The Top Ten Poets

Sunday, April 16, 2006

According to Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world." For poetry lovers everywhere, a great stopping-off place on the World Wide Web is the official site of the Academy of American Poets. Founded in 1934, the Academy supports "American poets at all stages of their careers" and works "to foster the appreciation of contemporary poetry." Its Web site,, is a trove of information on famous and lesser-known poets, offering essays, biographical sketches, photos, interviews, audio clips -- a total poetry resource. More than a million visitors sign on to the site each month, with the tally of hits resulting in the following top ten list of most popular poets (popularity in this case defined purely by traffic data):

1. Langston Hughes

2. Emily Dickinson

3. Robert Frost

4. Walt Whitman

5. E.E. Cummings

6. Sylvia Plath

7. Maya Angelou

8. Dylan Thomas

9. Shel Silverstein

10. William Carlos Williams

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