17th Century Poets

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 1 
John Milton
(English Poet and Intellectual Known for His Epic Poem ‘Paradise Lost’)
John Milton
13
Birthdate: December 9, 1608
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cheapside, London, England
Died: November 8, 1674

John Milton was an English poet whose epic poem Paradise Lost is widely regarded as one of the greatest works of literature. Milton's other celebrated work Areopagitica is counted among history's most impassioned and influential defenses of freedom of the press and freedom of speech. John Milton’s works have influenced other prominent writers, such as Thomas Hardy and George Eliot.

 2 
John Donne
(17th Century English Poet Who is Considered the Preeminent Representative of the Metaphysical Poets)
John Donne
7
Birthdate: January 22, 1572
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: March 31, 1631
English metaphysical poet John Donne is best known for his touch of sensuality and spirituality in his poems. One of his best-known poems is The Canonization. He had also worked on Latin translations, elegies, sermons, and epigrams. He was known for his reckless lifestyle, that affected his financial status. 
 3 
William Shakespeare
(English Playwright & Poet Who is Regarded as the Greatest Writer in the English Language)
William Shakespeare
49
Birthdate: April 26, 1564
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Stratford-upon-Avon, England
Died: April 23, 1616

English playwright, poet, and actor William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language. He is also often called England's national poet. Many of his works have been translated into other languages and his plays continue to be produced till day. Popular during his lifetime, he acquired an iconic status after his death.

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 4 
Andrew Marvell
5
Birthdate: March 31, 1621
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Winestead, England
Died: August 16, 1678
 5 
Jonathan Swift
(Satirist & Author of 'Gulliver's Travels',' A Tale of a Tub' and 'A Modest Proposal')
Jonathan Swift
6
Birthdate: November 30, 1667
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: October 19, 1745

Eighteenth-century essayist, poet, and pamphleteer Jonathan Swift is remembered for his iconic works such as A Tale of a Tub, A Modest Proposal, and Gulliver's Travels. One of the world’s greatest satirists, he gave rise to the deadpan Swiftian style. He had also been the Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral.

 6 
Juana Inés de la Cruz
(Mexican Writer, Philosopher, Composer and Poet of the 'Baroque Period')
Juana Inés de la Cruz
7
Birthdate: November 12, 1648
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tepetlixpa, Mexico
Died: April 17, 1695

Mexican nun Juana Inés de la Cruz was one of the finest authors of the Latin American colonial era. Initially the lady-in-waiting of Mexico’s viceroy, she later took her vows. She built a huge library and penned masterpieces such as the poem Primero sueño and the religious drama El divino Narciso.

 7 
John Dryden
6
Birthdate: August 9, 1631
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Aldwincle, Northamptonshire, England
Died: May 12, 1700
 8 
Basho
(The Most Famous Poet of the Edo Period in Japan)
Basho
6
Birthdate: 1644 AD
Birthplace: Iga Province
Died: November 28, 1694

Basho was a Japanese poet of the Edo period. Regarded as the greatest master of haiku, Basho's poetry is read all over the world; many of his works have been translated into English. Such is his popularity that in 1979 a crater on planet Mercury was named after him by the International Astronomical Union.

 9 
Aphra Behn
(Playwright)
Aphra Behn
7
Birthdate: July 10, 1640
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Canterbury, England
Died: April 16, 1689
 10 
Anne Bradstreet
7
Birthdate: March 20, 1612
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Northampton, England
Died: September 16, 1672
 11 
Jean de La Fontaine
(French Fabulist and One of the Most Widely Read French Poets of the 17th Century)
Jean de La Fontaine
6
Birthdate: July 8, 1621
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Château-Thierry, Champagne, France
Died: April 13, 1695

Seventeenth-century French author Jean de La Fontaine is best remembered for his Fables. Initially a forest inspector, he later attended the salons of aristocratic patrons, where he met scholars, authors, and philosophers. Though he faced royal opposition, he was eventually made a part of the French Academy.

 12 
Jean Racine
(Dramatist)
Jean Racine
5
Birthdate: December 22, 1639
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: La Ferté-Milon, Kingdom of France
Died: April 21, 1699
 13 
Joseph Addison
(Essayist & Poet)
Joseph Addison
7
Birthdate: May 1, 1672
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Milston, United Kingdom
Died: June 17, 1719
Best known for his articles in the iconic 18th-century periodicals The Tatler and The Spectator, English essayist Joseph Addison had a lifelong collaboration with Richard Steele. Educated at Oxford, he excelled in Latin and classics. A prominent Whig, he mostly wrote on the social and cultural trends of his time.
 14 
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
(Writer)
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
6
Birthdate: May 15, 1689
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: August 21, 1762
 15 
Tukaram
(Saint, Poet)
Tukaram
4
Birthdate: 1608 AD
Birthplace: Dehu, Near Pune, India
Died: 1650 AD

Marathi poet Sant Tukaram was one of the pillars of the Bhakti movement of Maharashtra. It is believed he began writing abhangas, or religious poetry, after being visited by Vitthal, an avatar of Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna, in a dream. He is revered by the Varkari sampradaya.

 16 
Isaac Watts
(Theologian)
Isaac Watts
5
Birthdate: July 17, 1674
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Southampton, Kingdom of England
Died: November 25, 1748
 17 
John Gay
(Dramatist & Poet)
John Gay
6
Birthdate: June 30, 1685
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Barnstaple
Died: December 4, 1732
 18 
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester
(Poet, Writer, Playwright)
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester
4
Birthdate: April 1, 1647
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ditchley
Died: July 26, 1680
 19 
Lope de Vega
(Writer and One of the Key Figures in the Spanish Golden Age of Baroque Literature)
Lope de Vega
6
Birthdate: November 25, 1562
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: August 27, 1635

Spanish Baroque dramatist Lope de Vega was one of the most significant figures of the Spanish Golden Age. He had initially aspired to be a priest but abandoned his plans after falling in love with a married woman. He is best remembered for works such as The Dog in the Manger.

 20 
Emilia Lanier
6
Birthdate: 1569
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bishopsgate, London, England
Died: March 31, 1645
 21 
Thomas Nashe
(Playwright)
Thomas Nashe
5
Birthdate: 1567
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lowestoft, United Kingdom
Died: 1601 AD
 22 
Francisco de Quevedo
(Spanish Politician and One of the Greatest Poets of the Spanish Golden Age)
Francisco de Quevedo
4
Birthdate: September 14, 1580
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: September 8, 1645

Spanish nobleman, politician and writer Francisco Gómez de Quevedo y Santibáñez Villegas, KOS of the Baroque era is counted among the most prominent writers of Spain's Golden Age. Quevedo adhered to the conceptismo style compared to his lifelong rival, Luis de Góngora’s culteranismo style. His notable works include the picaresque novel El Buscón and the satirical prose Los Sueños.

 23 
James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose
(Poet, Viceroy and Captain General of Scotland)
James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose
3
Birthdate: October 25, 1612
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: May 21, 1650

Known as The Great Montrose, James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose was not just a Scottish nobleman and military leader but also a talented poet. He won many battles for Charles I but was defeated in the Battle of Carbisdale, following which he was hanged to death in the Edinburgh marketplace.

 24 
William Congreve
(Playwright, Poet, Writer, Translator)
William Congreve
4
Birthdate: January 24, 1670
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Leeds
Died: January 19, 1729
 25 
François Fénelon
(Catholic Archbishop and the Author of 'The Adventures of Telemachus')
François Fénelon
3
Birthdate: August 6, 1651
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sainte-Mondane, France
Died: January 7, 1715

François Fénelon was a French writer, poet, theologian, and Catholic archbishop. He is best remembered for his book The Adventures of Telemachus, which was published in 1699. François Fénelon also served as a tutor of Louis, Duke of Burgundy, guiding the character formation of Louis, Grand Dauphin's eldest son.

 26 
Robert Herrick
(British Poet)
Robert Herrick
1
Birthdate: August 24, 1591
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: October 15, 1674

Best remembered for penning the lines "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may," poet Robert Herrick wrote everything from elegies to love songs and religious verse, and was inspired by English folklore. He was a true Cavalier poet, who wrote verses in support of King Charles I.

 27 
Richard Baxter
(British Puritan Church Leader, Poet, Hymnodist, Theologian, and Controversialist)
Richard Baxter
3
Birthdate: November 12, 1615
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rowton, Shropshire, England
Died: December 8, 1691

Richard Baxter was an English poet, theologian, hymnodist, controversialist, and Puritan church leader. He was one of the most influential and important leaders of the Nonconformists. Today, he is commemorated in the Church of England with a feast day on 14 June.

Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana
5
Birthdate: December 17, 1556
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Delhi, Mughal empire
Died: October 1, 1627

Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khana was an Indian poet who served in the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar. He was counted among the Navaratnas, Akbar's nine important ministers. Rahim is best remembered for his couplets and books on astrology.

 29 
John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby
(Former Lord Privy Seal)
John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby
3
Birthdate: September 8, 1647
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: February 24, 1721
 30 
Samuel Butler
(Poet)
Samuel Butler
4
Birthdate: February 14, 1613
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Strensham, England
Died: September 25, 1680
 31 
Salvator Rosa
(Italian Baroque Painter Known for Romanticized Landscapes and History Paintings)
Salvator Rosa
3
Birthdate: June 20, 1615
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Arenella, Naples, Italy
Died: March 15, 1673

Baroque painter and poet Salvator Rosa was born near Naples, to a land surveyor father, who wanted him to become a priest or a lawyer. However, Rosa deviated to art. Initially devoted to landscapes, he later focused on religious art. He is remembered as a pioneer of the Neapolitan school.

 32 
John Lyly
(Writer)
John Lyly
3
Birthdate: 1553 AD
Birthplace: Kent, England
Died: October 31, 1606
 33 
Mary Sidney
(Countess)
Mary Sidney
3
Birthdate: October 27, 1561
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tickenhill Palace, Bewdley, Worcs, England
Died: September 25, 1621
 34 
Constanzo Beschi
(Poet)
Constanzo Beschi
3
Birthdate: November 8, 1680
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Castiglione delle Stiviere, Italy
Died: February 4, 1747
 35 
George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham
(Politician)
George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham
3
Birthdate: January 30, 1628
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 16, 1687
 36 
Samarth Ramdas
(Indian Hindu Saint, Philosopher, Poet, Writer and Spiritual Master)
Samarth Ramdas
3
Birthdate: 1608 AD
Birthplace: Maharashtra, India
Died: 1681 AD

Samarth Ramdas was an Indian saint, poet, writer, philosopher, and spiritual master. He worked towards resurrecting the Hindu culture after it was impaired by several foreign invasions in India. He also worked towards promoting and preserving the Maratha culture. He also supported the participation of women in social and religious work, which was uncommon at that time.

 37 
Pedro Calderón de la Barca
(Spanish Dramatist, Poet, Writer and Knight of the Order of Santiago)
Pedro Calderón de la Barca
5
Birthdate: January 17, 1600
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: May 25, 1681

One of the most significant Baroque playwrights of the Spanish Golden Age, Pedro Calderon de la Barca had penned iconic dramas such as Life Is a Dream and many religious plays and operas, too. Many of his works reflected the issues of a dysfunctional family, probably inspired by his own life.

 38 
Michael Drayton
(First to Write Odes in English in the Manner of Horace)
Michael Drayton
4
Birthdate: 1563 AD
Birthplace: Hartshill, England
Died: December 23, 1631
 39 
Thomas Campion
(Famous for Writing Over a Hundred Lute Songs, Masques for Dancing)
Thomas Campion
3
Birthdate: February 12, 1567
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: March 1, 1620
 40 
Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux
(Poet)
Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux
3
Birthdate: November 1, 1636
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 13, 1711
 41 
Thomas Traherne
(Poet)
Thomas Traherne
3
Birthdate: October 10, 1636
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hereford, England
Died: September 27, 1674
 42 
Henry Vaughan
(Physician, Economist, Poet, Writer)
Henry Vaughan
3
Birthdate: April 17, 1621
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brecknockshire
Died: April 23, 1695

Anglo-Welsh metaphysical poet Henry Vaughan was a major literary figure of the Commonwealth period and is best remembered for Silex Scintillans. While he initially studied law, the Civil War disrupted his studies and he was called back home to serve Sir Marmaduke Lloyd. He was also a practicing physician.

 43 
Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke
(Writer)
Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke
3
Birthdate: October 3, 1554
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Beauchamp Court, England
Died: September 30, 1628
 44 
Tirso de Molina
(Spanish Poet and Roman Catholic Monk Known for Writing 'The Trickster of Seville and the Stone Guest')
Tirso de Molina
4
Birthdate: March 24, 1583
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: February 20, 1648

Spanish Baroque dramatist, poet and Roman Catholic monk Tirso de Molina is best known for writing the play The Trickster of Seville and the Stone Guest which first introduced the legendary fictional character of Don Juan. Other notable works of Molina includes the comedy sitcom Don Gil of the green tights and the trilogy of The Santa Juana.

 45 
Richard Lovelace
(Poet)
Richard Lovelace
3
Birthdate: December 9, 1617
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Woolwich, London, England
Died: 1657 AD
 46 
Luis de Góngora
(Spanish Poet and Priest)
Luis de Góngora
4
Birthdate: July 11, 1561
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Córdoba, Spain
Died: April 23, 1627

Spanish Baroque poet Luis de Góngora created his own style known as Gongorismo. Born to a judge, he initially used his father’s library to gain knowledge. His works such as Fábula de Polifemo y Galatea and Soledades were criticized by many for their complex style and obscurity.

 47 
Ihara Saikaku
(Japanese Poet and Creator of the 'Floating World')
Ihara Saikaku
3
Birthdate: 1642 AD
Birthplace: Osaka, Japan
Died: September 9, 1693

Remembered for his contribution to the revival of the Japanese literature, Ihara Saikaku was possibly the most popular writer in the entire Tokugawa period. Beginning his career with haikai no renga, depicting contemporary chōnin life through them, he later started writing novels, creating floating world genre of literature; Life of an Amorous Man was his first work of this variety.

 48 
Edward Young
3
Birthdate: July 3, 1683
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Upham
Died: April 5, 1765
 49 
Thomas Overbury
(British Poet and Essayist Known for Being the Victim of a Murder Which Led to a Scandalous Trial)
Thomas Overbury
3
Birthdate: 1581 AD
Birthplace: Warwickshire, England
Died: September 14, 1613

Sir Thomas Overbury, English poet and essayist, is probably best known for his 1614 poem Wife, which describes the virtues one should demand of the woman he is going to marry. Interpreted as an indirect attack on Lady Essex, a divorcee whom his mentor, Viscount Rochester, was to marry, it led to his imprisonment and ultimate murder by slow poisoning.

 50 
Charles Montagu, 1st earl of Halifax
(Poet)
Charles Montagu, 1st earl of Halifax
3
Birthdate: April 16, 1661
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kingdom of England
Died: May 19, 1715