Our Favourite Poets – World Poetry Day

Happy World Poetry Day!

Here is a selection of some of our favourite poets to celebrate this wonderful day which encourages people to read and write more poetry!

Who’s your favourite poet? What’s your favourite poem?
Tweet us @uniwinlibrary and let us know!


Roger McGough

Roger McGough“The Head popped a head round the doorway
to see why a din was being made
nodded understandingly
then tossed in a grenade.”
From The Lesson

The outspoken Roger McGough burst on to the scene as part of The Mersey Sound, an anthology of poetry by three Liverpudlian poets in 1967, and in 1968 released the song Lily the Pink to nationwide appeal as a member of The Scaffold. Appealing to both children and adults he’s still touring the UK with his unique performance poetry style.

Read more in our School Resources collection and our Main Library collection at 821.91 MCG.


Benjamin Zephaniah

Benjamin Zephaniah.jpg“Be nice to yu turkeys dis christmas
Cos’ turkeys just wanna hav fun
Turkeys are cool, turkeys are wicked
An every turkey has a Mum.”
– From Talking Turkeys

Benjamin Zephaniah is a dub poet and has said that his poetry is influenced by Jamaican poetry and music and considers his poetry to be “street politics”.  A dyslexic, he left school at 13 unable to read and write but went on to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Birmingham and to be included in The Times list of 50 greatest post-war writers.

Read more in our School Resources collection, and in our Main Library 821.91 ZEP.


Christina Rossetti

Christina Rossetti“Or, after all, perhaps there’s none:
Suppose there is no secret after all,
But only just my fun.”
From Winter: a Secret

Christina Rossetti began writing down her poems from 1842 and her most famous collection is Goblin Market and Other Poems. The Christmas carol In the Bleak Midwinter is also based on one of her poems.

Read more in our Main Library Collection at 821.8 ROS.



Basho“When the winter chrysanthemums go,
there’s nothing to write about.”
From When the Winter Chrysanthemums Go

Within his lifetime Matsuo Basho was recognised as the greatest master of haiku. He discovered poetry at a young age and became the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. His poetry continues to be internationally revered.

Read more in our Main Library collection at 895.61 BAS.


Emily Dickinson

Emily DickinsonHope’ is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all”
From Hope is the Thing with Feathers

The reclusive Emily Dickinson wrote nearly 1800 poems but only a handful was published during her lifetime. She was influenced by the works of William Shakespeare and Ralph Waldo Emerson but her poetry was considered unconventional for the time within which she was writing. Her first collection of poetry was published in 18990 four years after her death but she has continued to be in print to this day.

Read more in our Main Library collection at 811.4 DIC.


Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton“White as the wall, the weepers leave the town,
To be the friends of grief, and follow
To the new tomb a widow’s sorrow.”
From The Widow of Naim 

Thomas Merton was a mystic, theologian and Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky. He became well known as poet in his early years in the monastery and was a prolific writer. His writings were received with critical acclaim and as part of his legacy an annual peace prize which has been awarded since 1972 was named after him.

Read more in our Main Library collection 271.125 MOT.


Edward Lear

Edward_Lear“So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon.”
From The Owl and the Pussycat

Edward Lear is famous for his nonsensical but musical limericks, one of his most famous being The Owl and the Pussycat. In 1846 he published A Book of Nonsense which helped popularize the form and genre of literary nonsense.

Read more in our School Resources collection at 821.91 LEA and our Main Library collection at 821.8 LEA.


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