Friday, February 25, 2011

Who Do You Consider the 10 Greatest Poets

You are asked to name the 10 greatest poets

My list according to their rules:

Rumi
Basho
Li Po
Tu Fu
Shakespeare
Keats
Yeats
Eliot
Wordsworth
Stevens

Now to order them

Oh well. I can't.  Let's just say this forms the top ten in my estimation. And I have to say that it is a quickly considered top ten--not one with great thought behind it.  So. . . perhaps I should think more and post again.  Though I probably won't.

3 comments:

  1. My favorites, perhaps not the ten "greatest," in chronological order:

    Gaius Valerius Catullus
    Dante Alighieri
    William Shakespeare
    George Herbert
    Emily Dickinson
    Gerard Manley Hopkins
    Edward Estlin Cummings
    Countee Cullen
    Theodore Roethke
    Dylan Thomas

    Honorable mentions abound, but I do feel guilty for leaving out Walt Whitman.

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  2. I'm not even close to qualified to list the top ten poets, but feel qualified to list mine. In no particular order:

    Billy Collins
    William Wordsworth
    James Joyce (what, he's not a poet?)
    Shakespeare
    Rod McKuen
    Yeats
    Tennyson, on the strength of "The Eagle"
    Rilke
    Dickinson
    Rexroth

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  3. Dear Dylan,

    Not even a moue, a soupcon, a touch of guilt about excluding Whitman on this side. While I recognize his influence, like another great influencer, Hemingway, I think most of his work is greatly overvalued compared to the fine compressions and balance of Dickinson.

    Favorite poets--I would add your Catullus, Hopkins, and Roethke, as well as Ted Kooser and Kay Ryan.

    Tom,

    Interesting and provocative. I think you'd enjoy what Seamus Heaney has to to say about Joyce the poet.

    shalom,

    Steven

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