Celebrating Poets

Apr 20, 2018 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team


April is National Poetry Month. Begun in 1986, it is a time dedicated to celebrating poetry and the poets who create pictures with their words. Every poet writes with his or her unique voice, and a poem that resonates with one reader may not touch another reader in quite the same way. Some voices, called the speaker in poems, are lighthearted, others are reflective, and still others are more serious or solemn. We thought that for this post, we would list several poets for you to check out and share with your students. Perhaps you will find a new poet whose work you enjoy.


Poets, Playful and Funny

Ogden Nash: An American poet, Nash wrote light verse, including limericks. His words roll off the tongue!

Edward Lear: Perhaps best known for his poem, “The Owl and the Pussycat,” Lear’s poetry also tends to be humorous and fun to read.

William Brighty Rands: A Victorian writer of nursery rhymes, he is the author of “Godfrey Gordon Gustavus Gore,” which was featured in a recent blogpost.

Hilaire Belloc: While Belloc’s poetry isn’t limited to the playful and funny, he has written a number of chuckle-worthy pieces, more than a few of which carry a cautionary note.


Reflective Poets

Joyce Kilmer: Kilmer’s poetry centered around the beauty in nature. His most famous poem is “Trees.”

William Wordsworth: Wordsworth helped launch the Romantic period. His poetry reflects heavily on nature and is filled with rich imagery.

Robert Frost: This much-beloved American poet injected his personal experiences of living in rural New England. He is perhaps America’s most beloved poet. He sometimes wrote with a touch of humor, but always reflected on the world surrounding him.

Carl Sandburg: Swedish-American poet Carl Sandburg earned multiple Pulitzer prizes for his poetry. Writing his poems using free verse, he captured the spirit of America at the turn of the twentieth century.


Poets, Solemn and Serious

Alfred, Lord Tennyson: Poet Laureate during Queen Victoria’s reign, Tennyson crafted verse that frequently reflected on Classical themes. One of his most famous poems is “The Lotos-Eaters,” which is a poem that was inspired by Homer’s Odyssey.

Paul Laurence Dunbar: Growing up in Dayton, Ohio, Paul Laurence Dunbar was one of the first influential black poets in America. His writing reflects his experiences living during the turn of the twentieth century. He wrote using the vernacular of his time.

William Butler Yeats: An Irish poet living in the early part of the twentieth century, William Butler Yeats included details of his Irish heritage in his poetry. He is sometimes called the “last Romantic poet.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Writing during the 1800s, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is best known for his thrilling (and somewhat fictional) retelling of Paul Revere’s famous ride. He was a huge celebrity during his day and wrote many popular poems as well as the first American translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy.

These are just a few poets to get you started. Check out some of their poetry and see which ones resonate with you. While much of their verse can be found online, we have gathered together all of these poets along with many more in the course Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization. Right now you have an opportunity to win a free copy of the full course by entering the drawing at this link, but don’t wait too long. The drawing is next week!

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