Who is your favourite poet?
And how has your choice changed over time?
In the English language, i used to love Tennyson, then Shelley, then Keats and Shakespeare, then Hopkins, then Elliot, back and forth with Yeats, and finally, Larkin

Dylan Thomas wrote such lovely nonsense he’s always up there 
Auden and Pound I never liked

Dryden, Pope….they’re practically unreadable
I've been ignorant of poetry for so long my favorites were bob Dylan and lou reed, but quite seriously justmercedes from this site was mind-blowing. That's it, no more compliments from me.
Peanut butter honey banana sandwiches
Dylan Thomas, Ezra Pound, Allen Ginsberg

Over time, I was enthusiastic about Ted Hughes, Octavio Paz, Yevtushenko, Pushkin, and Rimbaud.

Those are the poets I go back to and re-read.


I overlooked Eliot.  I've probably re-read Eliot more than any of the above.  But he doesn't pop up as a favorite for some reason.
Tom Waits
Trent Reznor
Lyricists at first. Bjork, the Beatles. Oh, and Shakespeare, who wowed me when he was taught us in high school, but I guess he doesn't count as a lyricist. I didn't really know any better.

Taste shifted. Shakespeare still there, but neglected. Lyricists, out. Gluck, Eliot, Plath, Whitman, Dickinson, maybe sprinkle a little of Donne, Yeats, and Ginsberg there.

Taste shifts again. Shakespeare's a lot less neglected now, and I do think his plays as plays -- plot, characterization, dramatic flair -- count as *poetry*, albeit a dying, even dead, form. Lyricists are back in, but my appreciation is more measured: a lot of lyricists I love for their lyrics, which may very well be poetry, but special mention goes to lyricists whose lyrics *read*, ie who incidentally also write good poetry. Examples off the top of my head: Lennon and McCartney together (or, often, Lennon alone), whose sparest, most vernacular lyrics are often better modern poetry than a lot that's often published; Paul Simon; David Bowie (not most of his work, but his work in the Berlin Trilogy is brilliant in the same vein as Lennon and McCartney); Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein; Courtney Barnett (though I doubt she'd claim to be a versifier in this way); Noname (whose lyrics often read); Kendrick Lamar (whose *best* lyrics read); and, to a lesser extent, Leonard Cohen (whose printed poetry probably reads better than his lyrics, but his lyrics have this knowingly overdone quality to them, as if he's delivering us Auden or Yeats with a wink) and Bob Dylan (who doesn't read as often as he seems). And for poets proper: still Gluck, still Whitman, still Dickinson, still Donne, still Yeats -- Ginsberg went out the more I read of his work, Plath went out the more distance I got from her dramatics (but I still love her work), Eliot went out the more I learned about his politics. I'd probably also consider now Conchitina Cruz among Filipino poets and Anna Akhmatova among Russian poets, two nationalities I've come to consider more. And that mess of writers that gave birth to the Bible, as well as the translators gathered by King James -- really, when it comes to written poetry, I feel I focus more on works than on poets, except perhaps for Gluck and Shakespeare.

As for Dryden and Pope, well, Pope's Iliad makes me kinda sleepy, but Dryden's translation of the Aeneid: that's where it's at.

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