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Top 10 poets that you should read about to dive into the beautiful world of poetry

Poetry was a warrior itself as a genre! When it started out in the doomed society of Aristotle and the pope they made it grow into a structured expression of dilemma, you were to write about the gods and kings only until the modernist rebels came and said NAH! And gave us the unabridged journals with blank verses full of metaphors, imagery, free verse fighting its way into the confessional poets who sang their own dilemmas in high and low notes.

Here are 10 poets on the floor for you reciting, screaming, singing, or maybe just standing and staring into nothingness, with loud loud LOUD word


Sometimes we just want to put our heads into the oven, don’t we? Well, she literally did put her head into the oven. Some say it was failed marriage and some just talk about the girl in a white gown sitting in the field smiling with people totally unaware of the fire that was going on inside her head. The confessional poet wrote with vigor and insane rationality.

“Herr God, Herr Lucifer



Out of the ash

I rise with my red hair

And I eat men like air.”


Charles Bukowski was an inexhaustible underground writer who used his poetry to depict the depravity of urban life and the downtrodden social culture in American society. A cult hero, Bukowski trusted on experience, emotion, and imagination in his work. He was a blunt one who said being ugly for his forte’ and used direct language and violent and sexual imagery to make the readers confide in his poetry to feel a lot less deprecated.

One wouldn’t read Bukowski and forget him. Well known for his cynicism, lamenting the bleak and meaningless linear march of life, said Shakespeare was a plagiarist. If I were you, I’d start with his poem ‘Beasts Bounding Through Time.’


Abdul Hayee, popularly known by his takhallus Sahir Ludhianvi, was an Indian poet and film song lyricist who wrote in the Urdu and Hindi languages. So when you hear his name you must know the songs that he wrote like "Main pal do pal ka shayar hun", "Jaane who kaise log the jinke pyaar ko pyaar mila", "Laga Chunaree Me Dag Chhupau Kaise", "Laga Chunaree Me Dag Chhupau Kaise", "Ye Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaye", "Ye Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaye".

kabhī ḳhud pe kabhī hālāt pe ronā aayā

baat niklī to har ik baat pe ronā aayā

Also, while you’re at it, skim through the pages of “khaton ka safarnama” to live the story of half-smoked cigarettes by Sahir and Amrita Pritam. Bliss!


Her work was published posthumously; the poems she wrote were a rebellious as she herself was. he questioned death, and life and the monotony of being alive. Mostly moved by the little and naïve concepts of life like the bee and asking defining infinitive concepts like hope!

Her writing style was not like any other poet. She used dashes instead of full-stop or comas and never really cared about rhyme.

She talked to death as if it was a person; she is famous for her death poems.

Because I could not stop for Death –

He kindly stopped for me –

The Carriage held but just Ourselves –

And Immortality.


Faiz Ahmad Faiz was a Pakistani poet and author in Urdu and Punjabi language. Still celebrated and quoted on various events. Well known for his poem “mujhse pehli si mahobbat mere mehboob na maang” which is also a very well knows Bollywood song, and ‘gulon mein rang bhare bad-e-nau bahaar chale’ from the famous theatrical movie development of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, called Haider. His other poetry is based on Revolution, justice, love, respect.

The famous works like “bol ke lab azad hain tere” and kuch ishq kiya kuch kaam kiya” are worth reading.

dil nā-umīd to nahīñ nākām hī to hai

lambī hai ġham kī shaam magar shaam hī to hai


John Donne is often considered the greatest love poet in the English language. His poems were mostly full of binary opposites; he wanted to fight the system, even the sun.

Busy old fool, unruly Sun,

Why dost thou thus,

Through windows, and through curtains call on us?

He was a lover who believed in the spirituality and purity of love and how society was the enemy of love. His love poetry was mostly playful and his religious poetry on the other hand was resentful, apologetic, and dark.

Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,

Take me to you, imprison me, for I,

Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,

Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.


When you read Jaun Elia Sahab’s Urdu poetry you will feel the ethnicity of tea-stalls and swinging dupattas from windows. The playfulness yet the seriousness of his existential dilemmas are beautifully been written by him.

He cried many times while reciting his poetry in mushairas, everyone knew his fight with depression and fall-and-rise in love.

Bahut nazdeek aati jaa rahi ho

Bichad’ne ka iraada kar liya kya


Neil Hilborn is an American slam poet, he writes and performs poetry. His poems are mostly personal and confessional and based on his mental health and battles with mental illness. He is best known for his poems like OCD, This is not the end of the world, Future tense, and everything you need to know about silence and others.

It is hard to not get goose-bumps while he recites his poetry with utmost vigor and thrust.

Your fourth love, who is your first real love,

Who brought you peace when your whole body was a gun

When she leaves you, ask your roommate to hide the knives

Because you will carve her name into all of the food in your fridge.


When you hear the name your mind should imagine strong women dressed in an ethnic kurta with a Stoll wrapped around her neck and a strong voice calm and poised to intimidate the whole existence of human-kind. She is in her 20s and famous on social media platform Instagram and mostly performs in front of a young audience.

Her poems are revolutionary, wild, playful, confessional, and modern.

The Witch, the Wolves, and the Howling

...Days when my dad begs me

to make art that doesn’t

make people uncomfortable.

Days when I howl

into the night so fierce

other people start howling with me,

as if mourning in unison.

10. Christopher Poindexter

Christopher Poindexter is a poet based in Florida and has his own. He’s a poet for the online generation and describes himself as just an observer of life and people. He types all of his poetry on an old typewriter and sells his work online. You will probably have to force yourself to slow down a bit so you can gulp his words, which are sometimes brutal and blunt, like a bitter medicine; eventually will make you feel better.

what terrifies me most is not being able to

make sense of my vulnerability.

my softness is my reward, but the world is cruel and

constantly makes me question it.

Poetry is that genre that is constantly evolving, it is rebellious and questions and answers every little bit of existence of man and mind and universe. The moment you read one poet, you go onto another and the last thing you know you’ve found yourself in bed, bus, trains, constantly thinking about that one line that one poet wrote and why?!

Happy reading.

Written by: Aditi Bhardwaj

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Donetta Sifford
Donetta Sifford
Jan 20, 2023

This is an amazing post. There are several poets I've never heard of which makes this a valuable read for me! Thank you!

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