Poetry is not just about rhyming words and fascinating metaphors. It is a form of art that holds significance and life in itself. In other words, it is not just a combination of words, but it depicts a strong sense of imagery and emotions that everyone can connect with.
In fact, many historical figures contributed to this art form and wrote phenomenal poetry, which is alive today. Want to know who they were and why people loved them? Here are the top ones whose works you should read this season to broaden your point of view and get immersed in the richness of the world of poetry. In other words, these will take you to new realms beyond the limits of time and space and make you ponder over the greater purposes of life.
The Best Male Poets of All Time
1William Shakespeare – One of the Finest Male Poets
Firstly, William Shakespeare. In brief, he is widely famous as one of (or probably the) best male poets, writers, dramatists, and English playwrights. His plays are still famous, without a doubt and they have been translated into many languages as well. After his death, he got more famous. And now his works are studied worldwide. To be more accurate, he wrote 154 sonnets and 38 plays.
|Time Period||April 26, 1564 – April 23, 1616.|
|Awards||Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Revival.|
|Famous Poems||The Pheonix and the turtle (1601), Sonnet 18 (1609), All The World’s A Stage (1623).|
“So, till the judgment that yourself arise,-Sonnet 55
You live in this, and dwell in lovers’ eyes.”
The poet of the famous poem “Daffodils”, William Wordsworth, is another name of male poet in history. In fact, he used the language of common people to elaborate on the connection of humans with nature. In detail about his life, at the age of 7, his mother died, and then he went to Hawkshead Grammar School. Then for further studies, he went to Cambridge University. He wrote his first poems in his school years. Additionally, he set a new theme in English poetry which is the romantic age.
|Time Period||April 7, 1770 – April 23, 1850.|
|Awards||Honorary doctorate in Civil Law from the University of Durham.|
|Famous Poems||Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey (1798), The Prelude (1850), The Recluse (1880).|
“I had melancholy thoughts…-The Prelude
A strangeness in my mind,
The feeling that I was not that for an hour,
Nor for that place”
Robert Frost was one of the greatest male poets born in San Francisco and a leading American poet of rural life and nature. He was a lover of nature; due to his fascination with water. Therefore, he beautifully explained the trees and stone walls in a way that elaborates a certain relationship with humans. In other words, readers have to interpret the symbols he has used in his poetry to understand the theme and topic fully.
Moreover, before the death of his father, he lived in California for 11 years. Afterward, he moved to the town of Lawrence in Massachusetts with his family.
|Time Period||March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963.|
|Nationality||The United States.|
|Awards||Four Pulitzer Prizes.|
|Famous Poems||Fire and Ice (December 1920), Mending Wall (1914), The Road Not Taken (1916).|
“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,-The Road Not Taken
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could,
To where it bent in the undergrowth.”
4Ralph Waldo Emerson
Then, Ralph Waldo Emerson was the essayist, one of the most prominent male poets, lecturers, and philosophers. Plus, his intellectual works are widely famous and influenced the world. He traveled far and wide and met famous literary figures like William Wordsworth, Taylor Coleridge, Thomas Carlyle, etc. Furthermore, in 1817, he entered Harvard College and got a chance to study the religious traditions of the Middle East and Asia. Moreover, he had an interest in exploring the sacred traditions of the East. Also, he was inclined toward knowing the Eastern themes of poetry.
|Time Period||May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882.|
|Awards||Honorary doctorate in Civil Law from the University of Durham.|
|Famous Poems||The Bell (1958), The Snow-Strom (1856), Water (1909).|
“And when his hours are numbered, and the world-The Snow-Strom
Is all his own, retiring, as he were not,
Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art
To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone,
Built-in an age, the mad wind’s night-work,
The frolic architecture of the snow.”
He was an essayist, writer, novelist, and renowned name in male poet. Being brought up in British India, his works have a unique touch that not any other poet has. Above all, he innovated the short stories and wrote many works off citation for children, like “The Jungle Book”.
|Time Period||30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936.|
|Awards||Noble Prize in Literature.|
|Famous Poems||If (1910), Recessional (1897), The White Man’s Burden (1899).|
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;-IF
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run—
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
Read Also: The Greatest Reads of the Past Decade
Some Honorable Mentions of Male Poets
6Edgar Allan Poe
In short, he is famous for his art of writing poetry and mystery tales. His works are still widely read. Plus, they had a great impact on American literature.
|Time Period||January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849.|
|Notable Works||To Halen (1831), Ulalume (December 1847), A Dream within a Dream (March 31, 1849).|
|Awards||He won 2 awards in his lifetime.|
“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”-Edgar Allan Poe
7William Butler Yeats
He was a writer, and a poet and was a prominent name in the revival of Irish literature. He used symbols and imagery to explain his thoughts, and he was a master of traditional style poetry too.
|Time Period||13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939.|
|Notable Works||Death (1929), The Second Coming (November 1920), Sailing to Byzantium (1928).|
|Awards||The Nobel Prize in Literature 1923.|
An aged man is but a paltry thing,-William Butler Yeats
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress.
Apart from being a great poet, translator, novelist, and artist, he was also a social activist. Born in England, he belonged to a wealthy middle-class sector of society, and his contributions to modern fantasy are remarkable as well.
Famous works that you should read: A Death Song, Autumn.
9Dylan Marlais Thomas
Lastly, Dylan Marlais Thomas was born in South Wales, and he is famous for his lyrical style in poetry. Actually, the chaos of his life and struggles are depicted in his writings. He began to write in his childhood, and by his teens, he started publishing his works.
|Timeline||9 November 1953 – 27 October 1914.|
|Famous Works||The Song of the Mischievous Dog, Fern Hill.|
Firstly, Tadeusz Rozewicz was a polish male poet, translator, writer, and playwright. His first work was published in 1938. There are many notable works on his credit. For example several screenplays and plays. Moreover, his plays were translated into English and many other major languages (almost 40 languages). As a matter of fact, two of his plays were produced in New York City.
His poem “Mother Departs”, translated by Barbara Bogoczek, is about his dead mother that was published in 1999. It won the NIKE (the Polish literary prize) in 2000.
In detail, this poem is not just about the remembrance of his dead mother, but it also contains some other writings about his mother. In fact, you can read the poetry reviews to know more about the topic, vibe, and theme of his works.
|Time Period||9 October 1921 – 24 April 2014.|
|Notable Works||The Survivor (1976), Mother Departs (1999).|
|Awards||Laurel Award in poetry, Golden Ball award.|
“Virtue and crime weigh the same I’ve seen it: in a man who was both criminal and virtuous.”-The Survivor
Male Poets: Final Thoughts
In conclusion, every poet has a different thought pattern and they focus on different themes. Additionally, to make your TBR list widen, you should add all of these great male poets to know the underlying insights and truths of life. Finally, make your horizon broad and absorb the new perspectives of the world by reading these phenomenal male poets.
In other words, you can say that,
“Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary.”-Khalil Gibran
Images from Wikimedia Commons