Famous 19th Century American Poets

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 1 
Edgar Allan Poe
(Writer and Poet - Widely Regarded as a Central Figure of Romanticism in the United States)
Edgar Allan Poe
60
Birthdate: January 19, 1809
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: October 7, 1849

American writer Edgar Allan Poe is regarded as the architect of modern short story, the inventor of the detective-fiction genre and a major contributor towards science fiction genre. The influential writer is recognised for his tales of mystery and macabre. His notable works include The Raven (poem), The Tell-Tale Heart and The Fall of the House of Usher (short stories).

 2 
Emily Dickinson
22
Birthdate: December 10, 1830
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Amherst, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 15, 1886
Victorian-era poet Emily Dickinson apparently wrote around 1800 poems, mostly revolving around themes such as death and immortality. However, she was a recluse, dressed up in white, and mostly interacted with people through correspondence. Her poems were mostly without titles and had short lines, slant rhyme, and unconventional punctuation.
 3 
Robert Frost
(American Poet Who was Known for His Realistic Depictions of Rural Life)
Robert Frost
23
Birthdate: March 26, 1874
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: January 29, 1963

Robert Frost was an American poet. An influential poet, Frost was honored with four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry, the only poet to receive four such awards. One of America's public literary figures, Robert Frost received the Congressional Gold Medal in 1960. His works influenced other poets like Robert Francis, James Wright, Edward Thomas, Richard Wilbur, and Seamus Heaney.

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 4 
Henry David Thoreau
(Naturalist, Philosopher & Author Of 'Walden')
Henry David Thoreau
12
Birthdate: July 12, 1817
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Concord, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 6, 1862

Henry David Thoreau was an American philosopher, essayist, poet, and naturalist. He is credited with popularizing transcendentalism and simple living. His philosophy of civil disobedience, which was detailed in his essay of the same name, later influenced world-renowned personalities like Leo Tolstoy, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mahatma Gandhi.

 5 
Walt Whitman
(One of the Most Influential Poets in the American Canon, Regarded as the 'Father of Free Verse')
Walt Whitman
8
Birthdate: May 31, 1819
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: West Hills, New York, United States
Died: March 26, 1892

Walt Whitman was an American poet, journalist, and essayist. Also a humanist, Whitman played a crucial role in the shift between transcendentalism and realism. Often referred to as the father of free verse, Whitman is one of the most influential American poets of all time. Several decades after his death, Walt Whitman's poetry remains influential.

 6 
Ralph Waldo Emerson
(Famous For his Essay 'Nature' and Speech Entitled 'The American Scholar')
Ralph Waldo Emerson
6
Birthdate: May 25, 1803
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: April 27, 1882

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American philosopher who led the transcendentalist movement that developed in the eastern United States in the 1820s and 1830s. He is credited with popularizing individualism through his numerous lectures and essays. Emerson influenced many thinkers and writers that followed him; he mentored Henry David Thoreau, who went on to become a leading transcendentalist.

 7 
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(First American poet to translate Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy)
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
5
Birthdate: February 27, 1807
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Portland, Maine, United States
Died: March 24, 1882
 8 
E. E. Cummings
8
Birthdate: October 14, 1894
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Died: September 3, 1962
 9 
Carl Sandburg
(Writer & Editor)
Carl Sandburg
6
Birthdate: January 6, 1878
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Galesburg, Illinois, United States
Died: July 22, 1967

Carl Sandburg had begun working since age 11 and been employed in various odd jobs, such as a truck driver, a harvester, and a brickyard hand, before being part of the Illinois Infantry. The two-time Pulitzer-winning poet and biographer late also won a Grammy for his recording of Lincoln Portrait.

 10 
Gertrude Stein
(American Novelist, Poet and Playwright)
Gertrude Stein
4
Birthdate: February 3, 1874
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: July 27, 1946

Gertrude Stein was an American playwright, novelist, poet, and art collector. She is remembered for publishing works about lesbian sexuality, which was considered a taboo at that time. Over the years, Gertrude Stein has been the subject of several works of art. In the 2011 movie Midnight in Paris, Stein was portrayed by Kathy Bates.

 11 
Sara Teasdale
(Poet, Writer)
Sara Teasdale
3
Birthdate: August 8, 1884
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: St. Louis
Died: January 29, 1933
 12 
Herman Melville
(Novelist & Short Story Writer of the American Renaissance Period Best Known for His Works 'Moby-Dick' & 'Typee')
Herman Melville
6
Birthdate: August 1, 1819
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: September 28, 1891

Herman Melville was an American short story writer, novelist, and poet. One of his best-known works, Moby-Dick is widely regarded as one of the great American novels, although it did not garner much attention during his lifetime. Livyatan melvillei, a species of an extinct sperm whale, which was discovered in 2010, was named in his honor.  

 13 
Francis Scott Key
10
Birthdate: August 1, 1779
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Frederick County, Maryland, United States
Died: January 11, 1843
 14 
John Reed
(Journalist, Poet)
John Reed
5
Birthdate: October 22, 1887
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States
Died: October 17, 1920
 15 
Stephen Crane
(Writer, Journalist, Poet, Baseball player, Novelist, Screenwriter)
Stephen Crane
4
Birthdate: November 1, 1871
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newark
Died: June 5, 1900
 16 
Fanny Crosby
4
Birthdate: March 24, 1820
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brewster, New York, United States
Died: February 12, 1915
 17 
Emma Lazarus
(Poet, Writer, Journalist)
Emma Lazarus
4
Birthdate: July 22, 1849
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City
Died: November 19, 1887
 18 
Wallace Stevens
(Modernist poet)
Wallace Stevens
4
Birthdate: October 2, 1879
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Reading, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: August 2, 1955
 19 
Claude McKay
(Writer)
Claude McKay
4
Birthdate: September 15, 1889
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Clarendon Parish
Died: May 22, 1948

Claude McKay was a poet who played an influential role in the Harlem Renaissance. Remembered for his work If We Must Die, a poem written in response to mob attacks on African-American communities by white Americans, McKay was named the national poet of Jamaica in 1977. For his contribution to literature, he was posthumously honored with the Order of Jamaica.

 20 
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
(Physician & Poet)
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
4
Birthdate: August 29, 1809
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Died: October 7, 1894
John Greenleaf Whittier
3
Birthdate: December 17, 1807
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Haverhill, Massachusetts, United States
Died: September 7, 1892
 22 
James Russell Lowell
(Was an American Romantic Poet, Critic, Editor, and Diplomat)
James Russell Lowell
4
Birthdate: February 22, 1819
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Died: August 12, 1891
 23 
Ruth Benedict
(Anthropologist, Folklorist, University teacher, Poet, Sociologist, Biographer)
Ruth Benedict
4
Birthdate: June 5, 1887
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
Died: September 17, 1948

Ruth Benedict was an American folklorist and anthropologist. Benedict, who played an important role in the American Folklore Society, also served as the American Anthropological Association's president; the association gives away an annual prize named after Ruth Benedict. In 2005, she was made an inductee of the National Women's Hall of Fame.

 24 
Bret Harte
(Author & Poet)
Bret Harte
3
Birthdate: August 25, 1836
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Albany, New York, U.S.
Died: May 5, 1902
 25 
Clement Clarke Moore
3
Birthdate: July 15, 1779
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York
Died: July 10, 1863
 26 
Natalie Clifford Barney
3
Birthdate: October 31, 1876
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio, United States
Died: February 2, 1972
 27 
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
(Poet and Mystic Rosicrucian)
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
3
Birthdate: November 5, 1850
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Janesville, Wisconsin, United States
Died: October 30, 1919
 28 
Hilda Doolittle
3
Birthdate: September 10, 1886
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: September 27, 1961
 29 
Julia Ward Howe
(Known for Writing the ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’)
Julia Ward Howe
4
Birthdate: May 27, 1819
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, United States
Died: October 17, 1910
 30 
Sidney Lanier
(Musician)
Sidney Lanier
3
Birthdate: February 3, 1842
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Macon, Georgia, United States
Died: September 7, 1881
 31 
James Whitcomb Riley
3
Birthdate: October 7, 1849
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Greenfield, Indiana, United States
Died: July 22, 1916
 32 
Adah Isaacs Menken
3
Birthdate: June 15, 1835
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bordeaux, France
Died: August 10, 1868
 33 
Melvin Tolson
3
Birthdate: February 6, 1898
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Moberly, Missouri, United States
Died: August 29, 1966
 34 
Caresse Crosby
(Publisher, Writer, Socialite, Poet, Memoirist, Journalist)
Caresse Crosby
3
Birthdate: April 20, 1891
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City
Died: January 26, 1970
 35 
Joyce Kilmer
(Writer)
Joyce Kilmer
9
Birthdate: December 6, 1886
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States
Died: July 30, 1918
 36 
Archibald MacLeish
(Librarian, Poet, Playwright, Writer, University teacher, Poet lawyer, Lawyer)
Archibald MacLeish
3
Birthdate: May 7, 1892
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Glencoe
Died: April 20, 1982
 37 
Frances Harper
3
Birthdate: September 24, 1825
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died: February 22, 1911
 38 
Mark Van Doren
(Poet, Autobiographer, Literary critic, University teacher, Professor, Writer, Journalist)
Mark Van Doren
3
Birthdate: June 13, 1894
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vermilion County
Died: December 10, 1972
 39 
Lorenzo Da Ponte
(Former poet and librettist best known for his collaboration with Mozart)
Lorenzo Da Ponte
3
Birthdate: March 10, 1749
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vittorio Veneto, Italy
Died: August 17, 1838
 40 
Vachel Lindsay
3
Birthdate: November 10, 1879
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Springfield, Illinois, United States
Died: December 5, 1931
 41 
Henry Van Dyke
3
Birthdate: November 10, 1852
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Died: April 10, 1933
 42 
Conrad Aiken
(Writer)
Conrad Aiken
3
Birthdate: August 5, 1889
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Savannah, Georgia, United States
Died: August 17, 1973
 43 
Amy Lowell
(Poet, Writer, Socialite)
Amy Lowell
3
Birthdate: February 9, 1874
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brookline
Died: May 12, 1925
Stephen Vincent Benét
3
Birthdate: July 22, 1898
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: March 13, 1943
 45 
Edgar Guest
3
Birthdate: August 20, 1881
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Birmingham, England
Died: August 5, 1959
 46 
Edwin Arlington Robinson
(Former poet who won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry on three occasions and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times)
Edwin Arlington Robinson
3
Birthdate: December 22, 1869
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Alna, Maine, United States
Died: April 6, 1935
 47 
Rufus Wilmot Griswold
(Journalist, Writer, Literary critic, Poet)
Rufus Wilmot Griswold
3
Birthdate: February 13, 1815
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Benson
Died: August 27, 1857
 48 
Sarah Orne Jewett
3
Birthdate: September 3, 1849
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: South Berwick, Maine, United States
Died: June 24, 1909
 49 
Edmund Wilson
(Journalist, Poet, Playwright, Literary critic, Essayist, Social critic, Writer)
Edmund Wilson
3
Birthdate: May 8, 1895
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Red Bank
Died: June 12, 1972
 50 
Mascha Kaleko
3
Birthdate: June 7, 1907
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chrzanow, Poland
Died: January 21, 1975

Mascha Kaleko was a poet who wrote in the German language. Born in present-day Poland, Kaleko left for Germany along with her mother and sister when the First World War began. In Germany, she became acquainted with writers like Kurt Tucholsky and Erich Kästner, often meeting them in places like the Romanisches Café. Many of her poems were published posthumously.