Cancer Poets

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 1 
Henry David Thoreau
(Naturalist, Philosopher & Author Of 'Walden')
Henry David Thoreau
12
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
6
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 
Marty Feldman
(Actor, Comedian, Screenwriter, Poet)
Marty Feldman
5
Birthdate: July 8, 1934
Birthplace: London
Died: December 2, 1982
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 4 
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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 5 
Hermann Hesse
(Poet, Novelist & Painter Who Won the 1946 Nobel Prize in Literature)
Hermann Hesse
5
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.
 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. 

 10 
Iris Murdoch
(Irish & British Novelist Best Known for Her Novels: 'Under the Net', 'The Sea, the Sea' and 'The Bell')
Iris Murdoch
4
Birthdate: July 15, 1919
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: February 8, 1999

One of the most popular Irish-born British novelists, Iris Murdoch is remembered for her psychological novels, which had a good dose of sexuality, philosophy, morality, and comic elements. While she won the Booker Prize for The Sea, the Sea, the Oxford alumnus had also worked for the HM Treasury and the UN.

 11 
Vladimir Mayakovsky
(Russian Poet and Playwright Who was a Prominent Figure of the Russian Futurist Movement)
Vladimir Mayakovsky
4
Birthdate: July 19, 1893
Birthplace: Baghdati, Georgia
Died: April 14, 1930

Vladimir Mayakovsky was a Russian and Soviet playwright, poet, artist, and actor. He was a prominent figure of the Russian Futurist movement in the pre-Revolution period leading to 1917. He produced a large and diverse body of work during his career. He admired Vladimir Lenin and supported the ideology of the Bolsheviks. He was popular outside Russia as well. 

 12 
Dean Koontz
(Novelist)
Dean Koontz
9
Birthdate: July 9, 1945
Birthplace: Everett, Pennsylvania, United States
 13 
Emma Lazarus
(Poet, Writer, Journalist)
Emma Lazarus
4
Birthdate: July 22, 1849
Birthplace: New York City
Died: November 19, 1887
 14 
Anna Akhmatova
(One of the Most Significant Russian Poets of 20th Century)
Anna Akhmatova
5
Birthdate: June 23, 1889
Birthplace: Odessa, Ukraine
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.

 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.

Paul Laurence Dunbar
4
Birthdate: June 27, 1872
Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio, United States
Died: February 9, 1906
 17 
Peter Orlovsky
(Poet, Actor)
Peter Orlovsky
4
Birthdate: July 8, 1933
Birthplace: Lower East Side, New York, United States
Died: May 30, 2010
 18 
Aphra Behn
(Playwright)
Aphra Behn
6
Birthdate: July 10, 1640
Birthplace: Canterbury, England
Died: April 16, 1689
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 19 
Jeremy Lloyd
(Writer)
Jeremy Lloyd
6
Birthdate: July 22, 1930
Birthplace: Danbury, England
Died: December 23, 2014
 20 
Jean de La Fontaine
(French Fabulist and One of the Most Widely Read French Poets of the 17th Century)
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.

 21 
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.

 22 
Czesław Miłosz
(One of the Great Poets of the 20th Century)
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.

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 23 
Branwell Brontë
(Painter, Poet, Writer)
Branwell Brontë
4
Birthdate: June 26, 1817
Birthplace: Yorkshire
Died: September 24, 1848
 24 
Isaac Watts
(Theologian)
Isaac Watts
5
Birthdate: July 17, 1674
Birthplace: Southampton, Kingdom of England
Died: November 25, 1748
 25 
Aime Cesaire
4
Birthdate: June 26, 1913
Birthplace: Basse-Pointe, Martinique, France
Died: April 17, 2008
 26 
Wisława Szymborska
(Polish Poet, Essayist, Translator and Winner of 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature)
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. 

 27 
John Gay
(Dramatist & Poet)
John Gay
5
Birthdate: June 30, 1685
Birthplace: Barnstaple
Died: December 4, 1732
Bhanubhakta Acharya
3
Birthdate: July 13, 1814
Birthplace: Chundi Ramgha, Nepal
Died: April 23, 1868
 29 
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.

 30 
Hart Crane
4
Birthdate: July 21, 1899
Birthplace: Garrettsville, Ohio, United States
Died: April 27, 1932
 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 
Clement Clarke Moore
3
Birthdate: July 15, 1779
Birthplace: New York City, New York
Died: July 10, 1863
 33 
Craig Charles
7
Birthdate: July 11, 1964
Birthplace: Liverpool, England, UK
 34 
Reinaldo Arenas
(Cuban Poet, Novelist and Playwright Known for His Work ‘Pentagonia’ and ‘Before Night Falls’)
Reinaldo Arenas
3
Birthdate: July 16, 1943
Birthplace: Holguin, Cuba
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. 

 35 
Mervyn Peake
(English Writer Who is Best Remembered for Writing a Series of Fantasy Books Called 'Gormenghast')
Mervyn Peake
3
Birthdate: July 9, 1911
Birthplace: Lianxi District, Jiujiang, China
Died: November 17, 1968

Mervyn Peake was an English writer, poet, artist, and illustrator. He is best remembered for writing a series of fantasy books, which are collectively referred to as Gormenghast. Although his work as an illustrator and painter did not gain popularity during his lifetime, Mervyn Peake's drawings are highly respected by his friends and peers.

 36 
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.

 37 
Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay
(Indian Novelist & Poet Who is Considered as One of the Greatest Writers of Bengali Literature)
Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay
3
Birthdate: June 26, 1838
Birthplace: Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Died: April 8, 1894

Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay was an Indian poet, novelist, and journalist. He is credited with composing India's national song, Vande Mataram, which personifies India as a mother goddess. The song played a major role in inspiring revolutionaries during India's struggle for independence. Dubbed Emperor of Literature, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay wrote 14 novels alongside several poems.

 38 
Robert Hunter
(Musician)
Robert Hunter
4
Birthdate: June 23, 1941
Birthplace: Arroyo Grande, California, United States
Died: September 23, 2019
 39 
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.

 40 
Jean Metzinger
3
Birthdate: June 24, 1883
Birthplace: Nantes, France
Died: November 3, 1956
 41 
Zinovia Dushkova
4
Birthdate: July 19, 1953
Birthplace: Kongaz, Moldova

Zinovia Dushkova is a Russian poet, historian, philosopher, and author. A prominent writer, Dushkova's works have been translated into seven languages. In 2015, she was honored with the 20 Years of Gagauzia Medal. In 2017, Zinovia Dushkova’s book, The Call of the Heart, was honored at the Nautilus Book Awards with a silver medal in the United States of America.

 42 
Gaston Bachelard
(Philosopher)
Gaston Bachelard
3
Birthdate: June 27, 1884
Birthplace: Bar-sur-Aube, France
Died: October 16, 1962
 43 
Mattie Stepanek
(Poet, Author, Writer)
Mattie Stepanek
3
Birthdate: July 17, 1990
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.
Died: June 22, 2004
 44 
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.

 45 
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. 

 46 
Walter Kaufmann
(Philosopher)
Walter Kaufmann
3
Birthdate: July 1, 1921
Birthplace: Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
Died: September 4, 1980
 47 
Max Jacob
(Poet)
Max Jacob
3
Birthdate: July 12, 1876
Birthplace: Quimper, France
Died: March 5, 1944
 48 
Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven
(German Visual Artist and Poet)
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 
Elisabeth Brooks
(Actress, Singer)
Elisabeth Brooks
0
Birthdate: July 2, 1951
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died: September 7, 1997
 50 
Laurie Lee
(Screenwriter, Poet, Autobiographer, Journalist)
Laurie Lee
6
Birthdate: June 26, 1914
Birthplace: Stroud
Died: May 13, 1997