My NINE FAVOURITE POETS; in chronological order; excluding sacred texts
(as I get time I will make these more elaborate)
Bai Juyi, China, 772-846 AD
This man was fine scholar, antiquarian, high government official, and brilliant almost conversational poet. He elevates the ordinary day to the poetic heights.
John Milton, England, 1608-1674
Paradise Lost is the most brilliantly sustained poem I have encountered. In the end Satan becomes human, which is its beauty of morality. The unrhymed epic metre, his blindness.
Matsuo Basho, Japan, Edo period, 1644-1694
Basho was the consummate Zen poetry master, and I have long been attracted to the philosophy of Zen. As a poet, Basho understands that in doctrine based on space and wordless silence, why are we talking so much? His haiku exquisite pollen.
John Clare, England, 1793-1864
John Clare was confined to an asylum for very many years of his life for writing too much poetry. Ordinarily that is qualification enough for me, but Clare takes English nature poetry to a height of simplicity and detail based on hands on knowledge and an essential happiness.
Rainer Maria Rilke, Germany, 1875-1926
Rilke struggles with the angels, was he one of them or one of us?
e.e.cummings, USA, 1894-1962
Cummings for his love poetry, which is eternally fresh and uplifting, never getting bogged down in poetic structure, but structured.
Pablo Neruda, Chile, 1904-1973
One of the most prolific poets in his work and in his very life as a poet; endless imagery, profound love for and contact with his people. Iconic stature for his humanity, world famous in his time, known by the ordinary folk and the most refined literati.