Here is another recap from the posts on this blog from September 2014 to September 2015, when I met my objective of posting a poem every day, mainly from my own collection and personal tastes.I have featured a variety of poets, from either the English/American, French or Hispanic cultures. They span from the 9th century to the 20th. There has been one king (Richard 1 of England); one President (Leopold Senghor of Senegal); several soldier-poets (Charles d’Orleans, Boscan, Garcilaso, Sassoon, Apollinaire, John Cornford); at least one criminal (Francois Villon) and two saints (San Juan de la Cruz and Santa Teresa de Avila); and of course a great assortment of other poets of diverse backgrounds and styles.
A couple of days ago I posted a recap of the top 12 poems, in terms of the number of hits they have received (assuming that is some measure of their popularity). So now I will similarly post the top 12 poets, assessed by the number of hits they received for all their poems featured here. Again, make of it what you will. I found it interesting.
1.Anonymous Spanish ballads – of course, this is not one poet, but a series of poems from the oral and written tradition of Spain from the 13th to the 15th centuries, many of which deal with events and personalities from the long conflict between Moorish Spain and Christian Spain, a conflict which lasted almost 800 years. These are fascinating poems, and I could easily have featured many more of them.
2. Pierre de Ronsard – the French poet of nature and contemplation from the 16th century, his poems are delicate, gently joyful and wonderfully well-written. A real pleasure to read.
=3. WB Yeats – the great Irish poet from early in the 20th century, covering many themes of love, war, nature and humanity.
=3. Rosalia de Castro – Writing in the late 19th century in both Castilian Spanish and Galician, her poetry reveals a love of her homeland and its people, and a great sense of social justice
5. Gerard de Nerval – the French dandy and flaneur, he wrote both extravagantly obscure poetry and also some more simple, accessible and beautiful pieces
6. Antonio Machado – the poet of Castille, who was actually born in Andalucia, humble, observant and quite prolific, gives a great sense of Spanish life in the first third of the 20th century
7. TS Eliot – brilliant, poignant, funny and versatile, I always find something fresh and interesting in Eliot’s work. I also like the fact that he could easily switch from writing in English to French.
8. Charles Baudelaire – the master of post Romantic French verse, one of my all-time favourites for sensual imagery and language of all types
9. Paul Verlaine – often known as being the older lover of the teenage prodigy Arthur Rimbaud, Verlaine was actually a much more serious poet, and well worth exploring his work, of which I have two volumes on my bookshelf.
10. Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz – from Mexico, a female poet from the seventeenth century, probably the last great poet in Spanish from the Golden Age, one of the essentials.
=11. Francisco de Quevedo – From the height of the Spanish Golden Age, dealing with love, politics, satire, money, power – one of the true greats.
=11. Siegfried Sassoon – mainly represented here as a First World War poet, of which he was one of the leading exponents, using poetry to expose the folly and suffering of that war and the terrible fate of the ordinary soldiers. Although of its time, his poetry has resonance wherever there is war and conflict.
Perhaps this will inspire readers to go back and revisit some of the poems by these or other poets.
The Poetry Dude