Capricorn 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
61
Birthdate: January 19, 1809
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 
Rudyard Kipling
(Journalist, Poet & Novelist)
Rudyard Kipling
24
Birthdate: December 30, 1865
Birthplace: Mumbai, India
Died: January 18, 1936

English journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist Rudyard Kipling is best remembered for his fiction work The Jungle Book. He was born in India and many of his works are inspired by his life in the country. He was one of the most popular English writers in the late 19th and early 20th century.

 3 
Matthew Arnold
6
Birthdate: December 24, 1822
Birthplace: Laleham, United Kingdom
Died: April 15, 1888

Iconic Victorian poet and literary critic Matthew Arnold is best remembered for his classic essay Culture and Anarchy, which was a social critique of the Victorian era. He also penned poems such as Dover Beach and Sohrab and Rustum. He had also been a school inspector for over 3 decades.

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 4 
Carl Sandburg
(Writer & Editor)
Carl Sandburg
7
Birthdate: January 6, 1878
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.

 5 
J. R. R. Tolkien
(Author of 'The Hobbit' & 'The Lord of the Rings')
J. R. R. Tolkien
19
Birthdate: January 3, 1892
Birthplace: Bloemfontein, South Africa
Died: September 2, 1973

Considered one of the greatest authors, JRR Tolkien is popularly called the father of the modern fantasy literature. He is best known for his high fantasy classic works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, which is set in a conceived world called the Middle-Earth. Many years after his death, Tolkien continues to be one of the best-selling writers.

 6 
A. A. Milne
(Best Known for His Books About the Teddy Bear ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’ and Children's Poetry)
A. A. Milne
6
Birthdate: January 18, 1882
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 31, 1956

A. A. Milne was an English author best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh. He joined the British Army as a young man and served in both World War I and World War II. In his career as a writer, he wrote several novels, non-fiction pieces, articles, poems, screenplays, and children’s stories.

 7 
Patti Smith
(Known for Her Hit Single “Because the Night”)
Patti Smith
4
Birthdate: December 30, 1946
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Patti Smith is an American singer-songwriter. Referred to as the punk poet laureate, Smith became an influential figure of the punk rock movement with the release of her album Horses. Many world-renowned musicians, such as Madonna and Michael Stipe, have cited Smith as their inspiration. Even actresses like Ellen Page and Maria Doyle Kennedy have called Smith a major influence.

 8 
Khalil Gibran
6
Birthdate: January 6, 1883
Birthplace: Bsharri, Lebanon
Died: April 10, 1931

Lebanese author and poet Khalil Gibran is best remembered for his bestselling works The Prophet and Broken Wings. One of the leaders of the Mahjar movement of Arabic literature, he specialized in incorporating mythological and mystical symbols in his works and was inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche and William Blake.

 9 
Savitribai Phule
(Social Reformer, Poet)
Savitribai Phule
6
Birthdate: January 3, 1831
Birthplace: Naigaon, British India (now in Satara district, Maharashtra)
Died: March 10, 1887

Savitribai Phule was a revolutionary social reformer who dedicated her life to educate girls and bring about gender equality in the face of resistance from the conservative Indian society. Phule, who was illiterate till her marriage, went on to become a teacher, a feat considered first by an Indian woman. With her husband, she established schools for girls in Maharashtra.

 10 
Thomas Gray
(Poet, Writer, Literary critic)
Thomas Gray
6
Birthdate: December 26, 1716
Birthplace: London
Died: July 30, 1771
 11 
Carol Ann Duffy
6
Birthdate: December 23, 1955
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
 12 
Captain Beefheart
10
Birthdate: January 15, 1941
Birthplace: Glendale, California, U.S.
Died: December 17, 2010
 13 
Betty Aberlin
(Actress)
Betty Aberlin
4
Birthdate: December 30, 1942
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
 14 
Javed Akhtar
(Screenwriter, poet, and lyricist known for his contributions to Indian music and Bollywood films)
Javed Akhtar
5
Birthdate: January 17, 1945
Birthplace: Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India

Born into a family of Urdu poets from Gwalior, renowned Indian lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar had initially been a screenwriter, along with Salim Khan, for films such as Sholay and Deewaar. The Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan winner has also been a Rajya Sabha MP.

 15 
Mihai Eminescu
(The National Poet of Romania and a Major Figure of Romanticism)
Mihai Eminescu
4
Birthdate: January 15, 1850
Birthplace: Botoșani, Romania
Died: June 15, 1889
 16 
Mirza Ghalib
(Indian Urdu and Persian Poet)
Mirza Ghalib
4
Birthdate: December 27, 1797
Birthplace: Agra, India
Died: February 15, 1869

Mirza Ghalib was an Indian poet whose works give a detailed description of the beginning of British rule and the subsequent events in India. A respected poet, who wrote in Urdu and Persian languages, Ghalib remains popular among the Hindustani diaspora across the world. Several films and TV shows have been made in his honor.

 17 
David Knopfler
7
Birthdate: December 27, 1952
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
 18 
Mary Karr
(Poet)
Mary Karr
4
Birthdate: January 16, 1955
Birthplace: East Texas
 19 
Adam Mickiewicz
(Best Known as One of Poland's 'Three Bards' & A Primary Figure in European Romanticism)
Adam Mickiewicz
4
Birthdate: December 24, 1798
Birthplace: Zavosse, Belarus
Died: November 26, 1855

Adam Mickiewicz was a Polish poet, dramatist, essayist, and political activist. He was a major figure in Polish Romanticism and considered one of Poland's "Three Bards." He has long been regarded as Poland's national poet and is often compared to Byron and Goethe. The vast majority of his work is available only in Polish and has been reprinted numerous times. 

 20 
Kuvempu
(Novelist)
Kuvempu
4
Birthdate: December 29, 1904
Birthplace: Chikkamagaluru district
Died: November 11, 1994

One of the greatest Kannada literary figures to have ever lived, Jnanpith Award- and Padma Vibhushan-winning author Kuvempu had written the state anthem of Karnataka, Jaya Bharata Jananiya Tanujate. He was also an academic who had served as the Mysore University vice-chancellor and often voiced his concerns on social issues.

 21 
Rubén Darío
(Nicaraguan Poet Who Initiated the Spanish-Language Literary Movement Known as "Modernismo")
Rubén Darío
5
Birthdate: January 18, 1867
Birthplace: Ciudad Darío, Nicaragua
Died: February 6, 1916

The leader of the 19th-century Spanish-American Modernismo movement, Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío had been a prodigy who had started writing poems at age 14. Best remembered for his works such as Azul, he earned the tag of the Prince of Castilian Letters. He had also held various diplomatic posts.

 22 
Jean Racine
(Dramatist)
Jean Racine
4
Birthdate: December 22, 1639
Birthplace: La Ferté-Milon, Kingdom of France
Died: April 21, 1699
 23 
Paul Bowles
(Writer, Music Composer)
Paul Bowles
4
Birthdate: December 30, 1910
Birthplace: Jamaica, New York, United States
Died: November 18, 1999
 24 
Zindzi Mandela
(Diplomat)
Zindzi Mandela
6
Birthdate: December 23, 1960
Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa
Died: July 13, 2020

Zindzi Mandela was a South African poet and diplomat best known as the daughter of the famous anti-apartheid activist, Nelson Mandela. From 1996 to 1998, she also served as a temporary First Lady of South Africa. Over the years, she has been portrayed in films and TV films, such as Mrs Mandela (2009), Invictus (2009), and Mandela (1987).

 25 
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti
(Italian Poet, Founder of the 'Futurist Movement' and Author of the First 'Futurist Manifesto')
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti
4
Birthdate: December 22, 1876
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: December 2, 1944

Filippo Tommaso Marinetti was an Italian poet, art theorist, and editor. He is credited with founding the Futurist movement and is remembered for his work Manifesto of Futurism. In 1918, he founded a political party called Futurist Political Party as an extension of the social and futurist artistic movement. The party merged with the Italian Fasces of Combat in 1919.

 26 
Jonas Mekas
(Lithuanian-American Poet, Artist, and Filmmaker Who is Known as the 'Godfather of American Avant-Garde Cinema')
Jonas Mekas
3
Birthdate: December 24, 1922
Birthplace: Semeniškiai, Lithuania
Died: January 23, 2019

Jonas Mekas was a Lithuanian-American poet, artist, and filmmaker. Referred to as the godfather of American avant-garde cinema, Mekas is credited with mentoring many important American artists and filmmakers, such as Peter Bogdanovich, Ken Jacobs, and Martin Scorsese among others. Jonas Mekas' work has been displayed in museums. He is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including Lithuanian National Prize.

 27 
Su Shi
(Poet, Writer, Painter)
Su Shi
3
Birthdate: January 8, 1037
Birthplace: Meishan
Died: August 24, 1101

Su Shi was a Chinese writer, calligrapher, poet, painter, gastronome, pharmacologist, and politician who lived during the Song dynasty. He played a major role in the political affairs of the Song dynasty. He is credited with producing some of the best-known poems, prose, and essays and is considered one of the most decorated personalities in classical Chinese literature.

 28 
Robert W. Service
(Poet & Writer)
Robert W. Service
10
Birthdate: January 16, 1874
Birthplace: Preston, Lancashire, England
Died: September 11, 1958

Robert W. Service was a British-Canadian poet and writer. Popularly called "the Bard of the Yukon," he wrote some of the most commercially successful poetry of his era. A bank clerk by profession, he often wrote while traveling for work. Besides poetry, he also wrote fiction and non-fiction. He was often compared to English writer and novelist Rudyard Kipling. 

 29 
Takeshi Kitano
(Comedian)
Takeshi Kitano
4
Birthdate: January 18, 1947
Birthplace: Adachi, Tokyo, Japan

Takeshi Kitano is a Japanese comedian, TV presenter, author, actor, and filmmaker. He gained international fame in the 1970s as one half of the comedy duo Two Beat. He later pursued a solo act and became one of the top comedians in Japan. He then ventured into acting and direction as well. He won the Golden Lion award in 1997.   

 30 
Rahat Indori
5
Birthdate: January 1, 1950
Birthplace: Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India
Died: August 11, 2020

Urdu poet Rahat Indori had an illustrious and versatile career as a painter, a Bollywood lyricist, and a professor. A regular at poetry events such as Kavi Sammelan, he was known for his captivating couplets such as Kisi Ke Baap Ka Hindustan Thodi Hai. He died of COVID-19 in 2020.

 31 
Mahasweta Devi
(Human rights activist, Writer, Poet, Novelist, Educator, Short story writer)
Mahasweta Devi
4
Birthdate: January 14, 1926
Birthplace: Dhaka
Died: July 28, 2016

Ramon Magsaysay Award-winning Indian author Mahasweta Devi is regarded as a gem of the Bengali literary world. She had also been a left-wing social activist, and her works such as Hajar Churashir Maa and Rudali have either tribals or people from the marginalized communities as their protagonists.

 32 
Emilia Lanier
6
Birthdate: 1569
Birthplace: Bishopsgate, London, England
Died: March 31, 1645
 33 
Daisaku Ikeda
(Poet, Writer)
Daisaku Ikeda
4
Birthdate: January 2, 1928
Birthplace: Ōta-ku

Daisaku Ikeda is a Japanese Buddhist educator, author, philosopher, and nuclear disarmament advocate. He is best known for serving as the founding president of the world's largest Buddhist lay organization, Soka Gakkai International (SGI). Daisaku Ikeda has won several international awards like the United Nations Peace Medal, Tagore Peace Award, and Rosa Parks Humanitarian Award.

 34 
Fritz Leiber
(Author)
Fritz Leiber
3
Birthdate: December 24, 1910
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: September 5, 1992
 35 
Robert Bly
(Linguist, Poet, Translator, Writer)
Robert Bly
3
Birthdate: December 23, 1926
Birthplace: Lac qui Parle County, Minnesota, United States
 36 
Sándor Petőfi
(Former Hungary's national poet, and was one of the key figures of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848)
Sándor Petőfi
3
Birthdate: January 1, 1823
Birthplace: Kiskőrös, Hungary
Died: July 31, 1849

Hungarian poet and revolutionary Sándor Petőfi is remembered as one of the pillars of the 1848 Hungarian Revolution, and his song Talpra Magyar became an anthem of the revolution. While he was initially part of the army, ill health got him dismissed soon. He also penned the epic fairy tale János vitéz.

 37 
Horacio Quiroga
(Uruguayan Playwright, Poet and Short Story Writer)
Horacio Quiroga
3
Birthdate: December 31, 1878
Birthplace: Salto, Uruguay
Died: February 19, 1937

Horacio Quiroga was a Uruguayan poet, playwright, and short story writer. He is best remembered for depicting jungles and characters with mental illnesses in his stories. Horacio Quiroga is credited with influencing the works of Gabriel García Márquez and Julio Cortázar.

 38 
Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy
(Writer Who Specialized in Science Fiction and Historical Novels)
Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy
3
Birthdate: January 10, 1883
Birthplace: Pugachyov, Russia
Died: February 23, 1945

Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy, also known as Comrade Count, initially tasted fame with the novel Nikita’s Childhood and then redefined the science-fiction, thriller, and historical novel genres. As part of the Extraordinary State Commission, he was the first to ascertain that the Nazis had used gas vans during World War II.

 39 
Ivor Cutler
(Scottish Poet, Singer-Songwriter , Musician, Artist and Humorist Known for His Regular Performances on 'BBC Radio')
Ivor Cutler
3
Birthdate: January 15, 1923
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Died: March 3, 2006
Known for his frequent appearances on BBC radio programs and his baritone voice, singer Ivor Cutler had once been a RAF navigator. While he initially studied painting and sculpting, he later took to poetry and songwriting. He had also penned children’s books. Called an eccentric, he mostly traveled by bicycle.
 40 
Jane Wilde
3
Birthdate: December 27, 1821
Birthplace: Wexford, Ireland
Died: February 3, 1896
 41 
Taylor Mead
(Actor, Poet, Writer)
Taylor Mead
3
Birthdate: December 31, 1924
Birthplace: Michigan
Died: May 8, 2013
 42 
Jean Toomer
(American poet)
Jean Toomer
3
Birthdate: December 26, 1894
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: March 30, 1967
 43 
Dorothy Wordsworth
3
Birthdate: December 25, 1771
Birthplace: Cockermouth, England
Died: January 25, 1855
 44 
Al-Ma'arri
(One of the Best Classical Arabic Poets of All Time)
Al-Ma'arri
3
Birthdate: December 23, 0973
Birthplace: Ma`arat al-Nu`man, Syria
Died: April 30, 1057

Al-Ma'arri was an Arab poet, philosopher, and writer. Counted among the best classical Arabic poets of all time, Al-Ma'arri was also regarded as a controversial rationalist. He advocated social justice and opposed all forms of violence. Some of his best known works include The Tinder Spark, The Epistle of Forgiveness, and Unnecessary Necessity.
 

 45 
Ernest J. Gaines
(Author, Educator)
Ernest J. Gaines
3
Birthdate: January 15, 1933
Birthplace: Oscar, Louisiana, United States
 46 
Ramón Sampedro
3
Birthdate: January 5, 1943
Birthplace: Porto do Son, Galicia, Spain
Died: January 12, 1998
 47 
Alasdair Gray
(Former Writer best known for his surreal atmospheric novel Lanark (1981))
Alasdair Gray
5
Birthdate: December 28, 1934
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Died: December 29, 2019

Alasdair Gray was a Scottish artist and writer whose works have inspired several other prominent writers like Irvine Welsh, Alan Warner, Janice Galloway, Chris Kelso, and A. L. Kennedy. His first novel Lanark, which was published in 1981, is viewed as a watershed in the history of Scottish fiction. He also painted murals, including one at the Hillhead subway station.

 48 
Juan Ramón Jiménez
(Poet, a prolific writer who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1956)
Juan Ramón Jiménez
3
Birthdate: December 23, 1881
Birthplace: Moguer, Spain
Died: May 29, 1958

Nobel Prize-winning Spanish poet Juan Ramón Jiménez mostly dealt with erotic themes in his works. He was also once hospitalized for depression. A master of lyrical poetry, he later deviated to free verse. He is best known for poetic masterpieces such as Distant Gardens and his prose Platero and I.

 49 
Nâzım Hikmet
3
Birthdate: January 15, 1902
Birthplace: Thessaloniki
Died: June 3, 1963

Turkish poet and author Nâzım Hikmet was chiefly known as a Romantic Communist. After being jailed in Turkey for his political activities, he spent the rest of his life in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe. He redefined Turkish literature with his free verse and poems such as Şeyh Bedreddin destanı.

 50 
Hayim Nahman Bialik
(Russian-Jewish Author and a Pioneer of Modern Hebrew Poetry)
Hayim Nahman Bialik
3
Birthdate: January 9, 1873
Birthplace: Volhynia, Russian Empire
Died: July 4, 1934

Russian-Jewish author and poet Hayim Nahman Bialik was one of the leading figures behind the development of modern Hebrew poetry. He grew up amid poverty and worked briefly as a lumber merchant, before becoming a teacher. Apart from expressing the anguish of the Jewish people through his works, he also translated many classics.