alexie, & Kim Addonizio. I'm not converted yet.