Famous Swiss Poets

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 1 
Hermann Hesse
(Poet, Novelist & Painter Who Won the 1946 Nobel Prize in Literature)
Hermann Hesse
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Birthdate: July 2, 1877
Sun Sign: Cancer
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. 

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Frithjof Schuon
(Swiss Metaphysician)
Frithjof Schuon
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Birthdate: June 18, 1907
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland
Died: May 5, 1998

Swiss-born German philosopher and metaphysician Frithjof Schuon was a major figure of the Traditionalist School of thought. He also propagated Religio Perennis and wrote extensively about his belief in God, the absolute principle. Most of his work was penned in French and very few in his mother tongue, German.

 3 
Blaise Cendrars
(Swiss Novelist and Poet)
Blaise Cendrars
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Birthdate: September 1, 1887
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
Died: January 21, 1961

French-speaking Swiss poet Blaise Cendrars was a regular at the artists’ colony known as The Beehive. Remembered for his novels such as Bourlinguer and his poems such as Pâques à New York, he mostly included autobiographical elements in his works, such as his experiences at the front lines for the French army.

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 4 
Hazel Brugger
(Slam poet, Comedian)
Hazel Brugger
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Birthdate: December 9, 1993
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: San Diego, California, United States
Joanna Harcourt-Smith
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Birthdate: January 13, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: St. Moritz, Switzerland
Died: October 11, 2020
 6 
Johann Kaspar Lavater
(Poet, Philosopher, Physiognomist and Theologian)
Johann Kaspar Lavater
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Birthdate: November 15, 1741
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland
Died: January 2, 1801

Best known for his research on physiognomy, Johann Kaspar Lavater was also a theologian and an author. He had penned books such as Aussichten in die Ewigkeit and several epic and lyric poems. He died of a grenade wound during the French occupation of Switzerland.

 7 
Henri Frédéric Amiel
(Swiss Moral Philosopher Best Known for His Book 'Journal Intime', a Masterpiece of Self-Analysis)
Henri Frédéric Amiel
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Birthdate: September 27, 1821
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland
Died: May 11, 1881

Best known for his popular Journal Intime, Henri Frédéric Amiel was orphaned at an early age and traveled with various European intellectuals to gain knowledge. Apart from teaching aesthetics and moral philosophy, he also wrote volumes of philosophy and poetry, apart from criticism of major philosophers.

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 8 
Arthur Cravan
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Birthdate: May 22, 1887
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lausanne, Switzerland
Died: October 31, 1918
 9 
Gottfried Keller
(Swiss Poet and Writer Best Known for His Novel 'Green Henry')
Gottfried Keller
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Birthdate: July 19, 1819
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland
Died: July 15, 1890

Swiss author and poet Gottfried Keller remains one of the most significant contributors to German literature. After devoting his initial years to landscape painting, he focused on poetry and eventually became a pioneer of poetic realism. He also penned novels such as Green Henry and several short story collections.

 10 
Carl Spitteler
(Poet, Writer)
Carl Spitteler
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Birthdate: April 24, 1845
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Liestal
Died: December 29, 1924
 11 
Conrad Ferdinand Meyer
(Master of Literary Realism Who Is Mainly Remembered for Stirring Narrative Ballads Like ‘Die Füße Im Feuer')
Conrad Ferdinand Meyer
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Birthdate: October 11, 1825
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland
Died: November 28, 1898
Isabelle de Charrière
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Birthdate: October 20, 1740
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Utrecht, Netherlands
Died: December 27, 1805

Isabelle de Charrière was born to a Dutch noble family but later married her brother’s Swiss teacher and settled in Switzerland. A fine novelist, known for works such as Trois Femmes and Caliste; ou, lettres écrites de Lausanne, she critiqued social conventions and aristocratic privilege.

 13 
Philippe Jaccottet
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Birthdate: June 30, 1925
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Moudon, Switzerland
Died: February 24, 2021
 14 
Heinrich Glarean
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Birthdate: June 3, 1488
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mollis, Switzerland
Died: March 28, 1563
 15 
Drs. P
(Singer, Songwriter)
Drs. P
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Birthdate: August 24, 1919
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Thun, Switzerland
Died: June 13, 2015
 16 
Meinrad Inglin
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Birthdate: July 28, 1893
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Schwyz, Switzerland
Died: December 4, 1971

Born to a goldsmith and watchmaker, Meinrad Inglin struggled to balance his studies and work after being orphaned at 17. He later served the army and also worked as a journalist, before devoting himself to writing full-time. His works, such as Grand Hotel Excelsior, depict the realism of rural life.

Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz
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Birthdate: September 24, 1878
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cully, Switzerland
Died: May 23, 1947

Swiss author Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz is remembered for his simple language and allegorical elements. Known for his iconic works such as Terror on the Mountain and Beauty on Earth, he narrated stories of rural people. He also taught in Germany and Switzerland and spent a considerable part of his life in Paris.

 18 
Robert Pinget
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Birthdate: July 19, 1919
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland
Died: August 25, 1997

One of the greatest avant-garde Swiss-born French authors, Robert Pinget was also part of the Nouveau Roman movement. The Inquisitory remains one of his best-known works. He also penned plays such as L'Hypothèse and Un Testament Bizarre, which made his readers compare him to legendary literary figures such as Beckett.

 19 
Salomon Gessner
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Birthdate: April 1, 1730
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland
Died: March 2, 1788

Born to a publisher and bookseller, Salomon Gessner initially focused on landscape painting and etching and later devoted himself to poetry and pastoral prose. He co-founded the Helvetic Society and also served as a town councillor. Idyllen and Der Tod Abels remain his most significant written works.

 20 
Johann Jakob Bodmer
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Birthdate: July 19, 1698
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Greifensee, Switzerland
Died: January 2, 1783
 21 
Jacques Chessex
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Birthdate: March 1, 1934
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Payerne, Switzerland
Died: October 9, 2009

One of the most significant Swiss-born French authors, Jacques Chessex scripted history as the first Swiss author to win the French prize Prix Goncourt, for his novel L'Ogre. He had a heart attack and collapsed while discussing a play at a public event and died shortly after.

 22 
Albert Steffen
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Birthdate: December 10, 1884
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wynau, Switzerland
Died: July 13, 1963

One of the major figures of Rudolf Steiner’s anthroposophical movement, Albert Steffen was not just a renowned dramatist, poet, and novelist, but also a talented painter. He also headed the Anthroposophical Society and edited its review, Das Goetheanum. His plays such as Hieram und Salomo and Barrabas, remain his best-known works.

Johann Gaudenz von Salis-Seewis
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Birthdate: December 26, 1762
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Malans, Switzerland
Died: January 29, 1834
 24 
Adolf Frey
(Writer)
Adolf Frey
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Birthdate: February 18, 1855
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Küttigen, Switzerland
Died: February 12, 1920
 25 
Heinrich Federer
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Birthdate: October 6, 1866
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brienz, Switzerland
Died: April 29, 1928

Initially a priest, Heinrich Federer decided to switch to journalism when his church career came to halt due to his asthma attacks. He later took to writing on religious themes. Saint Francis of Assisi and Mountains and Men remain two of his most notable works.

 26 
Peider Lansel
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Birthdate: August 15, 1863
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Pisa, Italy
Died: December 9, 1943
 27 
Albin Zollinger
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Birthdate: January 24, 1895
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland
Died: November 7, 1941

Born to a mechanic in Zurich, Albin Zollinger grew up in Switzerland and Argentina. Known for his novels such as The Thunderstorm and his poem collections such as Autumn Tranquility, he later became popular for his signature descriptions of landscapes. Apart from writing, he also worked for a Swiss engineering firm.

 28 
Doyen Bridel
(Author)
Doyen Bridel
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Birthdate: November 20, 1757
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Begnins, Switzerland
Died: May 20, 1845