If you’re a poet and you know it, you’re someone who writes poems. Poets have been charming people with their words ever since Orpheus sang his way to Hades and back.

A poet is a writer who regularly publishes poems, but a poet can also be anyone who uses language creatively. Try it! The root of poet can be traced back to the Greek poein, "to make." Some poets write in carefully metered, rhyming lines, while others compose looser prose poems or "free verse," and the very best poets convey something that's essential or true. The Romantic poet William Wordsworth described good poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.”

Definitions of poet
  1. noun
    a writer of poems (the term is usually reserved for writers of good poetry)
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    Greek lyric poet of Lesbos; reputed inventor of Alcaic verse (611-580 BC)
    Wilhelm Apollinaris de Kostrowitzki
    French poet; precursor of surrealism (1880-1918)
    Matthew Arnold
    English poet and literary critic (1822-1888)
    Hans Arp
    Alsatian artist and poet who was cofounder of dadaism in Zurich; noted for abstract organic sculptures (1887-1966)
    Wystan Hugh Auden
    United States poet (born in England) (1907-1973)
    Charles Pierre Baudelaire
    a French poet noted for macabre imagery and evocative language (1821-1867)
    Stephen Vincent Benet
    United States poet; brother of William Rose Benet (1898-1943)
    William Blake
    visionary British poet and painter (1757-1827)
    Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Blok
    Russian poet (1880-1921)
    Giovanni Boccaccio
    Italian poet (born in France) (1313-1375)
    Anne Dudley Bradstreet
    poet in colonial America (born in England) (1612-1672)
    Bertolt Brecht
    German dramatist and poet who developed a style of epic theater (1898-1956)
    Rupert Brooke
    English lyric poet (1887-1915)
    Elizabeth Barrett Browning
    English poet best remembered for love sonnets written to her husband Robert Browning (1806-1861)
    Robert Browning
    English poet and husband of Elizabeth Barrett Browning noted for his dramatic monologues (1812-1889)
    Robert Burns
    celebrated Scottish poet (1759-1796)
    Samuel Butler
    English poet (1612-1680)
    Sixth Baron Byron of Rochdale
    English romantic poet notorious for his rebellious and unconventional lifestyle (1788-1824)
    Pedro Calderon de la Barca
    Spanish poet and dramatist considered one of the great Spanish writers (1600-1681)
    Giosue Carducci
    Italian poet considered the national poet of modern Italy (1835-1907)
    Thomas Carew
    Englishman and Cavalier poet whose lyric poetry was favored by Charles I (1595-1639)
    Gaius Valerius Catullus
    Roman lyric poet remembered for his love poems to an aristocratic Roman woman (84-54 BC)
    Geoffrey Chaucer
    English poet remembered as author of the Canterbury Tales (1340-1400)
    John Anthony Ciardi
    United States poet and critic (1916-1986)
    Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    English romantic poet (1772-1834)
    Pierre Corneille
    French tragic dramatist whose plays treat grand moral themes in elegant verse (1606-1684)
    William Cowper
    English poet who wrote hymns and poetry about nature (1731-1800)
    Harold Hart Crane
    United States poet (1899-1932)
    Anglo-Saxon poet (circa 9th century)
    Dante Alighieri
    an Italian poet famous for writing the Divine Comedy that describes a journey through Hell and purgatory and paradise guided by Virgil and his idealized Beatrice (1265-1321)
    Walter John de la Mare
    English poet remembered for his verse for children (1873-1956)
    Emily Dickinson
    United States poet noted for her mystical and unrhymed poems (1830-1886)
    John Donne
    English clergyman and metaphysical poet celebrated as a preacher (1572-1631)
    John Dryden
    the outstanding poet and dramatist of the Restoration (1631-1700)
    Thomas Stearns Eliot
    British poet (born in the United States) who won the Nobel prize for literature; his plays are outstanding examples of modern verse drama (1888-1965)
    Edward Fitzgerald
    English poet remembered primarily for his free translation of the poetry of Omar Khayyam (1809-1883)
    Robert Lee Frost
    United States poet famous for his lyrical poems on country life in New England (1874-1963)
    Frederico Garcia Lorca
    Spanish poet and dramatist who was shot dead by Franco's soldiers soon after the start of the Spanish Civil War (1898-1936)
    William Schwenk Gilbert
    a librettist who was a collaborator with Sir Arthur Sullivan in a famous series of comic operettas (1836-1911)
    Allen Ginsberg
    United States poet of the beat generation (1926-1997)
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    German poet and novelist and dramatist who lived in Weimar (1749-1832)
    Luis de Gongora y Argote
    a Spanish poet whose work was characterized by an affected elegance of style (1561-1627)
    Thomas Gray
    English poet best known for his elegy written in a country churchyard (1716-1771)
    Robert Herrick
    English lyric poet (1591-1674)
    Greek poet whose existing works describe rural life and the genealogies of the gods and the beginning of the world (eighth century BC)
    Hugo von Hoffmannsthal
    German poet who wrote libretti for operas by Richard Strauss (1874-1929)
    James Hogg
    Scottish writer of rustic verse (1770-1835)
    ancient Greek epic poet who is believed to have written the Iliad and the Odyssey (circa 850 BC)
    Gerard Manley Hopkins
    English poet (1844-1889)
    Roman lyric poet said to have influenced English poetry (65-8 BC)
    Alfred Edward Housman
    English poet (1859-1936)
    Edward James Hughes
    English poet (born in 1930)
    Victor-Marie Hugo
    French poet and novelist and dramatist; leader of the romantic movement in France (1802-1885)
    Henrik Johan Ibsen
    realistic Norwegian author who wrote plays on social and political themes (1828-1906)
    Randall Jarrell
    United States poet (1914-1965)
    John Robinson Jeffers
    United States poet who wrote about California (1887-1962)
    Juan Ramon Jimenez
    Spanish lyric poet (1881-1958)
    Benjamin Jonson
    English dramatist and poet who was the first real poet laureate of England (1572-1637)
    Erik Axel Karlfeldt
    Swedish poet whose works incorporate Swedish customs and folklore (1864-1931)
    John Keats
    Englishman and romantic poet (1795-1821)
    Francis Scott Key
    United States lawyer and poet who wrote a poem after witnessing the British attack on Baltimore during the War of 1812; the poem was later set to music and entitled `The Star-Spangled Banner' (1779-1843)
    Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock
    German poet (1724-1803)
    Nicholas Vachel Lindsay
    United States poet who traveled the country trading his poems for room and board (1879-1931)
    Li Po
    Chinese lyric poet (700-762)
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    United States poet remembered for his long narrative poems (1807-1882)
    Richard Lovelace
    English poet (1618-1857)
    Amy Lowell
    United States poet (1874-1925)
    Robert Traill Spence Lowell Jr.
    United States poet (1917-1977)
    Titus Lucretius Carus
    Roman philosopher and poet; in a long didactic poem he tried to provide a scientific explanation of the universe (96-55 BC)
    Archibald MacLeish
    United States poet (1892-1982)
    Stephane Mallarme
    French symbolist poet noted for his free verse (1842-1898)
    Osip Emilevich Mandelstam
    Russian poet who died in a prison camp (1891-1938)
    Giambattista Marini
    Italian poet (1569-1625)
    Christopher Marlowe
    English poet and playwright who introduced blank verse as a form of dramatic expression; was stabbed to death in a tavern brawl (1564-1593)
    Jose Julian Marti
    Cuban poet and revolutionary who fought for Cuban independence from Spain (1853-1895)
    Roman poet noted for epigrams (first century BC)
    Andrew Marvell
    English poet (1621-1678)
    John Edward Masefield
    English poet (1878-1967)
    Edgar Lee Masters
    United States poet (1869-1950)
    Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovski
    Soviet poet; leader of Russian futurism (1893-1930)
    George Meredith
    English novelist and poet (1828-1909)
    John Milton
    English poet; remembered primarily as the author of an epic poem describing humanity's fall from grace (1608-1674)
    Marianne Craig Moore
    United States poet noted for irony and wit (1887-1872)
    Thomas Moore
    Irish poet who wrote nostalgic and patriotic verse (1779-1852)
    William Morris
    English poet and craftsman (1834-1896)
    Louis Charles Alfred de Musset
    French poet and writer (1810-1857)
    Neftali Ricardo Reyes
    Chilean poet (1904-1973)
    Alfred Noyes
    English poet (1880-1958)
    Omar Khayyam
    Persian poet and mathematician and astronomer whose poetry was popularized by Edward Fitzgerald's translation (1050-1123)
    Publius Ovidius Naso
    Roman poet remembered for his elegiac verses on love (43 BC - AD 17)
    Francis Turner Palgrave
    English poet (1824-1897)
    Francesco Petrarca
    an Italian poet famous for love lyrics (1304-1374)
    Greek lyric poet remembered for his odes (518?-438? BC)
    Sylvia Plath
    United States writer and poet (1932-1963)
    Edgar Allan Poe
    United States writer and poet (1809-1849)
    Alexander Pope
    English poet and satirist (1688-1744)
    Ezra Loomis Pound
    United States writer who lived in Europe; strongly influenced the development of modern literature (1885-1972)
    Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin
    Russian poet (1799-1837)
    Jean Baptiste Racine
    French advocate of Jansenism; tragedian who based his works on Greek and Roman themes (1639-1699)
    James Whitcomb Riley
    United States poet (1849-1916)
    Rainer Maria Rilke
    German poet (born in Austria) whose imagery and mystic lyricism influenced 20th-century German literature (1875-1926)
    Jean Nicholas Arthur Rimbaud
    French poet whose work influenced the surrealists (1854-1891)
    Edwin Arlington Robinson
    United States poet; author of narrative verse (1869-1935)
    Edmond Rostand
    French dramatist and poet whose play immortalized Cyrano de Bergerac (1868-1918)
    Alan Seeger
    United States poet killed in World War I (1888-1916)
    Anne Sexton
    United States poet (1928-1974)
    William Shakespeare
    English poet and dramatist considered one of the greatest English writers (1564-1616)
    Percy Bysshe Shelley
    Englishman and romantic poet (1792-1822)
    Taras Grigoryevich Shevchenko
    Ukranian poet (1814-1861)
    Sir Philip Sidney
    English poet (1554-1586)
    Shelby Silverstein
    United States poet and cartoonist remembered for his stories and poems for children (1932-1999)
    Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell
    English poet (1887-1964)
    Robert Southey
    English poet and friend of Wordsworth and Coleridge (1774-1843)
    Sir Stephen Harold Spender
    English poet and critic (1909-1995)
    Edmund Spenser
    English poet who wrote an allegorical romance celebrating Elizabeth I in the Spenserian stanza (1552-1599)
    Wallace Stevens
    United States poet (1879-1955)
    Sir John Suckling
    English poet and courtier (1609-1642)
    Algernon Charles Swinburne
    English poet (1837-1909)
    Arthur Symons
    English poet (1865-1945)
    Edmund John Millington Synge
    Irish poet and playwright whose plays are based on rural Irish life (1871-1909)
    Torquato Tasso
    Italian poet who wrote an epic poem about the capture of Jerusalem during the First Crusade (1544-1595)
    John Orley Allen Tate
    United States poet and critic (1899-1979)
    Sara Teasdale
    United States poet (1884-1933)
    Alfred Lord Tennyson
    Englishman and Victorian poet (1809-1892)
    Greek poet who is said to have originated Greek tragedy (sixth century BC)
    Dylan Marlais Thomas
    Welsh poet (1914-1953)
    John Trumbull
    American satirical poet (1750-1831)
    Samuel Rosenstock
    French poet (born in Romania) who was one of the cofounders of the dada movement (1896-1963)
    Johann Ludwig Uhland
    German romantic poet (1787-1862)
    Paul Verlaine
    French symbolist poet (1844-1896)
    Francois Villon
    French poet (flourished around 1460)
    Publius Vergilius Maro
    a Roman poet; author of the epic poem `Aeneid' (70-19 BC)
    Andrei Voznesenski
    Russian poet (born in 1933)
    Robert Penn Warren
    United States writer and poet (1905-1989)
    Isaac Watts
    English poet and theologian (1674-1748)
    Phillis Wheatley
    American poet (born in Africa) who was the first recognized Black writer in America (1753-1784)
    Walt Whitman
    United States poet who celebrated the greatness of America (1819-1892)
    John Greenleaf Whittier
    United States poet best known for his nostalgic poems about New England (1807-1892)
    William Carlos Williams
    United States poet (1883-1963)
    William Wordsworth
    a romantic English poet whose work was inspired by the Lake District where he spent most of his life (1770-1850)
    Sir Thomas Wyatt
    English poet who introduced the sonnet form to English literature (1503-1542)
    Elinor Morton Hoyt Wylie
    United States poet (1885-1928)
    William Butler Yeats
    Irish poet and dramatist (1865-1939)
    Yevgeni Aleksandrovich Yevtushenko
    Russian poet who expressed the feelings of the post-Stalinist generation (born in 1933)
    Edward Young
    English poet (1683-1765)
    Edna Saint Vincent Millay
    United States poet (1892-1950)
    the Greek lyric poet of Lesbos; much admired although only fragments of her poetry have been preserved (6th century BC)
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    a lyric poet
    the author of a mournful poem lamenting the dead
    a poet who writes odes
    a woman poet
    poet laureate
    the poet officially appointed to the royal household in Great Britain
    poet laureate
    a poet who is unofficially regarded as holding an honorary position in a particular group or region
    a poet who writes sonnets
    type of:
    author, writer
    writes (books or stories or articles or the like) professionally (for pay)
Word Family

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