Cancer Poets

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 
Henry David Thoreau
(Naturalist, Philosopher & Author Of 'Walden')

Henry David Thoreau
9
Birthdate: July 12, 1817
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.

 2 
Pablo Neruda
(Chilean poet)

Pablo Neruda
4
Birthdate: July 12, 1904
Birthplace: Parral, Chile
Died: September 23, 1973

Chilean poet-diplomat and politician, Pablo Neruda, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. He was a versatile writer and his works include surrealist poems, historical epics, political manifestos, and love poems. He is considered the national poet of Chile. As a politician, he served a term as a senator for the Chilean Communist Party and held several diplomatic positions.

 3 
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
(French Poet, Author, and Aviator Best Known for His Novella ‘The Little Prince’)

Antoine de Saint-Exupery
4
Birthdate: June 29, 1900
Birthplace: Lyon, France
Died: July 31, 1944

French writer, poet, aristocrat, and journalist, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, is best remembered for his novella, The Little Prince. He was a pioneering aviator as a young man. A successful commercial pilot before World War II, he joined the French Air Force at the start of the war. Equally successful as a writer, he won several of France's highest literary awards.

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 4 
Marty Feldman
(Actor, Comedian, Screenwriter, Poet)

Marty Feldman
5
Birthdate: July 8, 1934
Birthplace: London
Died: December 2, 1982
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 5 
Hermann Hesse
(Author Known for His Works 'Demian', 'Steppenwolf', 'Siddhartha' and 'The Glass Bead Game')

Hermann Hesse
4
Birthdate: July 2, 1877
Birthplace: Calw, Germany
Died: August 9, 1962

German-born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter Hermann Hesse received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946. He explored individuals’ search for authenticity, self-knowledge, and spirituality in his works. An intense and headstrong person from childhood, he developed an early interest in reading. He started writing as a young man and became an influential author in the German-speaking world. 

 6 
Francesco Petrarch
(Poet, Scholar and Humanist)

Francesco Petrarch
4
Birthdate: July 20, 1304
Birthplace: Arezzo, Italy
Died: July 19, 1374
Legendary Renaissance poet and the father of humanism Petrarch is remembered for his poems addressed to a certain Laura. While his lawyer father pushed him into studying law, Petrarch’s love for literature made him quit the domain after 7 years, following which he focused on writing. 

 7 
Jean Cocteau
(French Author and Artist Who Was One of the Foremost Creatives of the 'Surrealist', 'Avant-Garde', and 'Dadaist' Movements.)

Jean Cocteau
4
Birthdate: July 5, 1889
Birthplace: Maisons-Laffitte, France
Died: October 11, 1963
While Jean Cocteau preferred calling himself a poet, his multidimensional works consisted of novels such as Les Enfants Terribles and films directed by him such as La Belle et la Bête. Cocteau relied on motifs such as eyes, blood, and mirrors, and mingled mythology and modernism.
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 8 
John Clare
(English poet)

John Clare
9
Birthdate: July 13, 1793
Birthplace: Helpston, England
Died: May 20, 1864

 9 
Abbas Kiarostami
(Film director, Screenwriter, Photographer, Film producer, Poet, Film editor)

Abbas Kiarostami
4
Birthdate: June 22, 1940
Birthplace: Tehran
Died: July 4, 2016

Abbas Kiarostami was an Iranian screenwriter, film director, film producer, photographer, and poet. Over the course of his illustrious career, Kiarostami was honored with numerous awards such as the Jury Special Award at the Tehran International Film Festival and Best Film Award at the Iranian Film Festival for Children and Young Adults. 

Vladimir Mayakovsky
4
Birthdate: July 19, 1893
Birthplace: Baghdati, Georgia
Died: April 14, 1930

 11 
Dean Koontz
(Novelist)

Dean Koontz
9
Birthdate: July 9, 1945
Birthplace: Everett, Pennsylvania, United States

 12 

Anna Akhmatova
4
Birthdate: June 23, 1889
Birthplace: Velykyi Fontan Cape
Died: March 5, 1966

One of the greatest Russian women poets, Anna Akhmatova had started writing poems at age 11. She was part of the Acmeists, who laid down their own style, Acmeism. Poema bez geroya and Requiem remain two of her finest works. She later wrote about the horrors of the Stalinist regime.

 13 
Emma Lazarus
(Poet, Writer, Journalist)

Emma Lazarus
4
Birthdate: July 22, 1849
Birthplace: New York City
Died: November 19, 1887

 14 
Branwell Brontë
(Painter, Poet, Writer)

Branwell Brontë
4
Birthdate: June 26, 1817
Birthplace: Yorkshire
Died: September 24, 1848

 15 
Luigi Pirandello
(Italian Playwright and Novelist & Winner of 1934 Nobel Prize in Literature)

Luigi Pirandello
4
Birthdate: June 28, 1867
Birthplace: Agrigento, Italy
Died: December 10, 1936

Luigi Pirandello was an Italian novelist, short story writer, poet, and dramatist. Best remembered for his plays, Pirandello was honored with the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature in 1934. An Italian nationalist, Pirandello supported Fascism; he asked the Fascist government to melt down his Nobel Prize medal for the Abyssinia Campaign.

 16 
Jeremy Lloyd
(Writer)

Jeremy Lloyd
6
Birthdate: July 22, 1930
Birthplace: Danbury, England
Died: December 23, 2014

 17 
Aphra Behn
(Playwright)

Aphra Behn
6
Birthdate: July 10, 1640
Birthplace: Canterbury, England
Died: April 16, 1689

 18 
Lafcadio Hearn
(Former writer, translator, and teacher who introduced the culture and literature of Japan to the West)

Lafcadio Hearn
4
Birthdate: June 27, 1850
Birthplace: Lefkada, Greece
Died: September 26, 1904

Lafcadio Hearn was a writer best remembered for writing about Japanese culture. His writings about Japan threw light on the previously unknown but fascinating culture of Japan. It also helped the Western world understand Japanese culture. Many of his stories have been adapted into films and theatrical productions.

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 19 
Peter Orlovsky
(Poet, Actor)

Peter Orlovsky
4
Birthdate: July 8, 1933
Birthplace: Lower East Side, New York, United States
Died: May 30, 2010

 20 
Giacomo Leopardi
(One of the Most Radical and Challenging Thinkers of the 19th Century)

Giacomo Leopardi
4
Birthdate: June 29, 1798
Birthplace: Recanati, Italy
Died: June 14, 1837

Giacomo Leopardi was one of the greatest lyric poets of the 19th century. Born into a noble family, he mastered several languages and wrote many works by 16, in spite of suffering from a cerebrospinal ailment. Remembered for his iconic works such as A Silvia, he died during a cholera epidemic.

 21 

Czesław Miłosz
4
Birthdate: June 30, 1911
Birthplace: Šeteniai, Lithuania
Died: August 14, 2004

Nobel Prize-winning Polish-American poet Czesław Miłosz, known for the iconic Poem of Frozen Time, had made a lucky escape during the German invasion of Poland but had gone back using fake documents to be with his wife, Janina. He later became a Polish diplomat and also taught in the US.

 22 

Jean de La Fontaine
4
Birthdate: July 8, 1621
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.

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 23 

Aime Cesaire
4
Birthdate: June 26, 1913
Birthplace: Basse-Pointe, Martinique, France
Died: April 17, 2008

 24 
Wisława Szymborska
(Poet, Essayist, Translator)

Wisława Szymborska
4
Birthdate: July 2, 1923
Birthplace: Kórnik, Poland
Died: February 1, 2012

Wisława Szymborska was a Polish poet, essayist, and translator. In 1996, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for her poetry. Her works have been translated into numerous languages, including English, Arabic, Japanese, Hebrew, and Chinese. She also translated French literature, especially Baroque poetry, into Polish. She actively wrote until her death at the age of 88. 

Paul Laurence Dunbar
4
Birthdate: June 27, 1872
Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio, United States
Died: February 9, 1906

 26 
John Gay
(Dramatist & Poet)

John Gay
5
Birthdate: June 30, 1685
Birthplace: Barnstaple
Died: December 4, 1732

 27 

Hart Crane
4
Birthdate: July 21, 1899
Birthplace: Garrettsville, Ohio, United States
Died: April 27, 1932

 28 
W. H. Davies
(British poet)

W. H. Davies
4
Birthdate: July 3, 1871
Birthplace: Newport, Wales
Died: September 26, 1940

After losing his father at age 3, Georgian poet W. H. Davies was raised by his grandparents. He later spent moving from place to place in the US and Canada, taking up odd jobs, and even lost his right foot while trying to jump a freight train.

Bhanubhakta Acharya
3
Birthdate: July 13, 1814
Birthplace: Chundi Ramgha, Nepal
Died: April 23, 1868

 30 
Isaac Watts
(Theologian)

Isaac Watts
5
Birthdate: July 17, 1674
Birthplace: Southampton, Kingdom of England
Died: November 25, 1748

 31 
Northrop Frye
(Literary theorist and philosopher who was best remembered for being one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century.)

Northrop Frye
4
Birthdate: July 14, 1912
Birthplace: Sherbrooke, Canada
Died: January 23, 1991

Considered one of the most important literary theorists of the century, Herman Northrop Fry gained international fame with his first book, Fearful Symmetry: A Study of William Blake and later with Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays. Prolific writer and respected educator, he went on to write many more, concurrently championing Canadian literature and identity, receiving several honors for his contributions.

 32 
Vairamuthu
(Author, Actor, Poet, Lyricist, Songwriter)

Vairamuthu
4
Birthdate: July 13, 1953
Birthplace: Vadugapatti, Theni

Padma Shri- and Padma Bhushan-winning Indian lyricist, poet, and author Vairamuthu went from being a translator of law books to one of the most significants Tamil literary figures. The song Chinna Chinna Aasai from the film Roja was written by him and won him one of his seven National Awards.

 33 
Laurie Lee
(Screenwriter, Poet, Autobiographer, Journalist)

Laurie Lee
6
Birthdate: June 26, 1914
Birthplace: Stroud
Died: May 13, 1997

 34 

Clement Clarke Moore
3
Birthdate: July 15, 1779
Birthplace: New York City, New York
Died: July 10, 1863

 35 

Craig Charles
7
Birthdate: July 11, 1964
Birthplace: Liverpool, England, UK

 36 
Reinaldo Arenas
(Cuban poet)

Reinaldo Arenas
3
Birthdate: July 16, 1943
Birthplace: Oriente
Died: December 7, 1990

Reinaldo Arenas was a Cuban poet, novelist, and playwright. As a young man, he supported revolutionary Fidel Castro but later became a local critic of Castro’s ideology. He was openly gay and often wrote about his life as a homosexual man. He was diagnosed with AIDS in 1987 and died by suicide in 1990. 

 37 
Mervyn Peake
(Writer)

Mervyn Peake
3
Birthdate: July 9, 1911
Birthplace: Kuling, China
Died: November 17, 1968

 38 
Hannah Szenes
(Writer, Poet)

Hannah Szenes
4
Birthdate: July 17, 1921
Birthplace: Budapest
Died: November 7, 1944

Hungarian Jewish poet and SOE member Hannah Szenes went down in history for voluntarily parachuting into occupied Europe during World War II to assist the Allied forces and the armed resistance against the Nazis. Captured at the Hungarian border, she was eventually tortured and executed by a firing squad.

 39 
Robert Hunter
(Musician)

Robert Hunter
4
Birthdate: June 23, 1941
Birthplace: Arroyo Grande, California, United States
Died: September 23, 2019

 40 

Jean Metzinger
3
Birthdate: June 24, 1883
Birthplace: Nantes, France
Died: November 3, 1956

 41 
Gaston Bachelard
(Philosopher)

Gaston Bachelard
3
Birthdate: June 27, 1884
Birthplace: Bar-sur-Aube, France
Died: October 16, 1962

 42 
Mattie Stepanek
(Poet, Author, Writer)

Mattie Stepanek
3
Birthdate: July 17, 1990
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.
Died: June 22, 2004

 43 
Yevgeny Yevtushenko
(Writer Best Known for 'Babiyy Yar', a Political Poem)

Yevgeny Yevtushenko
3
Birthdate: July 18, 1932
Birthplace: Nizhneudinsk, Russia
Died: April 1, 2017

Russian author Yevgeny Yevtushenko, known for works such as Wild Berries and Bratsk Station, is also remembered for his advocacy of artistic freedom in Russian literature rather than a reliance on political overtones. Following the death of Stalin, he focused on using unadulterated language and lyrics with a personal touch.

 44 
Kannadasan
(Poet, Lyricist, Songwriter)

Kannadasan
4
Birthdate: June 24, 1927
Birthplace: Sirukoodalpatti
Died: October 17, 1981

Kannadasan was an Indian poet, lyricist, philosopher, scriptwriter, and philanthropist. Widely regarded as one of the greatest Indian lyricists of all time, Kannadasan wrote about 6000 poems, 5000 film songs, and 232 books. Best known for his work in the Tamil film industry, Kannadasan became the first lyricist to win the National Film Award for Best Lyrics in 1969. 

 45 
Na. Muthukumar
(Indian Poet and Lyricist Best Known for His Tamil Language Film Songs)

Na. Muthukumar
4
Birthdate: July 12, 1975
Birthplace: Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
Died: August 14, 2016

Na. Muthukumar was an Indian poet, author, and lyricist who predominantly worked in the Tamil film industry. He is credited with writing several popular film songs and is widely regarded as one of the most successful lyricists of his generation. During his illustrious career, Muthukumar won several prestigious awards, including two National Film Awards for Best Lyrics.

 46 
Walter Kaufmann
(Philosopher)

Walter Kaufmann
3
Birthdate: July 1, 1921
Birthplace: Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
Died: September 4, 1980

 47 
Elisabeth Brooks
(Actress, Singer)

Elisabeth Brooks
0
Birthdate: July 2, 1951
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died: September 7, 1997

 48 
Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven
(Former avant-garde, Dadaist artist and poet who worked for several years in Greenwich Village, New York)

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven
3
Birthdate: July 12, 1874
Birthplace: Swinoujscie, Poland
Died: December 14, 1927

Part of the German avant-garde movement and a prominent Dadaist, poet and artist Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven is best remembered for her sound poetry and her posthumously published book Body Sweats. It is believed the famous urinal Fountain sculpture thought to be a work of Marcel Duchamp was actually created by Elsa.

 49 
Giacomo Balla
(Painter)

Giacomo Balla
3
Birthdate: July 18, 1871
Birthplace: Turin, Italy
Died: March 1, 1958

 50 
Max Jacob
(Poet)

Max Jacob
3
Birthdate: July 12, 1876
Birthplace: Quimper, France
Died: March 5, 1944